Lots of Spiders, 5.12
seconds, Spiderman's cousin and royalties.
Finally we were ready. My name
is Wille R. and I had just returned from Northern
Ireland after three weeks of hard work there. Stina
had prepared everything as usual; I just had to change
the oil and filter, same procedure as always. The
Spider was cleaned, waxed and polished, thank you
This time, we took the TT-Line
ferry from Trelleborg to Travemünde late on Wednesday
evening, slept well in our cabin and hit the road at
07.30 next morning. Excellent weather for a Round tail
and we cruised on national roads and on lots of minor
local roads through a sunny Germany.
No problems and we spent our
first night in Gelderen. We found a nice Italian (of
course) hotel and it is amazing, how well you sleep
after ten hours in an open Alfa Romeo. Later, we
learned that we were only one hour's drive from
Spiderman's residence. We know where it is now for
next year, so take care.
In case you do not know what
this event is all about, here are some details:
Where? In the Limburg area, you will find it on the
map between Maastricht and the point where the borders
of Holland, Belgium and Germany meet.
- Who? The Dutch Spider Register organises and the
Veloce-sites assist in promoting.
- Members? Just Alfa Romeo Spiders from everywhere
- Occasionally we have Giulias or other Alfa Romeo
cars for transport etc.
- What do you do? Have a good time, eat, drink,
drive, chat, relax, laugh, make new Alfafriends.
Tell lies about our Spiders and get some culture
- But the Spiders? Yeah, we just love our Alfa
Romeo Spiders and we are proud to be in friendly
Holland. There are Spiders from all over Europe.
Check the reports.
- How many? The event takes place over the
weekend. In total around 85 Spiders. Some are
there for three or even four days, some for two
days and some come just on Saturday or Sunday.
They are all welcome.
- Must cost a fortune, lots of fun and Alfa Romeo?
Nope, we have been there some years and know the
area, so it does not.
- This year was approx 250 EURO each car for the
entire weekend incl hotel, breakfasts, lunches and
evening dinners. The fun and the driving comes
- Sounds great,
- What do I do to join? We will be back again next
summer, so check the Dutch Spider Register and www.veloce.se
Last year, we found that the
weather in Holland might be unpredictable, so we had
done some practice with the hood. In the Formula one
and the BTCC they make pit stops around 4 to 6
seconds. Once, we got the hood snapped in just 5,12
seconds so we were really well prepared.
So, this time, the other Spiders would be facing a
hard time with the hood. Actually, the Dutch Spider
Club had prepared themselves with nice umbrellas, big
enough to cover the seats, driver and co-driver all
together. We got one too and it turned out to be most
We were the first to arrive at
the Hotel Slenakervallei after cool driving on the
local roads in the Limburg area. Many places were
familiar since we had been there last year. Lots of
"that's were we lost the white Giulia" and
"remember the blue smoke Kamm-tail" made the
trip even shorter.
We parked the Round-tail and
had a beer, waiting for the others to arrive. This
year I knew that there were three hotels reserved for
us. The Spider felt kinda lonely in the parking lot.
That feeling didn't last for long.
Miles away, we could hear the
light alloy twin-cam engines revving and the gulping
Webers, so, just like that, they all arrived and the
parking area became more and more crowded. Cobi,
Erwin, Hans and Spiderman came shortly after us and
then the other members.
Honestly, could there
be too many Alfa Romeo Spiders?
"Wow, good to see you again, hey, come and have a
look at my Spider, remember last year when hm, hm, did
this or that". It was good to see Carl Timmer and
his black Giula Spider. When Stina and I first met
Carl last year, we thought that it was HRH of Sweden,
Prince Bertil, a racing enthusiast and Bugatti driver
in the -30s. They look so similar, that Stina turned
mute for two minutes. And that's a record. We like the
We missed the Giulia Sprint from Italy, but I know
that Andrea Pieraccini has laid his hand on a Duetto
last May, so he will be there next year again.
