The Volvo Rendezvous for Owners and Members – VROM – was held August 12 –14 and was a jointly staged event together with IVM – International Volvo Meeting which is an international version of VROM. And international it certainly was, counting visitors from all over Europe (30 cars and 75 people arrived from the Belgian Classic Volvo club!) and even from the United States!
VROM is a weekend filled with activities that is held every year during the second weekend in August at Arendal, close to the Volvo Cars Headquarters. It is a big happy event, open to everyone and admission is free. This year, IVM – which is the international edition of VROM – joined forces with VROM because of the 85th anniversary of Volvo.
Friday the 10th was spent in a place that all Volvo enthusiasts have heard of but very few have been to in real life: Hällered, the Volvo Proving Ground.
200 guests had the opportunity to see and experience the secret heart of Volvo, located in the middle of nowhere'. After having been guided around all the facilities and different tracks on the 700 ha large area, the guests were invited to be passengers in cars that were driven by professional test drivers at speeds up to 250 kph around the 5 km main track banking. Those who still had an appetite enjoyed a lunch al fresco and were entertained by Team Hällered; two C30 cars that perform a spectacular two-wheel show.
The rally counted some 160 starters and ran over beautiful roads in a friendly sunshine. Here one of the first cars starts out from the big parking lot in Partille.
Saturday was rally day as usual. The rally ran from the northern outskirts of Gothenburg over small country roads, appr 80 km through a mix of wooden areas and cultural landscape. As expected, and planned for, the rally proved to be a real challenge for the crews of the appr 160 participants with its combination of mental capacity and physical abilities. It was eventually won by Monsieur Mertens from Belgium.
The full programme on Sunday ran from early morning to late afternoon. After having been greeted by Claes Rydholm of Volvo Cars Heritage, the visitors were entertained by speaker Kenneth Tonef who talked almost continuously the whole day, interviewing Volvo owners that represented many different Volvo models, some of them really rare. Emphasis was also put on the two 2012 jubilants, the 30th anniversary of the 760 and the 50th anniversary of the Amazon estate. As usual, prizes were handed out to the nicest car from each of the Swedish Volvo clubs represented at VROM, ten in total and special trophies went to extraordinary achievements of which there were five.
Stoffel Mulier from Hoegaarden in Belgium was awarded the Sportsmanship Trophy for his trip to Sweden in the newly-finished and really wonderful Ockelbo-Volvo sports racer. A daring deed, in an untried car without any weather protection.
Following the VROM tradition, the exhibition of both classic and some not so classic Volvos – more than 500 of them – was made up by many great exponents of the make, some even unique in their own way. Cars never before seen in public showed up to the astonishment of the many visitors, some 2,000 people. There was also a very good spare parts and automobile market with over 100 stalls. Everything took place in nice dry and sunny weather, close to Volvo Museum which also kept its doors open all day.
Achilles from Greece came all the way from Athens in his very nice California white Amazon with wife and daughter. Of course he was awarded the Longest Distance Travelled Trophy for his 2 x 2500 km drive through Europe in order to join in the VROM festivities.
Kenneth Tonef and VROM chairman Håkan Gedda closed the day by thanking all the visitors and telling them that they are all welcome back in 2013, August 9 – 11, and also to make a note in the calendar for the IVM which is held the following weekend, August 16 – 18, in Luxemburg.
Read more at www.vrom.org and www.volvo-frenn.lu