The beautiful Schloss Dyck water castle just west of Düsseldorf provided as fitting background for the ninth edition of the Classic Days. More than 30,000 people visited the event held from August 1 to 3, which has become one of the most important of its kind in Germany. A great variety of classic cars were present at the Classic Days, from which quite a few lapped the three-kilometer long course around the 900-year old castle.
Volkswagen had some interesting cars on display at the Classic Days, like the aggressive styled Volkswagen Golf Design Vision GTI. But most impressive was the one-off Volkswagen GTI W12-650 featuring the 6.0-liter W12 bi-turbo engine which provides 650 horsepower. Sadly both cars didn’t appear on track, contrary to some other cars presented by Volkswagen like the racing and rally Golf, the hybrid XL1, and the VW Aerocoupe — better known as the Porsche 64 (as being the first automobile made by the Porsche company).
The Fiat Group provided a few great cars as well, like the Lancia 037 Rallye, Lancia D50 Formula 1 car from 1955, and the sleek Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 B Speciale Touring built for the 24 hour race of Le Mans in 1938. Mercedes-Benz also brought some interesting cars to Schloss Dyck, including two Silver Arrows: the W25 and W196R. The latter dominated the Grand Prix scene during 1954 and 1955, resulting in two titles for Juan Manuel Fangio. More recently a similar W196 was sold for a record-breaking $29.6 million.
The Mercedes-Benz W25 made its racing debut in 1934 and story goes this is the car that give birth to the legend of the Silberpheile (the Silver Arrows). Mercedes-Benz entered the Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring in 1934 with the W25, which was painted white. On the evening before the race it was discovered that the car was too heavy to comply with the rules. To be precise, the W25 was only one kilogram too heavy. Thus Mercedes had to shed some weight of their car, the team removed the paintwork and the following morning the Mercedes appeared on the grid in its shining silver alumunium body. The race was won, the press dubbed the car “the Silver Arrow” and the legend was born.
Sadly both Silver Arrows remained silent, which was quite disappointing given the fact these cars were driven on various events before. But a few other Mercedes cars entered track, like the 300 SLS, the racing version of the Gullwing, and the experimental C 111-II D from 1970.
More classic cars at the Classic Days will be covered the next time, enjoy the first series of pictures showing some highlights of this great event.