Monday, November 21, 2005

Germany-Orient Rallye: Cost, registration, visa, accommodation, etc.

Driving old cars from Germany to the Orient is mostly fun - except for the bureaucracy involved: Visa, insurance, how to get rid of the car in the end, etc. are questions that we will answer today.


  • The registration fee is €111.11 per person. One team consists of three cars with two persons each - so the cost per team is €666.66. Additional team members (guests) cost an extra €111,11 each. A registration form (German) is available for download here: An English version will be available shortly. Check back here or send an e-mail to the organizers at
  • All other cost (the car, insurance, visa, getting rid of the car) are handled by each team directly. For non-German teams, the organizers will help with the logistics.

Each team can choose their own route as long as they do not sue freeways and toll routes. Participants meet at cartain check points. The most sensible one appears to be one through Turkey and Syria - despite the current political situation it's also the safest (an alternative route through Lybia is shorter but not recommended).

Depending on your citizenship, visa are most likely required for Serbia & Montenegro, Bulgaria, Syria and Jordan. Obtainin the visa is part of the rallye and not handled by the organizers (who provide assistance when asked, though). Organizers are preparing official documents and invitations that particpants can show during visa application and at the borders.

Buying a car in Germany and getting rid of it in Jordan

Organizers will help non-German participants. You can also check out one of Germany's most popular used car websites: AutoScout24 (english) (hint: enter ZIP code "87534" for listings in proximity to the rally
e's launch)

Getting rid of it in Jordan is relatively straight-forward but not very lucarative because c
ustoms regulations forbid the sale of the cars. The vehicles can be donated to charity which the local organizers in Jordan will arrange. Another option is of course to drive all the way back to Germany ;-)

If the car breaks down on the way and cannot be repaired, it should be salvaged locally at the team's expense. Organizers have found free options (donation to charity) in Syria and Jordan.

What in case of a breakdown or emergency?

Generally speaking, teams have to cope with difficulties on their own, but organizers also participate in the rallye and carry cell phones.

Vacation in Jordan?

Most definitely! Despite the recent terrorist attack, Jordan is very safe. And most of all it is spectacular!
Good thing that Royal Jordanien Airways is one of the rallye's main sponsors and can offer cheap flights for family members. There is lots to see. Exaples: The Dead Sea, Jerash - the city of the thousand pillars, and much much more. A team excursion is planned when everybody has arrived.

I don't have a team of six people. How can I participate?

Some teams are still looking for team members - people that are good drivers, mechanics or have a good command of the English language. Drop them an e-mail at

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Germany-Orient '06: Rules for cars, drivers, routes & accommodations

It's time to talk about the ground rules for the "Rallye Allgäu-Orient" from Germany to Jordan in May'06. More than 100 registered participants (registration still possible) will have 10 days to race their Youngtimer cars (20 years or older) the 5000 kilometers to Amman.

Cars must be old and/or cheap
  1. Cars can only be registered if they are 20 years or older (built in or before 1985). Motorcycles are not allowed (motorcycling is forbidden for personal use in Jordan).
  2. If the car is younger then 20 years, it must be worth less than 2000€ according to the infamous German Schwacke-Liste fur used car value. A commissioner will check the cars before launch.
  3. All cars must be road save and have passed the German TÜV authority's safety check (valid plaque).
  4. Cars must be registered and insured according to German laws. In no case are the organizers liable for anything.
Drivers: Who can participate?
  1. Age: Every adult with a valid driver's license can participate
  2. Insurance: Everybody is responsible for their own car's and personal insurance. A health plan covering expenses abroad is recommended.
Which routes are allowed?

The route can be freely chosen as long as drivers do not use Autobahns, freeways and toll routes. The daily maximum driving distance is 666 kilometers. Certain stage goals have to be reached by all teams. In every country that will be passed, teams will have to master special tasks.

Accommodation on a budget: hotels, tents, cars

The maximum budget per person per night is 10€. Participants can of course bring their tents.

Previous Posts:

The idea of racing from the Alps to Asia

Coming up in the next days & weeks:
  • Cost, Registration, visa, accommodation, joining existing teams
  • How to get a car and how to get rid of it
  • Lybia or Turkey? Route options
  • Vacation in Jordan?
  • Team introduction
Rallye Allgäu-Orient offical homepage (German)

AutoScout24 (english): Buying used cars in Germany
(hint: enter ZIP code "87534" for listings in proximity to the rallye's launch)

Friday, November 11, 2005

The obsession with power everything

"Sometimes power just flippin’ sucks with a capitol “S”
Lisa Gonzales, who wrote these lines on The Car Blog couldn't be more right.

I may be a weirdo but I think almost any feature in the car that starts with "power" is BS. I do not understand why one needs power locks, power windows or power mirrors. It does not really make things easier for me. I also could do without power steering for years. Cars back then were built to steer with relative ease even without power steering. I agree that it was difficult at slow speeds/parking but even my grandpa was able to put up with that.

I would prefer cars being available with less of that power stuff. I have one car that is pretty manual (a 1996 4Runner, has PS though) and nothing ever breaks. My 1987 BMW 325 has power everything and these are the items that recently stopped working:
  • power antenna (who needs that?!?)
  • power windows (first 1 then the 2nd)
  • now the power steering hose i supposed to be replaced
  • AC stopped working, too
Lisa has made the same experience, except that her car is a 2002 Chevy and not a 1987 BMW.
"Sometimes power just flippin’ sucks with a capitol “S”. I’m talking about power options, like power windows and all the gadgets on the inside of the car including most of all power seats! My cushy power seat motor just went out this week, that’s great especially when the kids had maneuvered it closer to the steering wheel…so close that I can’t even fit between the seat and the steering wheel to drive it."
Yet another advantage of these good old Youngtimers with power nothing:
"My parents had a Datsun and you know what those were like, little balls of metal rolled up to resemble a car that used blender parts to run on.


