Through picturesque Bavaria at the Alex v. Falkenhaus Classics.

With over 60 classic cars on beautiful roads to enchanting places in Lower Bavaria, with regular culinary treats and always accompanied by petrol talks with like-minded people – the 31st Falkenhausen Classics was a treat for all the senses.

Everything is still quiet and a little sleepy on this Saturday morning at Schloss Neufahrn, the starting point of the two-day rally. It took place for the last time in 2019, so the anticipation to start again is all the greater. And the wait is finally over as the first participants arrive and the sound of the engines drowns out the chirping of the birds. Little by little, the classic cars trickle into the area, and it becomes clear what a colourful mix is on offer. From pre-war cars from the 1920s to timeless icons like the E-Type or 356 to muscle cars a la Mustang, there is something for every taste. Of course, the time until the drivers’ briefing and the start is still used, some study the road book over a veal sausage and a pretzel, others carry out final checks on their cars, and they are ready to go.

no holding back on the speed

So, shift into gear and put your right foot towards the floor. Although the first stage to the BMW Service Centre in Dingolfing is not timed, this does not stop the drivers from giving a taste of what they and their treasures are capable of. In the midst of all the enthusiasm, some of the drivers forget to pay attention to where they are going, because a rally is driven according to the road book, which means that the co-pilot reads out instructions to the driver on where to go in how many metres. After small snacks at the first stage finish, the rally continues, despite a summer rain, which remains the only one this weekend, with the first special stage. Over country roads, through forests and over meadows the roads wind, inviting to enjoyable driving. But there is no holding back on the speed, which is of course appropriate for racing cars like Jaguars or Aston-Martins. The looks are all the more surprised when suddenly a Messerschmidt cabin scooter literally flies by at country road speed, “tired of life”, as the pilot describes it. After more than three hours on the road, it is time to switch off the engines, let the pulse sink again and end the day with a fine meal and a view over Landshut.

As soon as we fall asleep, the alarm clock rings and it’s time to get going again with the second, more driving-intensive day of the Falkenhausen Classics. The meeting point is the Porsche Centre in Landshut, where we gather some energy over breakfast while the cars are examined by interested spectators, and then we hit the road. But only for a short distance, namely into the old town of Landshut, where all the cars are lined up for the Concours d’ Elegance. The picturesque backdrop of the old town, which is normally a pedestrian zone, provides the perfect setting for the admirable classic cars to simply drift away and be transported back in time. From grandmas and grandpas with their grandchildren to four-legged friends, the pedestrian zone is filled and it’s all about one thing, the fascination of classic cars. No matter where you look, everywhere you look there is a sparkle of enthusiasm in your eyes. And it is precisely this atmosphere, this enthusiasm and accessibility for all, that has made the event so special for 40 years now. Organiser Verena Proebst, who has been carrying on the legacy of her parents, Walter and Hilde Proebst, for over 10 years now and organises the Falkenhausen Classics in their memory with her team, is also keen to make the rally tangible for everyone in the spirit of its founders and to share the enthusiasm with everyone.

The old town really comes to life as the participants start their engines and make their way through the people. Goosebumps. The teams, already well-rehearsed by now, set off, side by side, curve by curve, always with an eye on the time and a grin on their faces, albeit a concentrated one. In Mariakirchen, at the Schlossbräu brewery, they stop for lunch, take a deep breath and recharge their batteries before the final stage with the finish at Trausnitz Castle. The afternoon flies by and the first participants already arrive at the medieval castle. What a sight as the Studebaker, built in 1926, drives through the gate, surrounded as always by spectators who are just as happy about the sight as we are.

After almost all participants have arrived – some unfortunately had to surrender due to technical problems – it is already time to announce the winners and let the weekend come to an end with a well-deserved cold drink. It was a treat, see you in 2023!

Photos & Text: Andi Griesbeck