Article published in the magazine “Aktualijos” (Current Affairs) by the company “Inter Cars Lithuania”
So far, Biržai has been the most famous for ancient castles, manors and deep brewing traditions. But in recent years, this Highland city can rightfully be called the Lithuanian capital of classic cars. Here, every summer, an abundance of historical technical enthusiasts gather for the traditional feast of “Timeless Classic”.
Among the participants – a centenarian motorcycle.
In early August, there was held an event where Biržai streets were filled with convoy of 83 historic vehicles, which were driven by the participants not only from Lithuania, but also from Belarus, Latvia and Russia. Although, according Lithuanian law, a historical vehicle may become a car produced 30 years or more ago, “Timeless Classic 2015” organizers decided to allow participate only 40 years ago or even earlier manufactured machines.
“Not only Biržai citizens gather here, but also guests from other cities, because it is the best of historic vehicles event in Lithuania. The audience has been already pampered because every time we try to surprise. In addition, participants are offered a diverse program with excursions, dances, songs, classical music and local cuisine presentation”, said
festival organizer Egidijus Einoris.
The audience was really into what you admire – the majority of participants consisted of vintage cars, but there were a few motorcycles. All of them were exhibited for a couple of hours in Biržai Center, and then the celebration moved to Butautai manor. E. Einoris said that a lot of attention was paid to the oldest vehicle participating in the festival – produced in 1910, motorcycle “Premier”, owned by Latvian Alfredas Zamockis.
15 cars of the interwar period appeared in the event “Timeless Classic 2015” and the company “Inter Cars Lithuania” were partners. The title of the oldest vehicle went to Sigitas Zajarskas’ “Ford T”, produced in 1926.
E. Einoris distinguished some other impressive exhibits of the festival: Exhibition debutant Romualdas Basijokas car “DKW F5 700” with a motorcycle engine, made in 1936; Stanislovas Bartkevičius’ “Mercedes Benz 290 Cabrio D”, made in 1935; Dalius Linkevičius’ “Cadillac 62”, made in 1942; Mindaugas Kaziūnas “MG MGA”, made in 1959. An eye-catching exhibit was a replica of “Mercedes-Benz”, made in 1903, and rare “Volga GAZ-21”, produced during the Soviet era.
The event “Timeless Classic” organizer noticed that in recent years Lithuanian interest in classic cars has changed significantly.
„Five years ago, Lithuanians were the most interested in Soviet cars, posing nostalgia for a lot of people, because many who had them ride. Now the people are bored of it already, they need more interesting models, so they have focused on the American cars. However, at present, there is a tendency that European cars, made in the interwar period, are the most attractive. They are a real rarity because many of them, unlike American cars, left for the war. Military losses in Europe and America are disparate, because of European vehicles of that time have remained far less now, and it is much more appreciated. Therefore, now American and European classic cars roughly equally interesting, and popularity of Soviet cars is declining. Maybe in 20-30 years, it will be different”, said E. Einoris.
Already thinking about next year’s event
The festival “Timeless Classic” has been organized in Biržai since 2008. This year it received a huge influx of visitors. The only time, in 2011, it has been transferred elsewhere and delighted Širvintai and Kernavė residents and visitors alike. E. Einoris said that a kind of turning point occurred in 2012, when the Latvians began to participate in their organized event. Later, their example was followed by the Belarussians, and this year – by the Russians.
„As often happens after the event, we, the organizers, lick wounds and think that’s enough – it was the last time. However, some time passes, shook the dust, and again there is a wish to do something. The same situation is now – we are planning for next year’s event will take place. We have had very good feedback from the Belarusian and Russian, and received their promise to come next year twice and three times as a group. However, next year is likely to be able to participate in the event, only 50 years and older cars. We need to limit the number of participants because it is difficult to find room for all. Biržai is a small town, for which the convoy of 83 vehicles is too high”, shared his thoughts on the future the organizer of festival “Timeless Classic 2015”.