Veterama October 2004 PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Veterama October 2004 by Bruce Frey 

For those of you that are not familiar with Veterama, it is Europe’s largest vintage car and motorcycle market.  It is held twice a year in October and April.  October is the largest because it is a combined auto and motorcycle market held at the Maimarket site in Mannheim, Germany.  It is so large that you really need Friday, Saturday and Sunday to cover it all.  The April event is held at a smaller venue in nearby Ludwigshafen with separate weekends dedicated to cars and motorcycles.             

Veterama provides a unique opportunity to find a lot of vintage bikes and parts in one place.  Because it is held in Germany, the majority of the vendors deal with German marques, but there is a surprising amount of British, American, French, Spanish and Italian iron as well.  While most vendors attend both the April and October markets, there are some who only attend October while others attend only April.  

Original used parts can be found from many vendors but you must have a sharp eye and/or be prepared to spend a lot of time browsing through piles of junk.  Everyone is probably familiar with the excellent reproduction parts available from Mark Huggett.  While you may meet Mark at the BMW Mobil Tradition booth, his parts (unfortunately) won’t be there.  You will, however, find quality reproduction parts from Philip Dreher (taking over from Josef Kast) and Petersmeier: both are official suppliers to the BMW Veteranen Club Deutschland.  There are also many reproduction parts available from a diverse assortment of Polish, Czech and Slovak, etc. vendors.  Some of these Eastern European reproductions are VERY nice while others are dreadful.  The inventory of these small vendors will also vary from time to time.  I had planned to purchase a few bits from one vendor only to find out that he was out of stock.  In addition to parts and bikes, you will find vendors selling literature, tools, stainless steel hardware, toys, clothing and almost anything else “vintage” you can imagine.



Example of what you might expect to see. 
Bruce Fey photo.  October 2004 at Veterama.

So how was Veterama last October?  The weather was rainy on Friday but nice on Saturday and Sunday, although a bit muddy.  While I did not find many parts that I really needed, I did not come away empty handed.  If nothing else, Veterama is always a bit of a holiday for me: a chance to look at some nice bikes, meet some new people and bump into a few friends.             

The highlight this year was the large number of flat tank BMWs from the 1920’s.  I think there were six different ones ranging from incomplete projects to complete restorations.  There was also a nice R68/Steib 500 sidecar rig, a restored R11, a complete R5 engine and transmission WITH carburetors, an R66 motor and frame, a real R71 (well, mostly real) sidecar rig, an R51, an R27 Rennsport machine as well as several R12, R35 and R75 machines.  For those of you that also fancy Zündapps, there was a nice looking K800, several KS600, K500 and KS750 military rigs.  I also saw three Douglas “fore and aft” twins from the early 1920’s as well as more British, American and French prewar bikes than you could reasonably count.  Also present were the usual counterfeit EMW/R35 and Russian/Chinese R71, although the number of both real and counterfeit R35 seemed to be lower this year.             

Mannheim and Ludwigshafen are neighboring cities about an hour south of Frankfurt, the nearest major airport.  Munich is a little over three hours by car from Mannheim. There is good train service to Mannheim and it is possible to get to the Maimarket grounds (I do not know about Ludwigshafen) with public transportation, but it is much easier to drive.  Mannheim is a pleasant little city to spend an afternoon walking around, but there is not too much to see there from a tourist standpoint. The Karl Benz Museum in nearby Ladenburg (fifteen minutes away) is interesting and Heidelberg, about twenty five minutes away, is a picturesque city on the Rhine.  Unfortunately, Veterama is mostly about “guy stuff” and unless you have a very understanding significant other or want to make a larger vacation out of it there is not much for the ladies to do.             

In order to redeem yourself after Veterama, take your lady to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a BEAUTIFUL restored medieval walled city roughly midway between Mannheim and Munich. It is THE place for Christmas ornaments. If you have time on the way to Rothenburg, the Auto and Technik Museum at Sinsheim is really good (more guy stuff).             

I hope to see you there next year.  Please feel free to contact me.  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it    

2005 Dates are:
Apr. 15, 16, 17 – Ludwigshafen, Auto & Motorcycle
Apr. 22, 23, 24 – Ludwigshafen, M/C
Oct. 7, 8, 9 – Mannheim, Auto & MC


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 July 2008 )
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