On the second weekend in april “Auto 2018” took place in the capital city of Latvia – Riga. It is the biggest car show of the Baltic States. It contains a new car area, “AutoExotica 2018” with tuning cars and exotic cars and bikes. Moreover, there was “Auto Mehanika”, a big trader’s area in which companies mainly from Baltic States but also from Poland, Finland and Russia offered car parts and tools. In the area „Transporta Tehnika“ you found utility vehicles like trucks and busses.
Latvia is in the centre of Baltic countries surrounded by Estonia in the north, Lithuania in the south as well as Russia and Byelorussia in the east. Riga is a cultural and historical interesting city and a perfect venue for this carshow. The exhibition centre is on the island “Kipsala” nearly the Daugava river.
Latvia has approximately two million inhabitants. 700,000 people of the population live in Riga. For us it was a departure to new adventures and experiences in european tuning as well as getting new experiences with an unknown rurally country. One that has lots of historical connections to Germany.
Concerning “Auto 2018” doors were open for visitors from friday until sunday. For participants of WFamiliaCrew the journey already started on sunday of previous week in northern Germany. It tooks 27 hours crossing the baltic sea to travel from Germany, Travemünde to Liepaja, Latvia.
After first investigations in Kemeri national park and visiting old castles in the „Kurzeme“- one part of Latvia, we went to Riga the pulsating heart of Latvia.
Auto 2018 event included three halls which were filled by the organizer “BT1”. The main part of participants in „AutoExotica“ were tuners from the Baltic states. International cars arrived from Sweden (american cars and Porsche) and also the W-Familia „jungleVento“ from Germany.
The new car area included some exotic manufacturers for example russian truck manufacturer Kamaz as well as the finnish manufacturer SISU which showed an offroad car beside offroad trucks. The new Lamborghini-SUV „Urus“ were represented on the show as well.
W-Familia exhibition stand was together with the team of “Baltic VAG Festival” ( a weekend VAG-car meeting in Latvia) – this was a great cooperation during the weekend with an excellent atmosphere.
In saturday evening the price giving for most interesting cars of the show took place. The Vento reached one of the 15 prices “AutoExotic Award 2018“. After four days at the show and in Riga, we went back into the countryside and once more back to nature – the Gauja National park.
It was more adventurous than expected before. Sceneries were wonderful. Discovering old towns and castles and travelling through the country is accompanied by nostalgia. On roads we saw many cars of the 80s and 90s – lovely for friends of retro cars.
Latvian streets are not a good basis for extreme tuning measures and low driving. There are no highways in Latvia, only some multitracked streets around Riga. Side streets are often in not tarred condition. There are less well practicable grit ways. In April, shortly after end of wintertime and thaw, smaller streets are sometimes unpracticable without offroad cars. Trips were only possible on steel wheels.
This is one reason why airride systems are not allowed in Latvia. In region of “Vidzeme”, northern Latvia, old order castles from medieval time and amazing old towns are suited ideally as a photo scenery. In Cesis town there were small timber houses, old churches and cobblestones which required the use of airride system on highest level.
The way home was like a whole trip, adventurously, with ferry “Stena Urd” from 1980 and lots of patina. Our first trip to Baltic States was definitly too short. Latvia desires to spend more time in. In relation to the cultural and regional advantages of Latvia and our experiences with inhabitants who are hospitably, warmly and down-to-earth, we will come back again.
336 total views, 2 views today