The 41st International Ibbenbürener Motorrad Veteranen – Rallye, held from May 26th to 29th, 2023, in the city of Ibbenbüren, Germany, proved to be a memorable event for vintage motorcycle enthusiasts. This renowned rally, celebrated as one of Germany’s most significant gatherings for prewar motorcycles, had the honor of presenting the prestigious “Best Preserved Vehicle” FIVA (Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens) award.

The rally, which seeks recognition as an official FIVA event each year, attracted 285 riders with approximately 350 motorcycles. The event was meticulously organized by members of the AMC Ibbenbüren, a united club affiliated with the ADAC, the FIVA Anf in Germany.

Participants embarked on two captivating journeys—an initial 40-kilometer trip followed by a longer 140-kilometer route the next day—both featuring distinct regularity tests. Notably, an additional regularity test was introduced for the older machines that ran without a clutch, taking place on the 400-meter ash track at the rally’s venue.

The task of selecting the recipient of the esteemed FIVA award fell upon a jury composed of five experts. This distinguished panel consisted of Helmut Wittgens, the president of the German Veteranen-Fahrzeug-Verband; Jürgen Cüpper, a classic vehicle expert from the ADAC; Rudolf Korthues, a classic motorcycle expert from the local Veteranen-Stammtisch; Reinhard Bögel, a member of the AMC-Ibbenbüren board, and Jochen Kleine, a member of the FIVA motorcycle commission.

The scrupulous process began with a thorough examination of all the motorcycles during the technical inspections conducted on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. The jury adhered to the principles outlined in the Charta of Turin, a benchmark for the preservation and appreciation of historic vehicles. The decision was undoubtedly challenging, as the rally showcased an array of beautifully restored motorcycles, rare Schütthoff outfits, older restorations in regular use, and those proudly exhibiting their original condition.

Among the participants were notable brands such as BMW R42, DKW, Radior, and Indian, each exemplifying the spirit of the rally and meeting the standards set by the Charta of Turin in their own unique way.

Ultimately, the jury focused their attention on motorcycles that remained remarkably original, with only minor alterations made to enhance road safety. While several contenders fit this criterion, one motorcycle stood out from the rest—the Ardie TM 500 from 1928. Owned by Patrick Helling, a 31-year-old master car mechanic, this exceptional machine garnered the highly coveted “Best Preserved Vehicle” FIVA award.

What set Patrick’s Ardie TM 500 apart was not only its originality but also the rich documentation he presented, showcasing the bike’s complete history. Moreover, Patrick’s dedication was evident in his possession of the original toolset and a nearly unused cleaning cloth bearing Ardie advertising.

By recognizing Patrick Helling and his Ardie TM 500, the FIVA award underscored the significance of complete historical documentation and showcased the dedication required to preserve a vintage motorcycle in its authentic form. Patrick’s passion for motorcycles and his commitment to maintaining the heritage of the Ardie TM 500 serve as an inspiration to fellow enthusiasts, encouraging them to cherish and protect these timeless vehicles.