TEXT: MARIO LAGUNA / PHOTOS: ML, UNAI ONA AND J. ROMAGOSA (FEET)
The world of prestigious international elegance contests is very restricted, within the limits of which only the best fit. Many are the attempts, but few are the results of reaching that pinnacle that the three Musketeers of global elegance, such as Pebble Beach on the west coast of the USA, Amelia Island, on the east coast and Villa d'Este on another shorter coastline with fresh water, but no less interesting, that of Lake Como, in Italy.
This does not mean that the world of elegance is limited to the aforementioned contests and that there are no other events in which the cream and cream of prestigious automobile production participate, with an influx of public. Increasingly important.
Germany is not resigned not to appear among the great competitions of the specialty, as the aforementioned Americans and Italian. Nor is France resigned, falling into banality after a period of splendor before the war. France is getting organized with the Elegance Contest of Whipped Cream to climb again that lost summit, the alleged successor of the remembered Bagatelle at the gates of Paris that was not very long-lived, but that matter must be dealt with on another occasion.
One might wonder where is our country on that scale that measures world elegance, the state of collecting and the dimension of the industrial historical heritage in the field of individual transport.
Despite having a wide range of possibilities when it comes to choosing an appropriate prestigious setting, Spain is not in the right place if it only makes a few efforts in terms of organization.
Schloss Dyck puts Germany on the map
Germany, the great engine of the global automobile industry, is missing a showcase, albeit nostalgic and somewhat decadent, such as contests of elegance, which reflects its ancient and current power in the field of prestigious bodies and mechanics.
One of the most serious attempts in that sense has been doing it for some years, eleven to be precise, Schloss Dyck that, although phonetically it sounds like a whiskey brand, it has no relationship whatsoever with the well-known Segovia drink.
The fortified palace of Dyck It is located near Neuss, not far from Düsseldorf and is a place of great natural beauty that lends itself to the organization of an elegance contest that meets the necessary requirements.
The buildings, built on several islets in the North Rhine region, are harmonized in a swampy flooded area that favors both the defense of the property from the arrival of intruders, and the diversification of the landscape in the arrangement of gardens and recreational areas. It is precisely these gardens that serve as a botanical and natural setting for the competition and the arrangement of cars in different categories on the ground.
Not just cloths and chamois, but also gasoline
But more than its precise geographical location, what is striking is that Schloss Dyck is emotionally out of the real world. At least that is the warning found by the traveler who passes through their domains, delimited by signs that indicate it.
Contest Castle Dyck is not a frozen and static event. The palace is authorized to close to traffic a regional ring road that allows the dynamic admiration of cars in different parades or acceleration tests, providing an additional incentive to their simple inanimate exposure.
Although, of course, it is not a question of races properly speaking or of marches against the clock, the inner road serves as demonstrations in which the most daring make their engines roar without worrying much about the rev counter.
It is thus shown that the most elegant prestige cars are not only good for being polished with suede. Figures such as Hans Stuck, Jochen Mass, Stirling Moss and other celebrities are regulars at the contest, invited to sign autographs and tell their experiences to the many fans, as well as getting behind the wheel of the cars they used in their active lives.
Jutta Benz, The last living descendant of Carl Benz, he remembered his ancestor Bertha Benz, the first woman and the first person in the world to have made a trip driving her car with an internal combustion engine. Jutta was driving a replica of Bertha Benz's motorized tricycle in the avenues of the palace.
Under the auspices of UNESCO
The contest, held on August 6 and 7, 2016, attracted a large number of makes and models to Dyck worthy of appearing in any catalog in the history of the automobile. The list of clubs that meet in the vicinity of the palace in an extensive cultivable area of the products of the region it would be endless to detail. Suffice it to say that strolling for hours through the clubhouse parking lot is almost as interesting as the contents of the inside doors of the flood pits.
This edition has been held under the auspices of UNESCO and has been endowed with the FIVA Preservation award. It is reassuring that a United Nations institution for education, science and culture is interested in a mundane event such as a contest of elegance of automobiles could be considered that, in addition, fumes if they can get started and put the wheels on. plants in their proximity brown.
Celebrating its eleventh edition, many observers found it fitting that a special class be devoted to the "Elfer", eleven in German, as it is known in that country to Porsche 911. The class supported models 911 and 912 of the “zero” series. As is known, the first Porsche 911 were called 901, with the famous zero in the center forbidden by Peugeot, which forced the change of name of the German model.
Schloss Dyck does not have 'Best of Show' ...
Contrary to what is more common in other competitions, at Schloss Dyck no award is awarded "Best of Show" but rather prizes for classes, in addition to the FIVA Preservation Prize and the prize awarded by choice of the attending public, which can be considered the two highest prizes, without the intervention of the jury that deals with the cars selected to participate in their respective classes.
El Preservation Award FIVA won a Porsche 911 from 1968 and the public ('People's Choice') was at the hands of the owner of a 1959 Borgward Isabella TS Cabriolet from 1959, who was a member of group C.
Other award-winning vehicles were:
- Group A - Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost from 1914.
- Group B - Buick Open coupé Série 40 from 1937.
- Group D - Porsche 356 SC Cabriolet from 1965.
- Group E - Thurner RSR from 1971.
Rare brands and interesting models, difficult to admire outside the most important contests of elegance, were not lacking, like a pretty FIAT 1100 TV Boano Giannini 1956 (Boano for the aluminum body and Giannini for the preparation of the engine); an unrestored 35 Chalmers 1920; or a Laurin & Clement 110 from 1925, just to give a few examples.
Jaguar Heritage, always present in the contest, he was traveling from Coventry with several cars from his museum, including an interesting XJ13 with a 12-cylinder central engine, the result of coupling two of its famous 6-cylinders, with a body rebuilt by Abbey Panels Ltd.
With tickets at 30,00 euros, 3,00 euros for parking a car and 10,00 euros for the complete and necessary program, the budget is more than justified to spend a memorable day in a world-class event.
The traffic sign on the edge of the palace reminds us that when leaving it we go back to the real world.