If you worship speed, then taking a trip to Europe always means cramming in as many car things as you can before you head back to your own dreary, boring continent. For me this year, that meant going to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But with one day free before I went home, I stumbled onto a place in Frankfurt called the Klassikstadt. And you have to go there too.
Here’s how it went down on my last day abroad. Instead of hitting the autobahn and traveling to another distant city, I figured I might be better off taking it easy. Maybe get to know the beautiful city of Frankfurt a little better. To do this, I used a high-tech online research tool called Google and searched “car things in Frankfurt.”
What I found was mainly car rental propaganda and that sort of thing, but among those advertisements was a listing to the Klassikstadt. The description read:
“Klassikstadt offers everything about the vintage car - but above all: Passion and passion for an unusual hobby. In the unique ambiance of a historic monument in Frankfurt car culture is alive.”
I could get down with that.
The Klassikstadt, which means “Classic City” in German, isn’t a car museum. It’s a collection of rare, exotic car shops and a service station all in one building, complete with a fancy restaurant. It’s also home to all sorts of car-related events.
It was up to me to either take the 15 minute drive there or stay in my hostel all day and mentally dissect the concrete pattern on the ceiling. I think I made the right choice.
Upon entering through the gates to the property, you immediately lay eyes on the beautifully restored brick structure that is the Klassikstadt. The building was once a farm equipment factory that had been out of commission for years until it was converted to its current state in 2010.
When you walk through the main parking lot, you’re welcomed by the sight of whatever classic or exotic cars might be at that given time. When I was there I saw a BMW Z1, a McLaren 650S, a Volvo P1800 and several other cars to inspire lust-filled dreams. There’s even more out back. I could’ve just left and have been satisfied with the trip right there, but I didn’t. I went inside.
Inside on the first floor are the showrooms for both McLaren and Lamborghini of Frankfurt. In addition to their, ahem, “common” retail cars, Lamborghini had what appeared to be an Aventador SV under wraps and McLaren had the recently unveiled 650S LeMans edition on display. Not bad at all.
The rest of the first floor was taken up by a classic Mercedes-Benz privateer shop, Lamborghini’s service center (which had two GT86 racecars!), as well as an event space and some retail shops.
The second floor was even more impressive.
I scurried up to the third floor but it seemed as if it was under renovation. That didn’t stop me from getting pictures of the Jaguar XJ220 and the Ferrari FXX (!!!!!), among other things that were hiding up there...
By the time I captured my breath and collected myself emotionally, it was lunchtime! This meant I got to try out the very fancy and expensive-looking restaurant that was located on the ground level of the complex. I’m no food critic, but this food was nothing short of excellent.
Even better than the food itself was that inside the restaurant, there was a huge window where hungry people could watch the cars get worked on while they ate. Where else does that exist?
Friend of Jalopnik Tom of FormFreu.de has been kind enough to share information regarding where else you might be able to find similar establishments if you can’t make it to Frankfurt. For now, this sort of establishment is unique to Germany. Along with Frankfurt’s Klassikstadt, there are similar ‘classic car places’ scattered throughout some of the larger cities in Germany such as the founding location in Berlin, the Classic Remise, Dusseldorf, as well as Stuttgart’s Motorworld.
Tom also told me that not only are these locations home to tons of small, automotive-related business, but they have also been the starting locations for multiple old-timer car (classic car) rallies, as well as the home to classic car meets held throughout the year.
If you’re ever remotely near Frankfurt or any of the cities and have any kind of affinity for cars, you have to take the time to stop. There is no cost for entry, of course, and in Frankfurt, it’s only a short distance from the city center. Also, make sure to grab lunch, you won’t regret it.
The Frankfurt Klassikstadt is located at Orb 4a, 60386, Frankfurt am Main and is open to the public 10AM-8PM Monday-Saturday, excluding Friday when it is open 10AM-6PM.
For more in depth information and some stunning imagery check out Tom’s blog. Might help if you speak Deutsche.
Photo credit: Aaron Brown/Jalopnik