Between July 18 and 22, the third edition of Sälen Grand Prix – the friendly and exciting classic car family weekend – was run in the villafge of Sälen in the Swedish 'alps'.
Just like previous, years a number of interesting classic cars turned up for the nice and well-planned activity which covered almost three full days, starting with a golf tournament on Thursday which attracted players that both took part in the Grand Prix and players without classic cars that were on vacation in the Sälen vicinity.
Although cold and rather wet, the Friday saw almost 50 starting cars in the 'alps rally' over some 110 km of twistiing roads, intersected by checkpoints with both physical and intellectual tests. The rally actually took most of the day which was rounded off with barbecue dinner and live music entertainment of the more unusal kind.
The rally took the participants to many places with an interesting story, oozing with cultural history, like Westagården, with buildiings from the 16th century.
In good Sälen Grand Prix tradition, Saturday was hill climb day. Once again a 2.2 km part of the old Sälen mountain road – closed off for traffic nowadays – was used and the participants had two tries to cover the distance with as little time difference as possible, and as fast as possible if they used that kind of tacticts. It was all great fun and left a lot of rubber on the ground. Also here, cars of all ages and categories took part (including yours truly) since the hill climb was a combination of speed, precision driving and timing.
The newly renovated Volvo 165 E of journalist Fredrik Nyblad was one of the cars that went up the hill twice – both times with a stuffed bear in the boot as a tribute to Rickard Rydell's first 850 BTCC racing estate which had a toy dog in the boot during the first race of the season!
After the hill climb, an exhibition of all the classic cars, and motor bikes, was held on the Sälen square, some 100 of them in total. Many of them Volvos. Volvo Cars Heritage had brought an Amazon 123 GT from 1967 – which was used in both the rally and the hillclimb, a PV445 Valbo Convertible from 1953, the XC70 Surf Rescue Concept Car and a brand new 2013 V40 D4.
The well deserved 'Peoples choice' award went to a pretty little Fiat 503 from 1927 which took part in both the rally and the exhibition.
No umbrellas this time, but sunshine and smiling faces all around Sälfjällstorget during the exhibition on Saturday 21st of July.
The evening once again belonged to 'Liverpool'; the Swedish band that plays in the Beatles tradition. They are actually more Beatles than Beatles themselves and really fired up the audience. A great climax of a nice and exciting weekend.
"One time is no time, two times make it a tradition and now Sälen Grand Prix ran for the third time just like it was planned”, said initiator Tomas Kaiser, ex-racing driver and the man behind the Sälen Grand Prix, after the event. "This edition of Sälen Grand Prix was even better and more fun than last year’s, and in 2013 we’ll even top this. We will be back shortly with an important message: Sälen Grand Prix 2013, same weekend, same place."
Look out for more news at www.salen.se.