Monday, October 1, 2012

Event Recap: Deutsche Classic 2012

Along with many other first time ROTL events this year, we ended up making an appearance at this years' Deutsche Classic in Reading, PA. Coming from my neck of the woods this was a familiar drive through the back roads of NE Maryland; skipping all major highways until hopping onto I-83N around York. Once buzzing along on US-30, hints of where I was headed became a bit more apparent. 9am traffic brought a couple old mercs, a couple E34 sedans and a (930) 911S Targa. Upon arrival into Reading/Fleetwood, a lot of nice windy roads brought me and the red coupe to Fleetwood Park. This leads you off of nice paved road onto a very cobbled up set of dirt paths (panscrapers need not apply). After a friendly teen guided me to a parking spot, I walked to the gate tent. A nice woman gave me a run down on the event, the chicken dinner my entry cost paid for (pleasant surprise says what?) and gave me an event lanyard for ID.

Within a few minutes photo ops poured in. Modern and classic German Cars were lined up side by side, working their way onto the show field post entry processing. Much like most show visits these days, I had a pretty set time limit in order to make my rounds, but with constraints come forced efficiency. Cars that are the cream of the crop get time and those that don't, don't. After leaving the processing area I made a b-line for the P-car area.

What a feast for the eyes. There was a wide variety of dope late 60's to early 70's 911s, in stock and mildy modified forms, along with 73' RS replicas spec'd to the nines and newer aircooled (993) and watercooled (997) models. I spoke to the owner of this lovely yellow piece of machinery (see car below) at length. He explained that this lovely RS conversion was built in Florida by Gunnar Racing, with an extremely skilled ex-race mechanic tuning the mechanical fuel injection system on this ITB'd 2.8 liter flat six to the tune of ~280hp. 100hp per liter may be commonplace today, but before the age of electronic engine management and direct injection this was something only race engines were capable of. This car and the pale red RS rep beside it made me think about what I wanted out of my mid-life crisis a bit more than before...RS-widebody classic 911, a la Singer Design, or a newer watercooled 911 model? It's a problem we'd all like to have some day.

Along with the fantastic Porsches on display, including a lovely 550 Spyder replica showcasing it's clam-shell attributes, there were some absolute stunners in the Mercedes camp. This white 280 SEL has been in this gentleman's collection since brand new. This bluish-grey (enter model here) sedan below is one of the true time capsules of the US. I spent more time with this car than any other in the show and I'm sure you can see why. This 98% all-original car has been babied and garaged kept since 1974. One of the biggest cliches of car guys is being able to 'eat-off' an interior, or undercarriage or engine bay. Well folks, this was the real McCoy.

The holy grail of MB 280SEs.
I made my way through the BMW, VW and Audi sections after I left the heart of the event. There were some very nice cars there. Along with older BMW motorcycles, Aircooled VW's and a collection of other German Marks (that aren't recognizable to most of those under 23) Opel being one of them.

My day wrapped up with a trip to the chicken dinner line. The entry fee got you a steaming-hot roasted half chicken, dinner roll and apple sauce. I headed over to the 8380Labs booth to unwind and b.s. on the must-see cars from the overall event. Scarfed down some food, chatted a bit with some of the customers, then I headed home. Going to this event for the first time, expecting nothing special, I was more than impressed with the variety of cars and owners in attendance. I also know why this isn't one of the more popular shows in the car forums and more popular automotive portals; this is a show both for the young enthusiasts and more importantly the older, long-term enthusiasts. Mature tastes were addressed at Deutsche Classic, more than any specific niche, and I think that's what made it good. Even many of the younger attendees where German Car fans through and through, with a strong model knowledge spurred on from parents' ownership going back to childhood. Shows like this aren't a dime a dozen and it's important that they aren't. If we can help it, we'll continue to frequent the Deutsche Classic for years to come.

The pre-album can be seen here.

No comments:

Post a Comment