For 2022 the folks behind GP Ice Race have yet again decided to reformat their festival to an invitation only, purely digital event, focused on producing the most stunning, online imagery possible. Fortunately with an unchanged recipe that still involves epic ice-driving.
It was something like one of those Netflix celebrity hang-out shows. Almost everyone who is anyone in the European classic car world, from within that narrow – but luckily steadily growing – club of eccentrics who actually use their classics all year round, was in Austria from last Thursday to Sunday. Either to drive, or to ski while being towed behind some ludicrous machine on the famous GP ice course – supposedly laid out and prepared on the grounds of the local airfield by the events’ mysterious hero-tractor-driver named Hermann. The sound of engines filled the valley in which the town of Zell am See is situated over this long weekend. They could even be heard – as it was reported – on top of the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier in neighbouring Kaprun. Those who were lucky enough to be in the inner circle of participants and invited guests or media witnessed the machines behind this acoustic presence that appeared to shred some ice during this automotive, winter bank-holiday. And there were things to gawk at aplenty.
From eleven (!) Porsche 550 Spiders, through the British-brutish alluring, gull-winged wedge that is the recently restored Aston Martin Bulldog, driven and skied behind by the eccentric and endearing Richard Gauntlett, to some rally-speced VW Beetles that jumped almost as high in the air as the official Audi Dakar rally car. The latter, which was transported straight from Saudi Arabia, still had some bits of desert stuck in the door sills.The Hoonitron apparently also made a very hush-hush appearance, as Ken Block was seen roaming on site. Also noteworthy were the forever cute, but immensely fun Meyers Manx dune buggies. The company being recently resurrected by car collector Philip Sarofim (who is also the man behind the Aston Bulldog restoration). Our favourite? A black Testarossa, daily driven this winter by its owner, that looked like a very fast granite countertop when sliding between the snowbanks.
There were flyovers by multiple aircraft, helicopter rides over the Grossglockner, where the team behind GP Ice Race will soon open a restaurant, showcasing their curious alt/metal concept, which this weekend was embodied by a De Tomaso Pantera sitting in a specially constructed "outside living room", filled with Porsche Design furniture. Those who are unable to afford a Type 35 Bugatti where able to try out the “Baby” version from The Little Car Company – a bargain at only $70 000. And if while looking at the pictures you’re suffering from a sever case of FOMO, don’t worry – GP Ice Race will be back next year. In the meantime you can look into getting yourself their special edition Porsche Design watch or their new, limited edition footwear.
Text: Jan Baedeker • Photos: Stefan Bogner / Curves Magazin