Several times in my years in Europe, I have seen road rallies featuring old cars, beautifully restored and maintained. I enjoy seeing sturdy piston engines tucked inside sleek, or at least colorful, bodies built for another era. And of course, it’s always a pleasure to see American cars in the lineup dating back to my own youth and beyond. On a recent stay in Baden-Baden, I had another chance for just this sort of thing. It was an unexpected American Nostalgia trip.
Anita and I were in Baden-Baden for the anniversary exhibition of the Museum Frieder Burda, and the opening of the show happened to coincide with the 38th International Oldtimer Meeting in Baden-Baden. There were more than 350 automobiles on show, all of them constructed before 1970. The cars were displayed on the lawn fronting the Baden-Baden Kurhaus. Owners, some of them colorfully dressed in period costumes, proudly talked with visitors about their cars. A jazz band played on the steps of the Trinkhalle, adding to the festive occasion.
It was great to look under the hood of the cars, and I especially enjoyed a trip back in time for those of American manufacture. Here’s a look at some of the best of show!
For three days every summer, the Oldtimer-Meeting Baden-Baden turns the park in front of the Kurhaus into an open-air museum of automobile history. The Meeting is traditionally a Concours d’élégance automobile, with prizes awarded to 120 cars, taking into account their condition, scarcity value, matching clothes of the owners, and floral decorations.
If you go
The Oldtimer Meeting is more than a display of vintage vehicles. A supporting program features concerts, garden parties and more, in keeping with the elegant ambience of Baden-Baden. Ahead of the event, a two-day touristic Oldtimer excursion takes a selection of participating cars through the Black Forest, along the Schwarzwaldhochstraße and Badische Weinstraße and into Alsace. Visitor information for the annual event can be found on the Oldtimer-Meeting Baden-Baden website (in German).
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Thanks to Baden-Baden Kur & Tourismus for organizing our visit to beautiful Baden-Baden!