The event kicked off at Casino 2000 with the “Luxembourg Grand Tour” on Friday 28 August. The rally covered over 200 kilometres of glorious Luxembourg countryside and involved a variety of games and challenges en route. “We end with a really big gourmet party at the Casino and always reveal something unusual,” said Marcel Hagendoorn, president and founder of Make-A-Wish in Luxembourg. “This year it was a Midual motorcycle--one of only five made and worth in the region of €147,000.”
The weekend’s exhibition was divided into three sections. “At the very front, our sponsors who include Aston Martin and Land Rover, exhibit one new car,” explained Hagendoorn. “The mid-section is dedicated to Ferrari, Jaguar and Porsche who display up to two new cars and a large number of pre-1975s.” A further 150 top notch classic cars were exhibited ranging from a 1913 steam-powered car which circled the Parc Domain Thermal to a Ferrari 250 GTO worth a cool €35 million.
“World class” cars
Some of the cars were for sale, among them a pristine, red Mercedes 170V Roadster boasting Clark Gable as a prior owner--yours for only €240,000. Several “Oldtimer” clubs were present displaying historical classics and a number of ex-military vehicles were also on-show. One army truck carrying a 1982 British Leopard tank engine attracted much attention. Once fired-up, it was so ear-piercingly loud that everyone instinctively took several steps back.
“This is not the standard fête de village,” Hagendoorn pointed out, “it’s something very different and the quality of cars is extremely high--world class level.” But it’s not just the cars that draw visitors from across Europe. “We also provide good family entertainment to please the wives and kids.”
Sgt. Wilson’s Army Show is a case in point. This charismatic singer and his trio of beautiful backing singers arrived at the foot of the stage in full military regalia, aboard military jeeps--air raid sirens and airplane engines roaring at full volume. They serenaded the audience with a series of old-time classics including “Don’t fence me in” and “Is you is or is you ain’t my baby”. George Christen’s Power Show and the Louisiana Dixie Band also wowed audiences who relaxed in the shade to escape the searing 30 degree heat.
Call for 2016 volunteers
When asked about the biggest challenge presented by the event, Hagendoorn reflected for a moment. “It’s sourcing volunteers. The last weekend in August is a holiday period, we start very early and we can’t pay salaries.” That said, the planning for 2016 is already well underway and arrangements for 2017 are being made. Next year’s dates are set for Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August and if you’d like to participate or volunteer, Hagendoorn and the team would love to hear from you.