Historic Vehicles & Culture



    The FIVA World Motorcycle Rally is held each year in a different location around the world. Run under the direction of FIVA (the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens), it allows 130 collectors and owners from all over the globe to spend up to four days on the most beautiful roads and fascinating places, riding their historic motorcycles.

    This year’s rally will be particularly special, as it’s taking place across three countries: Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. From 27th June till 29th June, the participants will be riding the roads of a different country each day.

    This year’s organiser of the annual FIVA World Motorcycle Rally is the Croatian HROS ( Technical support for the rally is provided by the Slovenian SVAMZ (, Italian MotoClub Trieste ( and ASI, the Italian association for classic vehicles. MotoClub Trieste is probably the oldest club in Italy and among the oldest in the world, as well as being the organiser of the Trieste part of this year’s event in collaboration with the Municipality of Trieste.

    On the first day of the rally, the participants will ride from Umag to Poreč, as far as Baradin, where they will see a cave and collection of tractors before returning to Umag via the town of Groznjan. In the evening, the mayor of Umag, the president and other representatives of FIVA, along with a FIM representative and, of course, representatives of the Croatian, Slovenian and Italian organisations for vintage vehicles will welcome the rally participants.

    To celebrate the occasion, a spectacular 1960 ‘Surtees AJS Special’ will be put on display at the hotel in Umag. Surtees was an English Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and Formula One driver. He was a four-time 500cc motorcycle World Champion – winning that title in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960 – and the Formula One World Champion in 1964, remaining the only person to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels.

    On 28th June the motorcyclists will ride to Koper, stopping at the collection of Tomos motorcycles in the Museum of Tomos History, and returning to the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park. Nevertheless, the most interesting part of the rally will definitely be the last day, Saturday 29th June.

    On this particular day, the riders will be escorted from the border to Trieste – Piazza Unità d’italia – by the state police and carabinieri on their classic motorcycles.

    The 130 motorcyclists of the FIVA rally will be welcomed on the square by Italian, Austrian, Swiss and German enthusiasts, who will also bring their historic motorcycles (all built before 1959) to join in the fun.

    Piazza Unità will also see an exhibition of motorcycles from the BMW Museum in Munich, including one of the most important motorcycles in history: the 500 Kompressor RS 255 with which Georg “Schorsch” Meier won the TT on the Isle of Man in 1939. This famous motorcycle is widely admired and has been the subject of numerous articles in a great many magazines, thanks to the historic importance of its race victory. It is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating racing motorcycles of all time, a milestone in technology that forever changed the world of two-wheel racing.

    In addition, there will also be the motorcycle – another BMW – that came second in that same race, ridden by Jock West. The two motorcycles that finished first and second that year will meet again for the first time in 80 years in Trieste. Meier’s motorcycle has always been owned by BMW while West’s is being presented to the public after more than 20 years in restoration.

    Some Frazer Nash BMW cars will also be presented at the square, and there’s a little-known story that concerns the Aldingtons, the English family that purchased the Frazer Nash marque and factory from Captain Archibald Frazer-Nash. They entered into commercial relations with BMW in the mid-1930s, until being named as the sole official importer for Great Britain – and their excellent results then pushed Munich into assigning the brand Frazer Nash BMW to the imported cars.

    The aim of the Aldingtons was to set up a production line in Britain, but the outbreak of war ended the project.

    Other little-known facts are reported in Denis Jenkinson’s book ‘From Chain Drive to Turbocharger’: such as how, despite the wartime hostilities, relations with Munich were maintained until the use in the post-war period of the 6-cylinder 328 engine (now known as Bristol 2 litres) in the Frazer Nash Le Mans, Targa Florio, Sebring and Mille Miglia. Now the Frazer Nash brand is owned by the Frazer Nash Car Club, the oldest affiliate (1933) to the VSCC, and it will bring some cars to Piazza Unità.

    At Palazzo Gopcevich, city museum, the Mayor Di Piazza and the President of the FVG Region Fedriga will open the exhibition dedicated to ‘Camillo Castiglioni and the Legend of BMW’, created by the Franco Bardelli Foundation in collaboration with the Municipality of Trieste, curated by Mauro Martinenzi and Susanna Ognibene. Camillo Castglioni, born in Trieste on 22 October 1879, has been a great exponent of European finance since the 1920s and also the man who relaunched the BMW company in 1918 – a figure little known but of great importance in automotive history.

    Also present at the show will be BMW Classic, in the form of Fred Jacobs, as well as BMW Group Director Ulrich Knieps, who will present the first motorcycle built by the group, the R32 – and as an exclusive (outside the BMW museums), the first Klein Boxer M2B15 engine assembled for the development of the R32.

    Then at Palazzo Gopcevich, participants will enjoy the presentation of Franco Damiani’s book, commissioned by the MotoClub Trieste, dedicated to the Trieste-Opicina motorcycle race that ran up until 1958 on the roads between the city of Trieste and the town of Opicina – and which saw winners of the calibre of Nuvolari, Varzi and Jochen Rindt.

    Afterwards, Commander Zanardo’s First World War aircraft will pass over Piazza Unità d’Italia with smoke trails and the tricolour flag, while participants are escorted by the carabinieri along the climbing route of the Trieste-Opicina race – some 10 kilometres of hairpin curves up to the Carso plateau that dominates the city. The route will end at the Obelisk in Opicina, where the motorcycle race ended up until 1958, and here everyone can taste local food and wine.

    The Trieste section of the event is supported by the CRTrieste Foundation.

    The rally’s finale is a celebration dinner and awards ceremony in Umag, after which the participants will return to their homes and start to plan for the next FIVA World Motorcycle Rally… which for 2020 will be held in Greece.

    For more information:

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    The above material can be used free of royalties within the scope of this press release.

    FIVA (the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens) is the worldwide organisation dedicated to the preservation, protection and promotion of historic vehicles and related culture, as well as their safe use. Since April 2017, FIVA has been a non-governmental partner of UNESCO, and continues to pursue its successful FIVA World Motoring Heritage Year programme.

    For more press information, or to speak to a FIVA representative for a specific country, please contact Gautam Sen, FIVA’s Vice President Communications on, +33(0) 6 87 16 43 39 (mobile), or +33 9 66 12 44 64 (landline).

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    Les informations ci-dessus peuvent être utilisées sans redevances dans le cadre de ce communiqué de presse.

    La FIVA est la seule organisation internationale de son genre à s’être fixé pour objectif l’encouragement d’une utilisation sûre des véhicules routiers historiques à propulsion mécanique au même titre que la préservation et la promotion de la culture des véhicules routiers en elle-même. En 2016, la FIVA a célébré son 50ème anniversaire avec le programme « Année du Patrimoine Automobile Mondial » sous le patronage officiel de l’UNESCO.

    Afin d’obtenir des communiqués de presse plus détaillées ou de parler à un représentant de la FIVA pour un pays spécifique, veuillez contacter Gautam Sen, directeur adjoint de la communication de la FIVA, à l’adresse, au +33 (0)6 87 16 43 39 (mobile) ou au +33(0) 1 53 19 14 20 (fixe).

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