Whether I'm going to Hoornsterzwaag this year. It is the question asked by neighbor Michel Verhaag from Leeuwarden, to which he has long known the answer. Yet a spontaneous "yes" escapes from my mouth. A welcome confirmation, because I think the Oldtimerfestival Hoornsterzwaag is one of the nicest events in the classic field.
It has been a tradition for some years. Three generations of Verhaag travel annually to the festival between Oosterwolde and Drachten. They will liven up the fun fair with two Fiat 124 Spiders and a Volkswagen Transporter of the third generation. Water-cooled, but with the boxer engine. The VW is used to serve the merchant's blood in the Verhaag family, because boxes filled with automobiles go to the spectacle, which is held annually on Ascension Day. I am then the one who can sit behind the wheel of the bus. And I enjoy driving in older VW buses.
During this year's edition, it will be summery again and that will be revealed early in the morning at the innocent Frisian horizon, which embraces the equally beautiful landscape. The two Spiders in front, I with the bus behind. In this way we cover that peaceful route in a column. An almost moving magic that merges with the sight of other classics, which also have Hoornsterzwaag as their destination.
This year I experience a scoop, because to my delight my son Wessel is coming. The rich range of activities and the knowledge that neighbor boy Jens is there will definitely convince him. Wessel and Jens enjoy themselves for a whole day, try out a real quad several times and immerse themselves in the specific atmosphere that prevails in Hoornsterzwaag. Sometimes with me, sometimes with Michel. Of course I am also present for this Auto Motor Klassiek. And on behalf of our unsurpassed magazine, Frank Bouckaert and his son Mike are also present. They staff the stand all day long, I also regularly go there. Talking about AMK, talking with many interested parties, talking about other matters.
Under the bright sun I take in the diversity of the heritage and I make appointments for future reports again. Greet old acquaintances, regularly return to the base that is colored by two Spiders and the VW Bus, which are parked in 2015 participant in an AMK reportage in addition to the beautiful Heckflosse by Jan de Haan. The Mercedes, which, according to Wessel, is the most beautiful car of all seven hundred cars present.
What I love about Hoornsterzwaag is the typical casual atmosphere that is created without visible protocol. Spotless, and giving every visitor with or without a classic the feeling that they can simply go their own way. Visitors, who amuse themselves in the midst of show elements, the smell of hamburgers and the pungent aroma of sunburn. Often they are tough guys with short-smoked women. The audience is visibly amazed by yet another special classic, which is livened up by the owners who make it easy on a folding chair and with refreshments. Owners, who do not raise any barriers to tell a nice story about their car. Or just chat about classics. Or other matters.
Every craving for exclusivity devalues in Hoornsterzwaag to insignificant finery. That belongs in a different, artificial world. A world far away from the festival site. And it is the unguided freedoms, the glorious weather and the relics of the past that make me check the watch regularly. Because I want the Ascension Day in Hoornsterzwaag never to end. But I know that a nice ride home awaits me. With my son Wessel, who will enthusiastically share his experiences of the day with his proud father. In the third generation VW Transporter. With that fine boxer sound. In the wake of two Fiat 124 Spiders. Before nightfall. After an Ascension Day of happiness. In Hoornsterzwaag.
You can find photos of the 2017 edition of the Oldtimerfestival Hoornsterzwaag on our Facebook page.
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