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Featured Presentation:

Classic AutoRAI 99: pre-war cars

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Between the 30th of April and the 2nd of May 1999 the second "Classic AutoRAI" was organized in the Amsterdam RAI exhibition center. It was a great venue for classic car enthusiasts, with more than 800 beautiful cars on display on an exposition area of 20,000 square metre.
The first Classic AutoRAI in 1998 had drawn over 30,000 visitors, so the organizers thought this year would be an even bigger success. Unfortunately they were wrong. Just about 15,000 people attended the venue this year, mainly due to bad timing. The 30th of April is a national holiday in the Netherlands and this year it was on a Friday, making the following weekend into a long one. In addition to that it was beautiful summer-like weather all three days, so most people went on small holidays or indulged in outdoor activities. This, and the comparatively high entrance fee, took a heavy toll on the number of visitors and the organizers of the Classic AutoRAI hardly broke even.

Nonetheless the exposition itself was of a very high standard and very enjoyable. The visitors that did came were very interested, knew a lot about cars and treated them with respect. And just because of the small number of people all cars could be viewed unobstructed and the exhibitors could be addressed directly. It's a pity that venues like these have to have masses of people attending to make them feasible (not to say profitable), I rather liked it the way it was this year.
I hope this year's wanting turnout doesn't mean there won't be a Classic AutoRAI next year. It's a valuable addition to the Dutch classic car calendar which already isn't exactly stacked with worthwhile events.

In this feature RitzSite shows you some of the best pre-war cars that were on display. In a later feature RitzSite will also show you some of the best post-war cars. Start this featured presentation by clicking here or the "collage" above.

© André Ritzinger, Amsterdam, Holland

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