The long weekend of June drew enthusiasts and collectors of vintage Mercedes cars to Toruń. Cars with a high degree of originality, which were produced at least 30 years ago, have participated in the rally for years. It is on this occasion that collectors exchange experiences, compete on the course of the Rally and during the Elegance Contest, but above all ignite with passion for extraordinary, original, beautifully restored vehicles. The stars of the event were vintage Mercedes cars, including rare ones – the oldest jewels of the pre-war automotive industry.
Let’s imagine love and passion in one, let’s add good taste, elegance and class. Now let’s set the clocks back a few decades, add stylizations from the 1930s to the 1990s, and combine them with the stars on wheels of the time. Let’s add a little adrenaline, that is, start in the Rally and let’s put it in the environment of a charming city with a history from the early 13th century. StarDrive is an event that has been bringing together car collectors with a soul for 20 years. Every year the meeting takes place in a different place, and this time the history is round – fans of vintage Mercedes met in Toruń – exactly where their journey with passion began. No fewer than 75 teams from Poland, Germany and Lithuania came to the 20th Historic Mercedes Club Rally Poland. Almost all vehicles arrived on their own wheels. On the first day, the monuments competed on the track of the more than 100 km long Rally near Toruń. Smart, knowledge and fun counted here, but there was no shortage of emotions and adrenaline. The participants had to follow the entire route of the rally correctly, avoid penalty points and answer difficult questions prepared by the vice commander of the rally. Among other things, Marek Pietruszewski asked them: about the weight of the vehicle together with the equipment and passengers – and their correct definition was quite a challenge for the participants.
The pearls of historic motorization could be admired up close during the Saturday Elegance Competition on the Old Town Square in Toruń. The crews presented their most representative vehicles and perfect stylizations of the time. Collectors took care of every detail: vehicle equipment, feathers, bowler hats, veils, umbrellas – it was a real overview of what used to be driven and how it was driven. The audience applauded the most interesting stories, restored vehicles and their owners. The senior of the rally was the Model W21 type 200 Cabrio B Lang, a pre-war two-door four-door convertible from 1934, which with the power of 40 hp can reach a speed of 98 km/h to this day. The vehicle’s crew of four showed up in beautiful 1930s costumes. Beads, long dresses and scarves were the boss.
Five vehicles on display recall pre-war times, including the model W142 Type 320 Cabrio A, reconstructed according to the models, 14 vehicles were produced in the 1950s and 13 in the 1960s. During the competition we saw 18 car gems from the 70s and the most showcased group of vehicles was the 80s – a whopping 21 of these are from that era, including: R 107, W 201 and S 123 estate. The Elegance Show ended with passing stars from the 1990s, the youngest being the 1991 R129 AMG 500. The crews were judged in five categories by a jury consisting of four people: Iwona Stefańska, Jerzy Kossowski, Leszek Jamiński and Rafał Zawierucha.
The Old Town Square in Toruń on Saturday became an automotive history platform that took us through six eras of German automotive history. The event has a unique atmosphere, which can only be experienced live – because only then can you see with your own eyes on four wheels how the world has changed over the years.
Every year, StarDrive gathers old and small vintage motoring enthusiasts and collectors of vehicles with a soul. Their owners say it’s a demanding love that relies on patience, watch precision and significant financial costs, but they make sure that every ride in a vehicle of the past takes you on a sentimental and unforgettable journey – a real chillout on four wheels.
The author of the text:
Dagmara Kowalska – journalist, radio and TV presenter, announcer, author of the show on Bryka Dagmary’s YouTube channel. A great enthusiast of the car industry in every version, a car enthusiast with a soul. Co-author of the Polish record for covering the distance of 2,185 km in 24 hours with the series-produced electric Mercedes-Benz EQS. Author of Bryka Dagmara’s radio program and the daily band Afternoon Regeneration. He leads events, automotive and lifestyle events. He is passionate about the world of cars and motorcycles.
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