“Such an exciting, exclusive family outing – I’m really looking forward to it,” enthuses Sophie Schillgalies, 27, over breakfast. Her boyfriend, Aron, 27, and her parents (Karin, 64, and Bernd, 63) are there too – and are just as keyed up. Only a few metres away, keeping cool under the car park’s palm trees, eight Mercedes-Benz roadsters stand waiting for their drivers: four Pagodas and four cars from the R 107 series, the Pagoda’s successor.
Three days of pure driving adventure (some months before the COVID-19 pandemic) through the glorious countryside of northern Italy await the group, with Lake Maggiore showing itself at its best.
There are 16 participants in all for this Nostalgic Driving Experience Tour organised by Mercedes-Benz Classic Car Travel: six women and ten men. It’s an international group, whose members have travelled here from Germany, Norway and the Netherlands. Quite a few of them have never driven a classic car before.