On the 2-4th of August Biržai Town Festival was joined by Antique vehicles club “Klasika”, successfully existing for five years. In the Saturday afternoon, August 3, an impressive column of historical technical parade participants were driving along the long streets of town to Biržai Airclub.
Upon arrival to the festival, the parade participants lined up for the exhibition and really surprised everyone who knows the technique and the rest of humanity by shiny fords and cadillacs, mercedeses and skodas, as the sun yellow sports corvette, military jeeps, fire truck, antique motorcycles, tractors, steam engines and other engineering wonders, not to mention about the history replicating stylish and theatrical crews whose members had to reply to a number of exhibition visitors questions, pose for photos, give interviews according to the character image .
A stylish pair, dressed in World War II American aviation service uniforms in the military vehicle Willys MB, produced in 1943, attracted a lot of the attention in the Festival. There were Juris Gagainis, a professor of Latvian Art Academy of Design Faculty with his wife. The interview with guests revealed that the ancient technique club “Klasika” is well-known in Latvia too. The professor got interested in Biržai Festival by his colleagues who participated in the club events last year. Juris Gagainis really liked the atmosphere of celebration and honest, a lot of questioning, interested festival goers. About his military vehicle professor said that the U.S. handed a lot of such cars – war participants on the Soviet Union. But now there is not much left, although it was produced in thousands.
Kaunas resident Gintautas Miškinis, drives Packard 333 Limousine, 1925. Love for vehicles has been accompanying him from childhood. About an antique car, he had been dreaming since he was 23 years old. He already managed to buy this historic luxury limousine only at the age of fifty years.
The car had belonged to a priest in the United States for 40 years and had seen not many roads. The owner said that it rolls nicely and it is a pleasure to feel the atmosphere of those times. In the eyes of our time, these cars are quite capricious – you need to take care of leaded additives for gasoline.
Lithuanian Classic car club member Alfredas Zigmantas from Panevežys got interested in antique vehicles a decade ago. Currently, he owns a collection of 12 cars. He came to the exhibition in Biržai by a Cadillac – Fleetwood, being glad that’s fun to drive convertible. And while the car is manufactured in 1963, it has an automatic gearbox, is fully electrically controlled.
“Klasika” Club member Klementas Sakalauskas not only showed a rare car Nash 660, produced in 1931, to participants of exhibition, but also a vintage gramophone and record-players collection. While the music box sounds attracted the visitors, the owner warmly invited everyone to see more such exhibits in the Museum in Piniava, Panevezys district.
Kaunas Wholesale trade company (“Urmo bazė”) brought very rare exhibits: an impressive tractor Lanz Bulldog D-1531 produced in 1936, undersized replica of the steam machine Burell which is still running and Ford T car, 1924, was driven by the director Algis Pašukevičius himself.
There were eye-catching crews of a club “Klasika” member Dalius Linkevičius dressed in Soviet militia uniforms and officers and soldiers in Nazi uniforms from Military history and Theatrical events club “Wiking”.
The exhibition reaffirmed that historical-car-minded people look at their hobby widely – not only purchase, restore it, but also promote the interest in it, participate in festivals, establish museums, make friends with their neighbours. Club “Klasika” Director Egidijus Einoris said that 18 stylish cars from Riga Motor Museum and the Antique Automobile Club of Latvia (AAK) came to this festival . In the parade-exhibition, there were 70 historical technical participants-exhibits: 58 cars, 7 motorcycles, one truck, two tractors and two steam engines. Nineteen participating exhibits were produced in the interwar period. Club “Klasika” has actively been organising antique vehicles exhibitions in Lithuania since 2008, at the same time participating in Biržai town and region cultural life, this time the interest of festival participants was caused by bringing together some really rare cars from various cities in Lithuania and Latvia.
After the exhibition, the column of antique vehicles turned from Biržai Airclub towards Vinkšniniai village where a private party was held in Alė Podėnienė farmstead to honour the participants and the club “Klasika” five-year birthday commemoration. After dinner and tasting Biržai beer and kvass, the participants were awarded with diplomas and memorable gifts. Dainius Petrulis arrived by the oldest motorcycle in the exhibition Douglas EW350, made in 1926. Alfreds Zamockis won the award of the oldest car with Oldsmobile 30A, 1923. The most interesting car was found Gintautas Miškinis’ Packard 333 Limousine, made in 1925. Juris Gagainis’ crew, arrived in Willys MB, 1943, was elected as the most stylish and adequate vehicle time crew. Algirdas Bušauskas with VW Kaefer, 1970, and Gintaras Maksimavičius with Moskvich 408, 1966, from Vilkaviškis earned awards as the visitors who came the farthest.
The antique vehicles club “Klasika” received a lot of greetings and respect for festival organising. On the occasion of five-year birthday, the members of club “Klasika” were greeted by representatives of Clasical vehicle club G.Zičkus, S.Zajarskas and A.Zigmantas; A.Bušauskas and G. Maksimavičius from Vilaviškis, a collegue from Riga Motormuseum Valdis Kļavinš, Jurmala historical vehicles parade organizer Maris Mežapuķe and other participants of the event.
After the solemn part of celebration, classical music rang. It was performed by Chicago Lithuanian opera singer Genovaitė Bigenytė, a concertmaster Lina Šatkutė and Klaipėda Musical Theatre soloist Mindaugas Gilys. Later they were changed by a rock group “Dreams” and singer Irma Jurgelevičiūtė. After midnight, fireworks and cheerful songs of announcer Jūrate Garnelienė finished the celebration.
Dainius Nagelė photos