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This year, Belgium’s biggest Classic Car Rally visited Greece with no fewer than 172 classics.
Owners of classic or vintage cars, that is to say a car with a minimum age of 25 years or older, are always looking out for new events to participate in with their showpiece. “Tour Amical” is therefore high on their list, and this rally has now grown into the biggest rally for Classic Cars in Belgium for good reason.
Since 2001, a gathering of a few friends has turned into a true household word. Now, the “Tour Amical”, organised by Manu Stappaerts, numbers no fewer than 172 cars, which took part in a tour around Greece from the 8th to 14th of May. With 5 cars from Antwerp to Tarifa in 2001 with 8 cars from Antwerp to Florence in 2005 with 30 cars from Antwerp to Marbella in 2007 with 60 cars from Biarritz to Barcelona in 2010 with 82 cars from Antwerp to Sofia in 2012 and in May 2014, with 172 cars from Thessaloniki to Athens and back.
The Tour Amical expands by leaps and bounds each year and will also welcome international participants next year. On May 8, two charter flights took the 344 participants to Thessaloniki, Greece’s second biggest city. All the cars waited at the airport, ready to set off, and the rally through Greece began from there. All participants attempted to drive to the end of the rally. Besides the event’s enjoyable and competitive aspects, bonds of friendship were also tightened and business deals concluded, for networking was also alive in this men only Tour.
There were different routes for each of the four groups, but fortunately, they coincided along the way, creating opportunities to exchange tales about their heavenly experiences in mythical Greece. For not only the cars were “classic antiquities” this year; the rally’s country is characterised by its rich history and the leading role that it played in classical antiquity.
The different routes passed through, among others, Delphi, Volos, Parga, Olympia and Meteora, and on May 10, a fraternisation of the four groups was planned on the Megara Circuit near Athens, where all participants could do a few laps on this circuit. Afterwards, the local inhabitants were welcome to admire the cars in the Panathinaiko stadium. The first Olympic Games were held there, so the 172 Classics certainly felt at home. On May 11, the trip continued towards Thessaloniki as its final destination and reached this magnificent city’s boardwalk on the evening of May 13. A wonderful closing event was planned with prize-giving ceremony and performances by some well-known Belgian entertainers.