[dropcap] E [/ dropcap] Last 6 November I had the pleasure of attending the 4th edition of the Forum-exhibition organized annually by the Junta de Castilla y León in its «Center for Business Solutions» near Valladolid, under the motto "The Historic Vehicle: an opportunity for the future" to verify that all the virtues that I already appreciated in the first of these singular appointments are still present, corrected and increased by the accumulated experience.
Dedicating one day a year so that amateurs, professionals and public administration get to know each other better is a successful practice worthy of praise. In this breeding ground, progress is made faster in locating and adequately solving problems, opportunities are identified and, above all, a climate of trust is nurtured that benefits all interlocutors.
This initiative is put into practice with adequate means, a careful organization and success in the content of the presentations, so I am not surprised by the large response it receives from the fans and their clubs.
Tribute to the founder of Gestamp
This year's meeting was inaugurated by Exma. Ms. Mrs. Mª Pilar del Olmo, Minister of Economy and Finance of the Junta de Castilla y León and had two service centers.
On the one hand, the well-deserved posthumous tribute to Mr. Francisco Riberas Pampliega (RIP), an exceptional man from Burgos who, starting from a sheet metal workshop founded in 1958, was able to create an industrial empire dedicated to the stamping of steel sheet - The Corporation Gestamp- which today employs more than 40.000 people around the world.
The tribute consisted of a semblance of his figure by Juan de Lillo, author of the biographical book "Francisco Riberas against his destiny" and in the delivery of a plaque to the family that was collected by his son Francisco José Riberas Mera, current president along with his brother Jon of the Gestamp Corporation.
With a vocation for the future
The other focus was a careful display of Citroen 2CV housed at the entrance of the building in which even its rarest variants were not missing. This exhibition was completed with a pleasant audiovisual presentation by Mr. Luis Porro, Director of Communication and Institutional Relations of Citröen Spain and with another exhibition abroad of other models of the brand contributed by the attending fans.
In addition, honoring the title of the meeting, there was an interesting round table moderated by Jesús Bonilla (Classic Engine) in which several cases were presented that exemplify the various ways in which our vintage vehicles are becoming a source of economic activity. The day before, practical workshops were held in the same venue that showed more than 200 vocational training students the possibilities of professional development offered by its restoration and maintenance.
Nor was the leisure and entertainment of the attendees neglected, who enjoyed an entertaining session of workshop anecdotes, an exhibition of 'Pop Cross' (courtesy of 'Pepín' Álvarez, still active champion who -for this purpose- moved one of his mounts from Badajoz) and enough time to exchange impressions.
Ultimately, a good idea well executed, whose success and brilliance should have already prompted other regional administrations to do something similar in their territories.
For those who want to know more, the Junta de Castilla y León dedicates a whole section of its website to the Antique Vehicle in which, among other topics of interest, you can find and download all the papers presented during the four editions of this forum.