The Sinaia Concours Is Why You Should Visit Romania Every Summer
Every year, in the last weekend of June, the Sinaia Concours d'Elegance brings together some of the best cars ever made on an idyllic backdrop
The fact that the three musketeers we all love and hate at the same time, otherwise known as Clarkson, May and Hammond, called the Transfagarasan highway 'the best driving road in the world' was not by coincidence. The amazing, almost serpent-like silhouette of the road may be a very good sell for those wanting to drive on it but its creation wasn't by accident. Sure, people died making it and it was all due to the communist regime of that time but the truth of the matter is, Romania has a deep love for all things automotive and that can be seen throughout its history.
Proof of this long-lasting love resides in the Royal family. I guess you didn't know Romania had a Royal family, right? Well, a lot of people didn't but its last King was actually related to Queen Elizabeth and he was a big gearhead back in the day. So big actually that he founded the Sinaia Concours d'Elegance back in 1934. This makes this venue one of the oldest in the world, before it became 'trendy' to organize such events that are literally popping up around the world like mushrooms after a heavy rain. Unfortunately, due to the communists occupying the country after World War II, the tradition halted until the 21st century when, courtesy of His Majesty King Michael I it was resumed.
Thus, every year, in the last weekend of June, some of the rarest classic cars gather on the grounds of the Peles Castle, in Sinaia, in the heart of the Carpathian mountains, literally a few hundred kilometers away from the Transfagarasan highway or as Clarkson put it : the 'whooooo' road. The gathering usually includes a car from the world-famous Tiriac Collection, a privately owned museum that houses an incredible line-up of cars from all eras. Owned by billionaire Ion Tiriac, cars brought out from his collection usually win the contest, like last year's 1937 Mercedes 540k Cabriolet A Sindelfingen.
Pictured above, the Sildelfingen also competed at last year's Villa d'Este, to get an idea of the kinds of cars showcased at the Sinaia Concours. But apart from this particular Mercedes, visitors could also see other rare cars like a Ghia 450 SS, which was built in just 52 units, one of which was there, present, on the grounds of the Peles Castle. There was also a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Typ, another rare bird these days, a car that demanded 12 years of restoration work before being completed, its owner looking as exhausted as you may imagine.
However, what I like the most about this entire ordeal is the fact that owners usually dress according to the era in which the cars they bring to the show were built. Usually they have their lovely wives with them as well, proving that love means supporting each other's passions even though they may become huge nuisances over the years. And that's what this is all about: love. Be it for cars or for other people, it doesn't really matter as long as it warms your heart.
PS: if you want to read about what happened in 2018, check this out: bit.ly/2uqfy6h