Enjoy the finest driving and new experiences

It had been a while since I’d been on a multi-day trip, preferably with a cool group. So when I got the urge to travel in spring 2023, I immediately remembered Ernst and his new “baby”. Ernst and I met several years ago on a classic car trip, and I still remember how he was already bubbling over with ideas back then to make such trips even more special. And so it came “as it had to come”, since 2022 he has been organizing unusual and special trips for sports car enthusiasts under his new brand “Sportwagen Erlebnisreisen”.

“4 days, 12 sports cars, 16 Alpine passes and a helicopter flight as a highlight”

So I got on the phone, called Ernst and a few minutes after a warm “hello”, my personal highlight for a great trip in late summer 2023 was set. From then on, I could look forward to an exhilarating festival of curves over the most beautiful Alpine passes, which would make all our hearts, filled with “gasoline in the blood”, beat faster – 4 days, 12 sports cars, 16 Alpine passes and, as a highlight, a helicopter flight over the simply incomparable scenery of the Dolomites. Now the biggest challenge for 2023 was to wait for the day when it would finally start.

I got to know Ernst when he began to turn his passion for fast and old cars into something new. After originally pursuing a career as a professional racing driver (European Karting Champion 2006, racing and testing experience in Formula BMW and Formula 3), he completed an international business degree. After further stations in business and consulting, he started his first brand “Oldtimer Urlaubsreisen” (www.oldtimer-urlaubsreisen.de) in 2017 and now, voila, since 2022 the second brand with “Sportwagen Erlebnisreisen” (www.sportwagen-erlebnisreisen.de ).

During our phone call, I was spoiled for choice when it came to choosing one of the four trips on offer for 2023. The choices were the season opening on Lake Garda over 7 days with the special treat of an exclusive boat trip with Frauscher sports boats, a tour over 4 days through the Bavarian & Austrian Prealps under the motto “In the footsteps of Ferdinand Porsche & Walter Röhrl”, an eventful 8 days along the Route des Grandes Alpes and Route Napoleon with everything this fantastic scenery has to offer and last but not least my choice of the tour through the Dolomites and around the Grossglockner. What all the tours have in common is that the focus is on experience, sharing and enjoyment, inviting participants to let themselves drift, be inspired and pampered.

What Ernst repeatedly emphasized on the phone was what he places particular value on and what makes his trips what they are, something special, but definitely eventful. In order to actively differentiate himself from other providers in this segment, he focuses on the overall experience of riding, discovering and enjoying. He focuses on small group sizes, which benefits both the overall organization and execution as well as the development of direct interpersonal contacts. His hand-picked daily highlights offer the opportunity to take part in exclusive events/activities that are not always open to the public, and the sociable togetherness comes naturally through groups that are perfectly matched to the personal interests of the participants.

Of course, the whole event will be accompanied by professional photography and video, so that everyone will be able to see their own personal highlights afterwards.

What does a “normal” tour day look like, or what can you expect?

Roughly speaking, the day starts after breakfast with a first one-hour drive to the first program point of the day. This varies depending on the region, but for us it was a visit to a South Tyrolean coffee roastery. This is followed by a short stage to lunch and from there to the next “place of action” – the next special activity of the day in addition to the route. Then it’s a relaxed ride (or another sporty ride, depending on your mood) to your chosen accommodation for the evening and night. So none of the participants will return from such a tour without having got to know the respective region, some of its special features and especially its beauty.

The great thing is that not only one highlight is selected per tour, but there is something special to experience every single day, be it in selected culinary outstanding locations (we were in the 1-star restaurant Malga Panna in the middle of and with a great view of “nowhere”), extraordinary events, such as in our case the helicopter flight around the Sella massif (mega! ) or visits to local artistic, artisanal or commercial specialties – all in all, a great balance of riding fun, experiences and discovering new things, as well as getting to know the other participants and making new friends among like-minded people.

For me, it was four exceptionally enjoyable days with lots of great experiences, the opportunity to meet extremely nice and interesting enthusiasts and the fun of a perfectly organized and orchestrated event. Such undertakings thrive on the love of detailed preparation and execution, the perfect mix of participants and the flexibility and spontaneity to get involved in unexpected new things outside of the planning. The fact that Ernst has a “lucky” knack for this is something that the participants experience on every single day of the tours and is also reflected in the high rate of “repeat offenders”.

If you fancy a ride like this, you can find the program for 2024 here, as well as more information about the brand and the team behind it.

I myself have not yet been able to decide for 2024. Depending on my schedule, it will either be the shorter tour from Bavaria to South Tyrol (I’m particularly keen on the ‘James Bond experience’) or the longer trip to one of my favorite regions (Massif Central – an absolute insider tip!). I still have a little time to decide, but I won’t wait too long – my first inquiry with Ernst revealed that many tours are already fully booked.

Photos: Dominik Pelzer – Sportwagenerlebnisreisen https://www.sportwagen-erlebnisreisen.de