PHOTOS AND TEXT: UNAI ONA
The past 23-24-25 October took place the I Basque Country Classic Tour, organized by Automovilia Classic Car Events In collaboration with the magazine Classic Engine.
The idea was simple, to give a little respite in these complicated times, enjoying the classics on the Basque roads, tasting the typical gastronomy and tasting their wines, which materialized thanks to the due security measures and respected at all times: mandatory masks, social distancing, capacity in hotels, restaurants and visits, and riding in small groups so as not to interfere with ordinary traffic.
To all this was added the beautiful route in which the local association collaborated Gasteiz Classic Club. A great selection of ports and roads, many of them lonely and with little traffic. All a delight and joy for a more than worked driving.
From Barcelona, Soria, Madrid, Asturias, Navarra, Guadalajara, Ávila, Cuenca and, of course, from the same area, especially members of the local Gasteiz Classic Club, thirty-eight participants arrived in Vitoria on Friday afternoon. Little by little, the parking lot filled with Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Ferrari, AMC, Jaguar, Saab, Fiat, BMW, Morgan, Oldsmobile, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen ...
Five of them were the Seat 1400 B Comercial, 850 Coupé, 124 Sport 1600 Coupé, 1200 Sport “bocanegra”And 124 FL 2000 with which Historic Seat also celebrated 70 years of the brand.
Filming from Valladolid, to the rhythm of his 230 Mercedes-Benz 1937 Cabriolet B (although registered in Spain in 1944), Luis Alarcos also went to the capital of Alava on time. Ahead there were two long routes of secondary roads, curves and ports such as those of Udana, Otzaurte, Opacua, Herrera and Orduña. The respective tourism departments of the Basque Tour, the Álava Provincial Council and the Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council collaborated and provided Automovilia with the facilities to devise an itinerary and a program through which to discover Basque wealth and charms.
The first ramps after Oñate began to test the Seat 1400 in which Isidre López, responsible for the Seat Históricos collection, and Jesús Bonilla, from the Motor Clásico magazine, were traveling. On the flat, its 44 willing horses moved it with stately gallantry between 80 and 90 km / h, at the leisurely pace dictated by its mechanics and a fifties monocoque frame.
Pushed by the most spirited Seat 124, Ferrari Mondial, Porsche 911, Mercedes-Benz 190 SL, AMC Gremlin, to name a few, they entered the heart of the Basque Mountains. At noon, they crossed Peñacerrada, in the foothills of the Sierra de Cantabria, the natural limit before going down to Las Vegas de la Rioja Alavesa. From the top that day a colorful watercolor was drawn that smelled of grapes and wine. Among vineyards and caves dug into the rocky soil, the Eguren Ugarte winery, in Páganos, delighted the attendees with its wines and the best of local gastronomy.
The second part of the tour passed through a circuit between terraces of vines and more or less striking buildings with their own reference names: Marqués de Riscal, Izadi, Luis Cañas, Baigorri, Valdelana ...
The rain forecast for Sunday was wrong. In cooler weather, the 14 percent slopes of the Herrera port stretched machines and drivers. Jessica was seen as exultant at the wheel of her 127 CL, as were Gerardo and Olga with their Morgan Plus 4 from Soria. From there to Orduña, the trip flirted around the limits of Álava and Burgos, crossing the county of Treviño.
The road to Orduña on the A-2521 road is a vertiginous zigzag descent that put the drum brakes of the Seat 1400 to the test. And there was still a penultimate stop in Biscay. Torre Loizaga, an enclave where medieval architecture and automobile history merge, opened the doors to visit the Miguel de la Vía museum.
His niece María López-Tapia told how her uncle managed to put together what is considered one of the best and most complete Rolls-Royce collections in Europe. Meanwhile, Luis Alarcos' Mercedes was subjected to a cleaning and detailed treatment by Mycarsfirst.
The visit was the ideal culmination of an intense weekend that was to conclude in Valmaseda. But being in the Basque Country he could not miss his particular sirimiri. During the last kilometers, a fine rain warned the participants where they were. In this way they discovered all the faces of Euskadi. The incombustible Francesc Palau and his inseparable Juana still had 600 km to go back to Barcelona with the Porsche 911.