That Friday went
very fast and before we knew it, we had a nice dinner
and had a special Alfa drink at the bar too. Klaus and
Hilde Mohr had brought the entire family in two Alfas.
A black 1750 Round-tail Veloce and a 1300 Jr Zagato
plus a teenage son and daughter. I liked that, because
the two immaculate Swiss Duettos, who were there in
-98, couldn't make it this year, so our Duettos looked
very nice this time compared to some of the others.
With last year's fake tandem
bicycle ride in mind (Stina and I had to do eleven
times the distance the Dutch did), we were all
wondering about this year. Sun was shining and the
black Spiders looked very cool and clean. Not a single
scratch or piece of dust on them. That was in the
morning. Kodak made a fortune because everybody
grabbed the opportunity to take some photos before
breakfast. Christiaan Spaan, Klaus Mohr and Tony
Borgioni's black Spiders got the final cleaning and
then we drove away.
The long line of Alfa Romeo
Spiders sure was an impressive view. There were red,
black, white, silver, green, brown, blue and even a
yellow 4th series Spider. Nice colour on a Spider,
We were in the
middle of the line just behind an oil-burning
Kamm-tail. Did Alfa manufacture diesel engines too?
Stina said she was getting a head-ache and me too, so
I faked some engine trouble and let a few Spiders
pass, so that they could share the smell of the blue
smoke too. I am always generous and find it very
polite to let other people enjoy my experiences.
Unfortunately, I jumped into
the wrong barrel. I found myself driving behind Jan
Groen, who had borrowed a Kamm-tail that was an even
worse oil-burner, than the previous one. I think that
Spider belonged to Jan Spaan. Cobi had totalled her
Spider two weeks ago in Scotland, so she was driving
the reaming Spider in the Groen family. I wonder for
how long, the way she drives, a real "Mini-Fangio".
The problem driving behind Jan Groen was easily
solved. Those of you, who know Jan Groen, know very
well that he likes to overtake and leave every car
behind him. So he did thanx.
A nice break for coffee,
chatting and relaxing and watching the other Spiders
drive by, was most amusing. At the restaurant, we were
all wondering how they could miss the impressive line
of Alfa Romeo Spiders lining up in the parking lot.
We finally ended up for lunch,
had yet another excellent meal. After some more Alfa
related chat we had to go down in an enormous cave and
mine named St. Pieter. It was previously used as a
source for sandstone and turned out to have an
Since the temperature in the
sun was really high, we all rushed down to the cave.
In the quite chilly pits of the mine, we got deeper
and deeper. There was no light at all in the mine,
like when British cars were equipped by the Lucas
"King of darkness" Company. The photo shows
interested Alfisti with eyes as big as teacups,
listening to the guide.
We walked and walked and some found it very cold, but
I come from the land of Vikings and the Arctic, so I
didn't mind. I was expecting it to become warmer and
warmer down there. I was also looking for Spiderman's
cousin there, I had this picture of his family with
horns on the head, tail and a big shovel plus an
enormous fire and lots of coal, but we never met.
Instead, we got lots of culture and interesting
stories down there. Some of us stamped our feet to
wake up the Australians. It was good to enjoy the
lunch after the mine.
The organisation had another
thrilling surprise this year. We swapped our
co-drivers and got a map that looked like "how to
make you own bomb from the Russian revolution".
The Dutch were of course very familiar with the Ball /
arrow system rally.
Every Spider got
a new crew and everybody was very exited. I scored ten
when Joyce Lemmens landed up in my Spider. With such a
co-driver, I might very well have taken the long road
or even the longest, but we followed the instructions
and after some disputes about the map and balls and
arrows, we ended up with some other Spiders.
It was quite a
mess until we found that the left and right arrows on
the map indicated just 100 meters between each turn.
Very funny! The distances before were 2.500 meters
etc. so you really fooled us again! During this
excursion, we had to pass a spot with some mud and
water. The mud was very tan and almost yellow, easy to
spot on a black Spider. Anyway, we were supposed to
find some letters here and there and add the letters
together. Joyce and I were thinking and thinking, but
the letters just did not make sense. Well, again I was
fouled; the word was something in Dutch I didn't know
anything about. That's probably why we didn't win or
what do you think, Joyce?
