01.07.2020 - In the book «Arosa in 100 stories» various authors describe the history and the present of the village, its people, economy and politics, nature and culture in an informative and entertaining way through reports, interviews, infographics and historical outlines. The editor, Peter Röthlisberger, has preparied a subset from this book for Swiss O Week so they can be presented to a wider public. Here is the second one. A completely different topic than orienteering but it belongs to the summer in Arosa too.

Little Monaco

Until 1927, bobsleds thundered down the steep street between Arosa and Langwies and today, classic cars are speeding uphill. The Arosa ClassicCar race has become the largest summer event in Schanfigg in only 15 years.

It is a dream come true for every classic car fan when finally being able to get everything out of the engine on the steepest section of the Schanfiggerstreet without children being sick or the wife scared in the car. The driver can finally squeak through the last 75 bends with smoking tires, mastering the few straightaways on the 7.3-kilometre distance in just under four and a half minutes with the accelerator pedal pressed to the metal. Then, when crossing the finish line with a pounding heart and wet, sweaty, silver hair while riding through the crowded streets of Arosa is pure joy for the race drivers.

The idea for a ClassicCar race must inevitably have come from the vacation apartment owners. They know the course, they love Arosa and above all their cars. In 2005, they organised the first race together with Arosa Tourism. Only historical vehicles built between 1905 and 1990 are permitted. Officially, only a small group with corresponding license starts in the real race class. At the beginning of September, other drivers simply love to present their rarities and cars attesting a great racing background while enjoying the racing atmosphere with such close contact to the public on the roadside. Thus, the Arosa ClassicCar event is jokingly compared to the Formula 1 race in Monaco. Usually, on Thursday at 18 hrs the participants show off their magnificent vehicles riding along in a parade. On Friday, they will do two training runs on the closed-off route secured by a construction team with additional crash barriers and straw bales. On Saturday and Sunday, the 170 participants from all over Europe switch to race mode for doing two courses each.

Not everyone is admitted to the ClassicCar race. The organiser decides whether the car is rare and attractive enough for the most exciting mountain car race in the world.

Author: Peter Röthlisberger

Homepage Arosa Classic Car

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