Across Europe, Canada and Latin America, the ‘rolling museum’ of historic car events is slowly coming back to the roads, confirms FIVA (the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens or international federation of historic vehicles).
“Around the world, where restrictions allow, the historic car community is eagerly jumping behind the wheels of its classics to once again enjoy the open roads,” says FIVA president Tiddo Bresters. “Social distancing and compulsory masks are often the ‘new normal’, but taking sensible precautions doesn’t dampen the thrill of getting a little closer to life as we once knew it.”
While Chile and Argentina are still in fairly strict lockdown, Uruguay is a happy exception with more freedom for enthusiasts to enjoy their historic vehicles as long as they follow social distancing guidelines. Hence FIVA member, the Montevideo Classic Car Club (MCCC), was able to organise a mid-August 3-hour drive for 70 historic vehicles along the coast road in the Montevideo area where, after five months of lockdown, there was obvious joy at being back on the road.
Social distance was carefully maintained during the whole event, as well as participants wearing the obligatory masks handed out by the club. Cars ranged from Ford As, microcars and Minis, to Cadillacs, Mustangs, Alfa Romeos, Porsches and Ferraris.
The Hagerty Fall Classic, meanwhile, FIVA’s first event in Canada, saw 16 cars drive more than 800 miles in three days across British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province. But Canadians are no strangers to long drives, with the majority of participants driving up from Vancouver to the start in Vernon, itself a five-hour trip.
Over in Europe, August also saw the 1000 mil československých 2020, the 1000 miles of Czechoslovakia, a 3-day regularity rally (Prague-Bratislava-Prague) in memory of the ‘Czechoslovak Mille Miglia’ of the Thirties. FIVA president Tiddo Bresters took part in a Tatra 87, mainly as navigator, with Juraj Porazik, the president of the Association of Collectors of Historical Vehicles in the Slovak Republic (Z.Z.H.V.S.R.) driving and Tiddo’s wife, Marianna, as a companion. The event welcomed more than 100 participants, with much public interest.
And in France, the Traversée de Paris saw more than 500 historic cars drive across Paris, while at the start of September, 250-plus historic competition-type cars drove/competed in the Tour Auto Optic 2000.
And what about South Africa? "We have noticed that several smaller, informal "drives" have been happening, but as a responsible brand we simply have to make sure that when we eventually host our next SentiMETAL Gathering, it is done in the right way," says SentiMETAL project head, Hannes Oosthuizen. "That said, we look forward to a Gathering, albeit a smaller one than before, before the end of this year. Stay tuned for more information soon!"