Sunday, November 21, 2010

Achtung, deutsche Autos und Newcastle die besten

In most countries when you think Germany you think beer, sauerkraut, sausages and Oom Pah Pah music ... but not here in Newcastle. In Newcastle when we think German, we think cars and not just any car, but the iconic Volkswagen  Kombi. 

Borgward 1500cc Coupe
The Volkswagen Kombi became synonymous with the Australian outdoor lifestyle and  throughout the 60's and 70's, they were the campervan of choice as young hippies followed the surf around Australia's coastline. These days however the Kombis have, like their owners, aged gracefully and reflect a certain timeless beauty. However, the petrol powered Kombi slowly and quietly dropped out of favour with today's modern back packers  and 'grey nomads' for the newer flashier diesel models from Europe, 

The Kombi itself came in other variants other than the camper, with crew cab utes, panel vans and micro buses also figuring in the model line up, quite a versatile vehicle. On display down at the Foreshore today were all the examples of these quaint VW's from the 'day to day' commuter types, right through to the fully restored version and all were proudly displayed by their fastidious owners.

Lloyd Alexander TS 
To be fair, it wasn't just a KombiFest, nearly every type of German automotive heritage was on display, with Beetles, Porshe's, BMW's and Mercedes-Benz, all proudly being represented. The were even a couple of oddities like the NSU Prinz 30 (with a 2 cylinder 600cc engine producing 15kW), a Lloyd Alexander TS (a 2 cylinder 600cc, producing 18kW), two Borgward Isabella coupes and a Borgward Isabella saloon (all had a 1500cc engine, producing 45kW).

NSU Prinz 30
Also on display were the ubiquitous Beetles, as well as a beautifully restored Karmann Ghia that almost stole the show from the Kombis, with its timeless classic lines and flawless presentation, she was a real stunner. Another rarity, although not of German heritage, was a Lancia Delta HF Turbo, a model which dominated the WRC in the late 80's, early 90's and one I haven't seen for years.

Nearly every make and model of modern German motoring history was there, from the latest Mercs and Bimmers, nearly every variant of the Kombis, Beetles by the dozens and rare compacts, however one make was conspicuously absent ... the Audi's, which was disappointing.  
VW Karmann Ghia

Once again the Newcastle Foreshore park proved to be a wonderful place to wander around the exhibits in near perfect weather and talk to the enthusiasts in a relaxed atmosphere, but more importantly, being able to capture some of these wonderful cars using my Sanyo S1275 camera 

So if you are ever visiting Newcastle, although we might not have flashy theme parks, a stroll around our Foreshore can always bring something wonderful to look at and a place to relax for a few hours without paying a lot of dollars. A rarity in this day and age.

And make sure you bring a camera!

P.S. Although not typically German, the NRMA also had a wonderful display of some of their former vehicles, including 3 NRMA, the iconic HD Holden panel van (pictured above)


Geniaus said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane through your wonderful images. Have shared the link for this post on Twitter

The Reverend said...

Thanks for the comments & thanks for sharing ... very much appreciated