I can’t imagine who would have ever paid for that car but I’m sure the damn thing is still running, I’ll probably see it one day before I die and it will be some die hard Datsun fan driving around like a luxury sedan…wouldn’t that just be ironic! Oh well, I suppose there are worse things in life and right now I’m just having problems thinking of those.

At least the Datsun didn’t have a motor to screw with to move the seat."


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Germany-Orient Rallye: The idea of racing old cars from the Alps to Asia

On 26 May 2006 over 100 cars 20 years or older will embark on a rallye from Oberstaufen, Germany, to Amman, Jordan. 5000 kilometers (more than 3000 miles) in up to ten days. It is an affordable event for the "average Joe": Cars must be at least 20 years or worth less than 2000€. Participants sleep in cars, tents or cheap hotels. New teams and team members can still register. In the next few days and weeks we will provide you with more info about this adventure: the idea, the ground rules, the registration and the teams.

Dakar Rallye serves as inspiration

The Alps in Allgäu, GermanyThe idea for this "average Joe" race from Germany to Jordan was born on a cold winter day in the Allgäu region in southern Germany. Outside the snow was covering the hilly landscape. Inside Wilfried Gehr and his friends were dreaming of heat, vacation and the desert. They talked about their hobby - classic cars and motorsports. The Dakar rallye was coming up, where the automotive elite was about to take the grueling trip to the warm but not so cozy desert. Wolfgang and his friends were goin to sit in front of their TVs. Bummer! Until somebody had an idea:

Why don't we race to Asia? Just for fun, with normal cars, without a big budget but with big team spirit?

Ford SierraCars must be at least 20 years old or worth less than 2000 Euros (purchase price for the Ford Sierra on the right: 25 cigarette boxes or 100 liters of beer). Teams travel on a budget (max. 10€ per night per person) - camping and sleeping in the car instead of nice Asian hotel resorts.

The destination of Amman, Jordan, was chosen because one of the buddyies had a friend there.

Reactions from both car-nuts and the press were enthusiastic. By now, 34 teams (six people each in three cars) have registered. And the number is still growing.

Coming up:
  • Ground rules & cost
  • Registration, visa, accommodation, joining existing teams
  • How to get a car and how to get rid of it
  • Lybia or Turkey? Route options
  • Vacation in Jordan?
  • Team introduction
Rallye Allgäu-Orient offical homepage (German)

AutoScout24 (english): Buying used cars in Germany
(hint: enter ZIP code "87534" for listings in proximity to the rallye's launch)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Join our Young Classic Cars Yahoo Group

We have created a Yahoo! Group for likeminded people who love classic cars from the last 15-35 years. Check out:

and join us if you share our interest in those Youngtimers!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Awesome Yountimer rallye from Germany to Asia - cars max. value 2000€ or >20 years of age

Those Germans really know how to honor their young classics!

Starting at May 26th, 2006, they are organizing a rallye of classic but cheap cars from Allgaeu/ Germany to Jordan. That’s 5000 kilometers right there! Kudos to Wilfried Gehr, journalist and car-freak from Oberstaufen, Germany, who came up with the idea. 40 teams have already registered.

  • Cars must be at least 20 years old and roadworthy (registered and with vehicle inspection

  • Newer cars have to have a value of less than 2000 Euros (the famous German Schwacke-Liste is used for reference) to be allowed to start.

  • Each Team should start with 3 cars and 6 participants , if one of the cars gets broken on the way, the drivers have to get in the other cars of the team.

  • The first team who arrives in Jordan and has fulfilled all the tasks required from them by the organizers, will be the winner.

  • First price is a real Camel!

  • Daily driving distance should not exceed 666 KM.

  • Freeways and toll roads are not allowed

  • Accommodation does not cost more than 10 Euro per night. Tents can be used.

  • The participation fees are 111,11 Euro per person, the team consists of 3 cars and 6 drivers (666,66 Euro per team)

  • Other participants are allowed and need to be registered as guests (also 111,11 Euro per person).

More info:

English summary (PDF) here:

Monday, October 31, 2005

Cool Young Classics

What cars do we consider “Youngtimers”, those cool young classics that maybe were so uncool (or unreachable) at their time but now strike our fancy? What do you think about the following draft list? Please post comments & additions.

  • Your good-ol' American family sedan from when you were a kid (Ford Taurus, Buick Century, Chevy Impala, Dodge)

  • Those tight German cars that we could never afford: BMW 2002, 3-series, 5-series, 6-series and 7-series; Mercedes 190, S-Class, E-Class, SL; the first Volkswagen Jetta, Rabbit, Passat and of course the Volkswagen Bug / Beetle ...

  • The first Japanese cars that came over and all those milestones that made them what they are now: Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Camry, Accord, Cressida, Mazda 626, Protege, Miata, RX-7, RX-8, MX-5, Acura Integra and Legend, the first Lexus & Infitity

  • Classic SUVs: Ford Explorer, Toyota 4Runner & Land Cruiser, Bronco, Suburban

  • The first minivans: Dodge Caravan, etc.