As every time, on the year crossing, we stop, look back, evaluate the walked way, enjoy achievements and plan future work. The year 2013 was special for Antique Vehicle Club “Klasika”. The season was started by an opening banquet, which was held in the club member Gediminas Aleksandravičius farmstead Kupiškis district. At the meeting, there were discussed the preparations for the antique technique 2013 season, welcomed new members of the club, announced the report of the club president, recalled establishment story of “Klasika”, watched documentary footage, shared the joys and downsides.
The antique vehicles event ‘We drive 2013’ has already become a tradition. This year, on the 4th of May, it was held in Pasvalys without the initiator, continuing organizer and our good friend Eugenijus Malinauskas. He pass away unexpectedly before the festival. The event was honoured with the title ,,Eugenijus… We drive 2013″ on his behalf. The members of antique vehicles club “Klasika” commemorated the colleague not only presenting the seventeen historical technical exhibits to attention of audience, but also diverse help to the organizers.
This year, the club celebrated its fifth birthday. Five years – not an anniversary, and maybe that’s why “Klasika” celebrated it modestly. Celebration with some friends who have all been together for five years, who have eagerly waited for “Klasika” organized parades and exhibitions, who respect and support “Klasika”. It is great, that over the years, the club not only has found friends, but also created a distinctive face. Antique vehicle club “Klasika” has done many things the first in the history of such clubs. There are antique technical exhibitions combined with concerts of classical and rock music, professional recording of each event documentary, colourful advertising brochures and calendars. And finally – the club has become the calling card of punctuality, respect for the festive participants and audience.
Five years ago, 16 August 2008, the antique car exhibition took place for the first time in history of Biržai town festival. The event attracted a huge success not only for the participants of the festival, but also for the ancient technique lovers and its collectors. This exhibition led to the establishment of the club and is considered a birthday of antique vehicles club “Klasika”. Since then, the club’s activities have become an integral part of Biržai city and region festivals, parades and exhibitions have been organized by “Klasika” for five years – a beautiful town festivals tradition.
This 2013 is no exception. And again, one of this year town festival parts was the exhibition of historic vehicles, which was organized by “Klasika” on August 3 to celebrate its birthday, inviting antique vehicle lovers not only from Lithuania. This year’s historic automobile exhibition received wide recognition and support in Latvia. Widely spread details and personal relationships have helped to bring to Biržai 18 rare and stylish cars from Riga Motor Museum and Latvian Antique Car Club. Totally, 70 historical technical exhibits, including 58 cars, 7 motorcycles, one truck, two tractors and two steam engines participated in the parade-exhibition. Nineteen of these exhibits were made in the interwar period.
Dainius Petrulis arrived by the oldest motorcycle in the exhibition Douglas, made in 1926. Alfreds Zamockis won the award of the oldest car with 1923 Oldsmobile. The most interesting car was found Gintautas Miškinis’ Packard, made in 1925. Juris Gagainis’ crew, arrived in 1943 Willys, was elected as the most stylish and adequate vehicle time crew.
This time “Klasika” members won the sympathy of spectators, bringing together participants with the rarest and most interesting cars from across Lithuania and Latvia. “Klasika” and its guests received many praises for the fact that this show was not just a regular old technical demonstration. People not only saw one or another historical exhibit, but also watched the small theatrical performance – a car or a motorcycle owners, dressed in clothes and accessories according their vehicle time, acting created a small historic show, which took back the audience close to childhood, youth or events seen in movies. Such performances perfectly matched with the vintage phonographs, gramophones and a collection of music boxes, presented by the club “Klasika” member Klementas Sakalauskas. The officers and soldiers in German Nazi uniforms from the Theatrical Events and War History club “Wiking” caused opposite feelings: fear of black uniforms and admiration for the young men’s attitude and accoutrements.
The exhibition has managed to avoid the popular Soviet technical dominance. They were quite a lot, but in this exhibition the Soviet motorcycles and cars were a minority and do not overshadow the older and more valuable European and American exhibits. On the contrary – they were like the soup with salt, without which the food is tasteless.
Club birthday event was successful and was the best and most numerous in “Klasika” five-year history. The proof – shortly after the festival received nominal “Rigas Motormuseum” invitation to the historic car show “Riga Retro 2013”. In this exhibition, held on 17 August, “Klasika” members not only adequately represented Lithuania, but also won awards. Dalius Linkevičius’ family Gaz 21 (“Volga”) militia crew won the most beautiful and stylish crew name in Soviet car class.
The last “Klasika” event – the season closure. Each year, the club’s season ends with a rich sightseeing tours, which gives meaning to all the activities of the club. So this year it was decided to visit our friends in Latvia, to share experiences, broaden horizons and satisfy curiosity. On the 12th of October, club members visited Rigas Motormuseum branch in Bauska and “Etnographic Homestead and Farm Machinery Museum” (Lauku sēta un mašīnu muzejs) in Uzvara. Upon returning to Biržai, in a very cosy place, the club president presented his annual report and announced closure of the antique vehicles club season.
And now – about today’s work and future plans. As every year, a documentary film is made about the last “Klasika” festival in Birzai. This film appears on DVD format in the beginning of January. As it was last year, the club released “Klasika” 2014 calendar. Until 2014 season-opening, we are planning to release a colour magazine with a summary of five year club activities, the best photographs and the club’s vehicles presentation. It will be historic, at the same time advertising, showing what we have done, are doing and will do. The main goal of antique vehicle club “Klasika” in the coming years – to organize another festival of antique cars in Biržai.
Towards the end of the year I want to congratulate all, wishing good and meaningful work, powdery snow, light chill and a Happy New Year!
President of Antique Vehicle Club ,,Klasika”