Every year, when closing the last pages of the calendar, we cast thoughts back along the ways we have traveled, identify obstacles that have been overcome and evaluate the past events. The early years of the Antique Automobile Club Klasika were not really rich in events. Of course, over the eleven years of its operation, the club has expanded, gained strength, developed its traditions and has earned not only respect but also authority. So, what was so special and significant in the year 2019, which started out in an unusual and rather interesting way for the members of Klasika?
At the beginning of the year, Klasika received an offer from Estonians and Latvians to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way in an unconventional way. Following the signing of an international agreement, it was decided to repeat the Baltic Way on 18-20 August by driving vintage cars along the historic route Vilnius-Riga-Tallinn. Having evaluated the experience of international activities and organizational skills, the Estonian and Latvian colleagues suggested that Lithuania should be represented in this event by the Antique Automobile Club Klasika. So we had to get down to work as early as from the beginning of the year: to plan the start of the Baltic Way 30 tour from the Cathedral Square in Vilnius, prepare for the commemorations of the Baltic Way in Panevėžys and Pasvalys and… to give up the traditional antique and classic car show Timeless Classic in Biržai due to the lack of time and money.
As usual, on the first Saturday of May each year, the fans of vintage vehicles of Lithuania and neighboring countries gather in Pasvalys. The vintage car show We’re Driving 2019, held on May 4, was again really generous to our club. We are pleased that out of 12 nominations the Klasika Club won 4 major awards. The winner of the Grand Prix, a 1947 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith owned by Mr. Alfredas Zigmantas, was also voted the best car of the event. A Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Convertible manufactured in 1976, owned by Mr. Arvydas Gineika, earned the title of the Best American Car. The award of the Best European Car was won by BMW 327 Cabriolet manufactured in 1939, owned by Mr. Arūnas Adomaitis.
The General Meeting of the Klasika Club members was held on the following week of May in the picturesque homestead of Club Member Mr. Vytautas Gineika. Three new members, Mr. Stanislovas Bartkevičius, Mr. Donatas Žukauskas and Mr. Saulius Kaušas, were welcomed by the Club. Then, during the meeting there were discussed the preparation and organization of the Baltic Way 30 Vintage Car Tour. Mr. Arūnas Adomaitis, driving the BMW 327 Sport Cabrio manufactured in 1939, was selected as the Lithuanian flag bearer and Mr. Stanislovas Bartkevičius, driving the Mercedes-Benz 290 Cabriolet D manufactured in 1935, was selected as the Club flag bearer on this tour.
Congratulations! That’s what we first said after returning from the antique and classic car event Retro Minsk 2019 held on May 18th in Belarus. Congratulations to Mr. Dalius Linkevičius, the member of Klasika, who earned the title of Best Premium Car at the Exhibition with his 1942 Cadillac 42-62! We are also pleased with the second award of Dalius honoring the Linkevičius family as the most stylish crew of the Retro Minsk 2019!
As usual, every spring there is a great variety of vintage vehicle events. One of them is the international festival of vintage cars “Golden Shadow of Königsberg 2019” (“Золотая тень Кёнигсберга 2019”). We are happy to note that the members of Klasika Club and their cars received an excellent rating at this event and were even the best in several rating categories. The cup for the most stylish car was won by Mr. Dalius Linkevičius’ Oldsmobile Model F-29, manufactured in 1929. Mr. Vytautas Gineika, who drove Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Convertible, manufactured in 1975, won the audience choice award. The prize for the most elegant crew was won by Mr. Arūnas Adomaitis and Ms. Larisa Zobina driving a BMW 327 Sport Cabrio, manufactured in 1939. Well, and of course, once again congratulations to Mr. Stanislovas Bartkevičius, the winner of the Grand Prix of the festival, who came to the event on an exclusive Mercedes Benz 290 Cabrio D, manufactured in 1935.
Another interesting and prestigious event was held on June 8 in Poland. Only cars manufactured before 1946 and operated exclusively in Europe are invited to attend the annual Vintage Vehicles Show in Mazovec. We were delighted with Mr. Arūnas Adomaitis, a member of the club, who won the title of the most beautiful convertible of the 1930, the most elegant crew cup and even the children’s choice award!
On August 18, a three-day vintage car tour commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way started in Vilnius. The organizers of this event – three Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian antique vehicle clubs: the Antique Automobile Club Klasika, the Antique Automobile Club of Latvia and Eesti Vanatehnika Klubide Liit.
The representative of each country was responsible for the implementation and conduct of the tour and related events taking place in the territory of their countries. In Lithuania, the whole tour and events were organized and funded by the members of Klasika Club. The exhibitions of vintage cars, the Baltic Way commemorations, the concerts in Vilnius and Panevėžys, the commemoration of Baltic Way in Pasvalys – were all the work of the members of the Antique Automobile Club Klasika, which, according to the participants of the event, was performed flawlessly and professionally.
The extraordinary event, which attracted the attention of media from all over the world, recorded 205 historical exhibits: 53 vintage vehicles from Lithuania, 33 from Latvia, 113 from Estonia, 3 from Poland, 2 from Belarus and 1 from Finland. In three days, the participants traveled the entire 650 km of the authentic Baltic Way without missing any of the towns or settlements through which the Thread of Liberty naturally stretched 30 years ago. It is an interesting fact that this tour of vintage vehicles was not only the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way, but also the first joint event of vintage car clubs of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia that had happened since the restoration of independence of the three states. It is gratifying that by unanimous agreement of the participants of the three countries, the unparalleled vintage car ride will be repeated in five years time. We are happy that the participants of the three countries have arranged to repeat this unprecedented vintage car tour in five years time. To commemorate this historic vintage car tour, the film crew of the Klasika Club has produced a documentary film called Baltic Way 30, which is posted on the YouTube platform.
On the October19, the members of Klasika Club gathered in Ukmergė to say goodbye to the summer. They visited Ukmergė Mound and Siesikai Care Home. After that, we put up for the night at Taujėnai Manor, which simply charmed us by its beauty. And the last stop and final destination was the residence of President Antanas Smetona, where the members of Klasika Club said goodbye to the summer season.
When the weather cools down or when it becomes really cold, vintage cars can only be seen in museums, documentaries and in photos. Now that we are talking about photographs of vintage cars, is the time to present the 2020 Wall Calendar of the Antique Automobile Club Klasika, which has become the club’s traditional publication. In addition to the variety of historic cars featured in it, the eighth annual calendar of Klasika is noteworthy not only for the variety of photos of vintage cars in it, but also for their quality and lots of authors. This year, photographers Silvija Pranauskė, Dainius Nagelė, Ilona Daubaraitė, Asta Pakalnytė-Ancike, Viktorija Valentinavičiūtė, whose works have been published in this calendar for a number of years, were joined by Zenonas Meškauskas, Reda Grubinskaitė and Ina Stankevičienė. Thus, the increase in the number of the team of photographers only strengthened and diversified the selection of calendar photos and gave more freedom to the artistic expression of it.
It is already the case that this annual project, which completes all the work of the year, becomes the business card of Klasika Club. And you are the ones to evaluate it.