At the finish,
Klaus Mohr was waiting and waiting, but his Hilde and
the black Spider never showed up. Stina asked him if
he was worried about the Spider or his wife? The
arrived some 60 minutes after us, in good condition
but with a somewhat muddy car. Hilde and the co-driver
Marianne Badoux had some communication problems, since
they didn't use the same language. The beer tasted
most refreshing in the sun.
Back to the
hotel, actually, not everyone drove back. The two Jan,
Spaan and Groen stayed to solve a malfunction trouble
with the front brakes of a 4th series Spider.
That kept them busy and I
didn't have to keep off the road for Jan Groen and his
oil-burner. That evening, the organisation had made it
again. We had a four-course dinner with perfect wine
and everything. The conversation was "forte
crescendo" with many good laughs. Some of us got
prices and I got a big bottle of Genever.
Three black Spider owners were
asked to step forward too. Christiaan Spaan, Tony
Borgioni and Klaus Mohr got awards for yelling about
the mud. Christiaan is most keen on keeping his black
Spider very tidy, so he got a bucket of dishwater and
some soap. That kept him occupied for a while and the
rest of us had a good laugh. Time just flew away in
the Alfa chat bar.
Little Dagmar had grown
another year and I never saw if she got new dipers on
the bonnet like last year. When she has become a
teenager, she will most likely prefer not to be
reminded of that or? Young girls have a tendency to be
tricky about things in the past.
We had yet another great
collective breakfast Sunday morning and then we drove
our beauties in a long convoy. At the first stop that
day a Swiss Duetto from Neuchatel, owned by Maarten
DeGroot was waiting for us in the parking lot. Oh, no,
not again. It was so clean and red and tidy, even
underneath. How do they do it? I wonder what it will
be like next year, when there will be more Duettos
from Switzerland. If I bring my Duetto on a trailer
and spend two years cleaning it, mine will look like
The sun was
evidently afraid of our roaming engines, because the
sun started to hide herself and the clouds showed more
and more interest. Finally they started to applaud and
that was no problem. It was the heavy rain that was
the problem. After the lunch-break the sky was wide
open like the throttle of a 40DCOE, the rain poured
down and every hood went up in less than 5 seconds.
Some Spiders were of the right kind, as long as the
Alfa was moving fast, the rain only hit the
windshield. But as soon as you reduced speed, they
were facing problems and I mean great problems and
water. My personal opinion is, that they knew that
there was a photographer and a video camera waiting
and the wanted to look their best, despite the rain.
The rain was not so funny, so within short, every
spider had the top closed.
If you have seen "The
Graduate" you may remember the scene where Dustin
Hoffman tells Ann Bancroft that they are through and
the rain floods down. This was on everybody's mind,
although nobody broke up any relationships.
The asparagus and traditional
spare-ribs at the Arizona tasted good after this well-organised
Spider meeting in Limburg -99. What strikes me, is the
good and friendly atmosphere, no matter if we are
driving, eating, drinking or taking care of our
Spiders. This is something to reflect on in the cold
We found that Stina and I got
company at the hotel, because there were three Spiders
going to France the next day. Some beers and many
laughs made the planning and reading the maps that
Bas and Janneke Warnar, Cees
and Marianne Badoux, Stina and I and Mieke tried to
make out the best route to France. Spiderman looked
like a Napoleon general with all the maps in front of
him. Strategic planning or?
Stina and I left early next
morning for France and the Alsace valley. We met the
red Warnar Spider up in the hills close to Colmar the
next week. What do you think we were talking about?
It is time to make
reservations for the Millennium Limburg meeting next
year. Stina and I have already checked the ferry
timetable, so we will be there!
There are a lot of photos in the Limburg gallery
Thanx a bunch to Cobi, Hans,
Roni, Erwin van de Wal and their families and all the
rest who made this such a memorable visit. See you all
next year. And Spiderman, don't be afraid of the