We are almost tempted to sink to our knees in the face of this splendour, and heartily thank the von Salm-Reifferscheidt-Dycks for the idea of building this castle and landscaping the park. What a wonderful backdrop for an automotive garden party: welcome to the 2017 Schloss Dyck Classic Days (4 to 6 August). Once each year this magnificent estate near Jüchen in the Rhineland becomes a paradise for fans of historic automobiles, motorcycles, commercial vehicles and camper vans. The riot of colours is grandiose.
A star with a fitting backdrop: Mercedes-Benz Model S dating from 1927.
Magnificent camping site: no finer way to pursue a hobby.
Highlights on the lawned areas.
The vehicles on display brought by enthusiasts from far and near come from every era, with a corresponding variety of types, designs, colours and brands. With the result that practically everybody is able to discover a personal highlight or resurrect memories on the extensive lawns or in the driver's paddock. The Classic Days are also colourful where personal attire is concerned: not a few ladies and gentlemen are dressed in the style of a particular era. The 1920s, 1930s, 1950s and 1960s are the most popular. And the flashy 1970s are definitely up and coming.
Watching valuable classics on the move.
All this makes the Classic Days a party for the whole family – and all are welcome to picnic in the immaculate estate park. Walking on and sitting in its most beautiful areas is expressly permitted. And then another superlative in the programme of events: the driving of course. The organiser has laid out a circuit on which the classics can show what they can still do. And that is quite a lot. To those who managed to secure a ticket for this with their vehicles: congratulations. And to those who were able to enjoy this happy spectacle from the roadside: likewise congratulations. The backdrop of different engine sounds was a suitable symphony for all.
Relaxed and elegant: a picnic is a regular part of the fun for many visitors to the Classic Days Schloss Dyck.
Future classics: The Mercedes-AMG GT model family (combined fuel consumption: 11.4-9.3 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 259-216 g/km*).
Mercedes-Benz Classic vehicles.
Fun that is occasionally interrupted by trumpet-like sounds – from the famous supercharged sports cars bearing the Mercedes star when the driver activates the charger with the accelerator pedal. Mercedes-Benz Classic has brought no less than three of these rare and valuable gems to Schloss Dyck, a Model S ('Sport') dating from 1927, an SS ('Super Sport') from 1930 and an SSK ('Super Sport Kurz = Short') from 1928. Also a true replica of the 300 SLS ('Super Light Sport') of 1957. And finally the common ancestor of them all: a three-wheeled motor car as patented by Carl Benz in January 1886. The vehicles are driven by well-known brand ambassadors.
Jochen Mass starts the mighty six-cylinder engine of the SSK. 7.1 litres displacement, 125 kW (170 hp) without and an astonishing 165 kW (225 hp) with supercharger. The supercharged Mercedes-Benz sports cars easily dominated the racing era of the late 1920s. 'More than 190 km/h would be possible,' Mass shouts into the slipstream. 'But today we'll take it rather easier, right?' Having said which, he hustles the super sports car through a tight bend so that my body is pressed against the side, then he floors the accelerator. Hoooowl – the supercharger blares its message. And the 'White Elephant' - the honorary name given to this vehicle series because of its colour, imposing presence and loudly trumpeting superchargers - forges ahead.
With supercharged power: Mercedes-Benz SSK dating from 1928. Jochen Mass at the wheel.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS, 1957: 'Superb engine, superb sound, superb handling,' says Bernd Mayländer.
Victory with Paul O’Shea in 1957.
Trumpets also sound from the two side-mounted exhaust pipes of the 300 SLS, the sports version of the famous roadster which replaced the Gullwing in its time. Bernd Mayländer, the official Formula 1 Safety Car driver, is also obviously having fun today. 'Superb engine, superb sound, superb handling,' he beams, 'how I would love to drive it in the Mille Miglia sometime.' No chance, the car is not eligible for the Mille: it was built in 1957, exclusively for the American Sports Car Championship which Paul O’Shea won in Category D – for the third time in succession in a Mercedes-Benz. 173 kW (235 hp) for 970 kilograms is something to behold.
Breathtaking 16 km/h.
Jutta Benz can only laugh gleefully at such engine output figures. The great grand-daughter of the automobile's inventor Carl Benz and his wife Bertha is happy with the 0.55 kW (0.75 hp) delivered by the Patent Motor Car of 1886. 'It drives along quite briskly,' says the elegant lady perched high up between the enormous spoked wheels, 'it will even manage 16 km/h.' The gentle slipstream gives an inkling of the rush of speed that became a reality with the world's first automobile more than 130 years ago. Jutta Benz has the spectators wholly on her side as she drives across the Dyck lawns: this is one of the rare occasions to witness this Benz family member driving the Patent Motor Car.
Under way with less than one horsepower: Jutta Benz, great grand-daughter of Carl and Bertha Benz.
Sought-after: Autographs of the Mercedes-Benz brand ambassadors Roland Asch, Jutta Benz, Klaus Ludwig, Jochen Mass, Bernd Mayländer and Karl Wendlinger.
Autographs from idols.
Autograph session at Mercedes-Benz Classic, and of course the brand ambassadors are there – apart from those mentioned they include Roland Asch, Klaus Ludwig and Karl Wendlinger. A queue quickly forms, but the lady and the five gentlemen have endless patience. Every fan will receive the sought-after signatures, plus a friendly remark and a charming smile. Autograph books, photo albums, books, model cars, T-shirts, pennants: the real idealists have brought their treasures to push over the counter, and they are immediately covered with autographs.
Brand clubs by the moated castle.
What would the Classic Days Schloss Dyck be without the clubs? No matter what brand, they enrich the scenery with their idealism and their vehicles. Several of the brand clubs officially recognised by Mercedes-Benz Classic have made their way to the Rhineland, and are displaying their classics in serried ranks on the extensive lawns: Probably the highest density of e.g. R 129 SL series models north of Stuttgart can probably be found around the moated castle today.
Serried ranks: The members of the official Mercedes-Benz brand clubs naturally drive to the event in their classics.
The ultimate classics: 'Concours Edition' from ALL TIME STARS – the highest category of vehicles for sale.
Red roadsters at ALL TIME STARS.
Two SLs can also be seen at ALL TIME STARS, the vehicle trading arm of Mercedes-Benz Classic, which occupies a prominent position on the Apple Meadow. Their immaculate red paintwork gives visitors a shining welcome: a 280 SL (W 113) dating from 1968 and a 300 SL (R 107) from 1986. Both of the red roadster are magnetic attractions. Visitors rush to the stand to admire the two cars, which are in outstanding condition. And you get the feeling that a few are secretly checking their bank balance.
Rare young classic for sale.
Young classics are very sought-after at present. And the more unusual, the better. In this respect the 190 E 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II (W 201) which ALL TIME STARS has brought to the estate around the moated castle is very desirable indeed: only 502 units were produced so that the racing version was able to compete in the DTM. And the nice thing for the buyer is that he/she would be able to bring the racing sports car back to the Classic Days anytime. One thing is sure: The old Counts of Salm-Reifferscheidt-Dyck would welcome them gracefully, and accord them one of the many places of honour on their estate for the benefit of the public.
High-quality classics available for sale: ALL TIME STARS, the vehicle trading platform of Mercedes-Benz Classic,