ESSEN HERE WE COME!!!!
After our success at the NEC we were invited to attend the Techno Classica in Essen Germany the biggest Classic Car event in Europe. Not to miss the opportunity of meeting up with our European members and enthusiasts I filled in the forms and awaited the confirmation of acceptance. It was late coming but Roland Klause was on the case and soon confirmed we had the stand and its size. Transport for the stand equipment was the next problem to overcome and with rental companies charging an arm and a leg for taking it overseas, off to the auction we went and Ray and I now own a Toyota Hiace Van. One of those senior moments one might say!!!! Van sorted cars were the next issue but Mick Laplain was always keen to show and of course Ray had little say!!, Lynne after a little persuasion lent me the Lima and Ton van Nieuwenhoven Helbach from Holland came on board with his J72. Roland & Geli Klause were a great help throughout answering my never ending list of questions as the translation from German into English was not always clear from the organizers.
Ray and I left for Dover on 29th ready to meet up with Mick and Terry Borton driving the van on the 30th. It was an uneventful journey and we arrived in Essen early evening on the 30th.Next morning we were up early and off to the Exhibition Centre where after some confusion on which lift would transport us up to 9.1 we were soon busy setting the scene. Uli & Peter Haupt arrived lunch time carrying all sorts of goodies for us to eat and drink , it was a lovely gesture and very welcome by the 4 of us. We finished late in the afternoon and returned to the hotel where we were met by Roland Geli and what was to be our Service team Kim, Maik and Norbert. They stayed with us all week and it was great fun getting to know them with support from Roland Geli and the little Klauses’ the UK team could not fail to put on a good show.
The show I believe was a huge success for the Club. Our European members and friends from Germany Holland Sweden Spain France and Italy seemed most impressed with our stand with comments like “the best yet”. They were all very positive about our presence at the show and were even offering help for next year. Uli & Peter made a lovely gesture by presenting us with an award for our fine presentation. We were soon recruiting new members to the club and to this end I would like to welcome the following to the club Klaus Roehr, Gaby Roehr, Gino Gotz, Walter Burwitz, Marcel Machtelinckx (Belgium), Leas Segers, Etienne Tinant (Belgium), Alexander Kanschik, Manfred Eberl, Joachim Seewald, Karl Heinz Schulte, Henk Elzing (Netherlands), Gerd Kutzko and Dieter Junker. Many took membership forms away with them so I am sure this list will grow. In the mean time to all our new members and old Andy Graves would love to hear from you if you would like to send a letter or article about any queries or experiences you have had with your Panther.
Can I say it was my pleasure to be part of a great team Mick Laplain Terry Borton Ray Bridges,Bruno Eismark, Roland, Geli, Maik, & Kim Klause. Norbert and Ton van Nieuwenhoven Helbach who had me in fits of laughter throughout his attendance on the stand a real live wire!!!! Behind the scenes thank you to Roger Burn, Jim Dempster and of course my brother who supplies the tiles chairs and many extras for the stand and gives his time freely. The Club has taken another big step forward in our first appearance in such a prestigious event where we were so warmly welcomed by not only Panther Enthusiasts but other Car Clubs as well.