The narrow road winds through a mountain massif and along the trees. In the distance, another lake sparkles in the sun between the fir trees. "As a sailor, I love water and am pleased that the route passes so many lakes," enthuses Otto Ferdinand Wachs, former managing director of the city of Wolfsburg. He cheerfully gets out of a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, built in 1961, in front of Schloss Ort am Traunsee.

The ADAC Europa Classic classic car tour is not about speed, but about skill and thinking ability. During the breaks there is something to experience, questions to answer or a competition to win. There is everything from driving a pylon course to playing car quartets to guessing the engine sounds of certain models. Each break is scored and the overall winner is determined at the end.

  • Two people drive up in red vintage convertible
  • Man in car throws ball at target

In 2003, the ADAC launched the Classic Car "Hike" and organized various events under this motto. For the 2020 edition, there was an innovation that once again reinforces the special character of the ADAC Europa Classic, the relaxed, leisurely tour with historic vehicles through unique landscapes. Modern technology takes over the route planning, in every vehicle there is a navigation system stuck to the windscreen. Maps or road book? No longer necessary. This gives the co-driver even more opportunity to enjoy the view. No one holds a stopwatch in their hand either, as is familiar from vintage car rallies. No one drives through light barriers or over pressure hoses that start the timing for each stage.

Grey classic car on country road
Pictures: Anatol Kotte

The start and finish of the four-day event in the third edition of the ADAC Europa Classic is the romantic town of St. Wolfgang in the Salzkammergut. Located 50 kilometres southeast of Salzburg, 2'800 inhabitants, many older participants know it from the film comedy "Im weißen Rößl". Today, the area with 76 crystal-clear lakes, fed by the Traun river system, is very popular with tourists. It stretches from Fuschlsee, Wolfgangsee and Mondsee into the Almtal valley, from the Vöckla valley to the Dachstein and the Grimming. The daily routes of the event are characterised by picturesque landscapes and historical destinations in the region.

The field of participants in the ADAC Europa Classic is a colourful mix. There are more than 80 classic cars, driven by men and women of all ages. What they all have in common: a great love of classic cars and the joy of slowing down. They have already registered for this edition many months in advance. There is also great interest from spectators, who have been able to find out about the route in local daily newspapers. As in previous years, many classic car fans come to the start and finish of the ADAC Europa Classic in the Salzkammergut or cheer on the participants along the way as well as during the hiking breaks.

The first vehicle to drive through the starting arch today, the second day of the event, at the Rotkreuzparkplatz in St. Wolfgang is a Trabi called "Schorsch". The cult vehicle, sky-blue with a white roof, prominently bears the start number 1. And the owner is also prominent: singer Stefanie Hertel. The night before, she stood on the stage of the event hotel Scalaria with her husband and daughter and sang for the guests at the opening of the ADAC Europa Classic.

Another familiar face: Mario Theissen smiles from his Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1.3, built in 1972. As an ADAC Classic speaker, it is a matter of course for him to take part in the classic car tour. At 8.39 a.m. the next day, he drives through the starting arch, behind him the early morning mist, in front of him a picturesque route along the Mattsee. "The route is always diverse. And the best thing: we don't have to worry about anything. The whole package of hiking breaks, sights and routing is a great composition." Thomas Voss, Head of ADAC Motorsport and Classics, adds: "We are like one big family."

Fingers crossed for Southern Tyrol

For the moment, everyone is hoping that the fourth ADAC Europa Classic will be held in Southern Tyrol. To be on the safe side, the event team has already worked out a hygiene concept for the edition. From the 20th to the 24th of September 2021, many old familiar faces want to meet there again to pursue their common hobby: Hiking. With vintage cars, of course.

  • Grey classic car on country road
  • Three classic cars drive on a country road
  • Vintage cars waiting in line

You can read the whole story in the ADAC Motorwelt issue 02/2021. More information about the new Motorwelt can be found on the ADAC website.

Cover of the ADAC Motorwelt issue 02/2021
Read the whole story here ADAC Motorwelt 02/2021

Four times a year the ADAC Motorwelt offers information and service, reports, columns, tests and celebrity-interviews on the topics of cars, travel and mobility. The magazine is available in around 9,100 German Edeka and Netto subsidiaries. Club members can take it free of charge at the checkout.