Legends of the Autobahn – Canada, Concours and Driving Event

Check www.legendsoftheautobahn.ca for our 100+ picture gallery and additional event information

When the gates opened on Saturday, June 15th 2013 at 8:00 AM, for the first Legends of the Autobahn – Canada, Concours and Driving Event, only those with first-hand experience in organising car shows knew just how much preparation went into the launch of this event.

In fact, planning of this joint event between the MBCA – Toronto Section, BMW Club of Canada, Trillium Chapter and the Porsche Club Upper Canada Region began months earlier. As this was the first combined event ever for our three clubs, preparations were quite different compared to a single club affair.  However, regular planning meetings of the representatives from each club had paved the way for an outstanding weekend.

Just to make sure things would go as planned, some members of the organizing team arrived at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park the day before the event, on Friday, to scout out the fields and allocate space for the three clubs as well as the sponsors.

MBCA Toronto Section Gold sponsors included Mercedes-Benz Durham, SONAX, A2Z Automobiles,

The sun was shining brightly on Saturday morning at the newly renovated and paved Canadian Tire Mosport track, to welcome MBCA members from as far away as Montreal, Brockville and Barrie, Ontario.

The Legends of the Autobahn – Canada was held during the Canadian Historic Grand Prix that takes place over the course of Father’s Day weekend. The Concours or Corral of Legends of the Autobahn was only one of many activities taking place. Spectators could watch, smell and hear authentic vintage racing action where drivers were battling it out just like in the heydays of Mosport of yore.  A stroll through the paddock allowed close encounters with men and their lovingly maintained racing machines from the 50s, 60s and 70s, which were just a step away.

On the Concours turf it was delightful to have a large number of 190 and 230, and 280 SLs in attendance from as far away as Montreal. Glen Moon and Roland Wilhelm’s 190 SL were outstanding examples of the brand, especially since both had driven a considerable distance to the Concours. Roland had an extensive collection of period accessories for his 190 SL some of which we had not seen before.

Rolf Dieter’s blue 280 SL took top prize in the Pagoda category, Marcus van Bers 230 SL in second place followed by John Geist’s 230 SL.

In the Contemporary Cabriolet & Roadster category, Harm Rosenboom took first place with Richard Kunst and Paul Kneale in second and third place, respectively. In the Classic Coupe & Sedan class, Doug Dees took first prize with his 280SE coupe followed by Harald von Langsdorff with his 300SEL 6.3 and Norbert Egli’s 250 Coupe.

Roger Ferguson and his 450 SL took first place in Modern Cabriolets & Roadsters followed by Glen Knox and Christopher Loates.

Jim Kenzie, noted automotive journalist, accomplished racer and a classic car collector himself was the Master of Ceremonies and professionally entertained the crowd during the awards ceremony. Together with Doug Dees, the Chief Judge for MBCA, Jim handed out the trophies. Afterwards, in the Concours field, he was interviewing Toronto Section members about their impressions of the day.

The Legends of the Autobahn Concours and Corral ran all Saturday under the wonderful blue Canadian sky. Every club donated not only their expertise in event organization but also trophies, equipment and prizes. Nevertheless things were not without minor challenges and we did learn a bit more about running an event of this scope. We learned that attendants at the entrance gates need to know what the exact admission fee for show participants is. That sometimes when you expect five helpers, three show up – or nine! Also, one of our sponsors learned that a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van does not exactly fit through the Legends of the Autobahn inflatable arch!

When the Concours and Corral activities were slowing down in the evening, registered guests for the Banquet gathered and joined racers, organisers and special guests in the huge Canadian Historic Grand Prix hospitality tent for a filling buffet with chicken, BBQ ribs and dessert. After dinner, while most people had a relatively short trip home, some stayed in nearby hotels to rest for the Sunday driving activities such as the Parade and “Hot” Touring laps. Meanwhile, Harald von Langsdorff, Section President, his family as well as MBCA member John Geist and his family choose to camp overnight in their RV and had a watchful eye over the remaining cars.

However, having been so co-operative the day before, the weather had changed dramatically overnight and put a damper on the attendance for Sunday.

Around 9:00 AM, the official start of the Corral Parking, the rain and fog had gotten so bad, that the historic races had to be stopped as the marshals could not see one another on the track. We expected the day to be a total washout.

Surprisingly, as the morning rain continued, a dozen Mercedes show up. Just before the start of the Parade Lap a handful of BMWs and Porsches also dropped in to inquire about the procedure for the “Hot” Touring Laps.

By noon the rain diminished somewhat and off we went to the track entrance. None of the passengers in our car or the occupants of the other parade cars have ever been on a real race track. The excitement was tangible, the adrenalin was rushing.  Our pace car lead us around the Mosport Grand Prix track in a moderately fast pace and motivated Gill, my wife to frequently ask me to “slow down“ while my 10 year old son encouraged me to “go faster”!

Being on a race track, especially one with this much history is truly exciting. Despite the bad weather many spectators were waiting for the races to continue and gave us their thumbs-up when we passed by. In the end the parade managed to attract a total of 50 cars with a dozen or so fromLegends of the Autobahn. But like everything fun, it was over much too quickly.

After leaving the track and gathering back at the corral parking area it was time to start packing up. With the help of the remaining participants we gathered the club paraphernalia into our trailer. Filled with of a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction we all agreed: we’ll be back!

Thanks again to the dedicated core planning group of Harald von Langsdorff – MBCA, Kye Wankum – UCR, Randy Sparre – Trillium. When the event sponsor Derek Johnston, SONAX joined, the preparation took another leap forward in experience. Together with the onsite helpers on Saturday and Sunday their combined labour and diligence led to a very successful launch of the Legends of the Autobahn – Canada, Concours and Driving Event at the Canadian Tire Mosport Park.

Lots of more pictures and information here: www..legendsoftheautobahn.ca

Concours and Driving Event

 LOTA- Canada 2013  at a Glance:

  • Over 100 cars from the 3 marques attended the Concours and Corral Saturday
  • 3 participants showed up for the Rally Tour, Saturday morning
  • 3 Porsches did “Hot” laps Saturday noon
  • 18 guests attended the Gala Banquet Saturday evening
  • 3 Mercedes did the “Hot” laps Sunday morning
  • 10 cars were in the Grand Prix Track Parade Sunday noon
  • Saturday weather was great, Sunday was not so great