The enthusiasm of all those present was the defining feature of this edition of the Barcelona-Sitges Rally. After two years in which, due to the pandemic, for the first time since 1959 it had not been possible to celebrate the event as it is known, both participants and public and members of the organization wanted to recover sensations. For this reason, the 2022 edition of the race will be remembered as one of the most joyful and emotional in its history.
A total of 52 vintage cars, 24 of them centenary, plus 11 motorbikes, gathered from 8:30 in the morning at Plaça Sant Jaume in Barcelona. After the checks carried out at L’illa Diagonal the day before, all the vehicles were ready to face the challenge that always involves going from Barcelona to Sitges, although as usual some participants have rushed until a few minutes before the starting flag to make the last checks.
As required by the rules, the drivers and their companions were dressed in the period costumes of their vehicles and, before setting off, they posed in the Barcelona City Hall. This is an essential protocol to qualify for the Prize for Elegance, and is held during the traditional breakfast with chocolate inside the City Hall, which this year was provided by Jolonch, Café Saula and Pannus. The jury for this award was made up of Jacobo Menkes (head of the prestigious Menkes costume shop), Emiliana López (haute couture and wedding dress designer) and Thaïs Rocha (fashion specialist).
Defying the elements
With just a few minutes to go before 10:30, the vehicles started up and the adrenaline began to flow. After years of waiting and months of work, the detonations of the veteran combustion engines once again composed a unique melody, longed for by all those present, which resounded between the walls of the square as if it were a great amphitheatre.
Tradition dictates that the oldest of them all should be the first of the retinue, and that honour has gone to the 1907 Chenard Walker, driven by Juan Manuel Carbonell, from Alicante.
The nearly 46 kilometres and two hours of driving were a real challenge for the machines and their occupants, who never lost their smiles. They made the journey without too many setbacks and greeted the public, who once again gathered in the streets of L’Hospitalet, Cornellà, Sant Boi, Viladecans, Gavà and Castelldefels, and even in the permitted areas of the Costas del Garraf road, which was closed to traffic for the occasion for safety reasons.
After the participants had been able to test their driving skills and the performance of their mechanics, the caravan headed for the Port de Sitges-Aiguadolç, where a cocktail awaited them to liven up their well-deserved rest.
Simultaneously, in the Plaça de la Fragata in Sitges, the Apocadixie Cotton Pickers started a swing music concert accompanied by Swing Garraf, who offered a dance show until the arrival of the vehicles at 2:00 pm. There, under the setting of the Parish Church of Sant Bartomeu and Santa Tecla, the cars and motorbikes were on display while the participants went to the Hotel ME Sitges to celebrate the gala lunch and the prize-giving and tributes, until 17:30.
We met again
The president of Foment de Sitges, Maria Marín, showed her satisfaction and gratitude after the return of the Barcelona-Sitges: “Today is a day of immense happiness for the whole family of the Rally. In these two years we have not stopped working to keep the event alive, and the support and recognition we have had from participants, sponsors and institutions have been essential to achieve this despite the difficulties. That is why I would like to thank all the members of the organisation for their understanding and effort, and I encourage them to continue building an ever better Rally together”.
As usual, this year participants from different parts of Spain (Alicante, Barcelona, Castellón, Córdoba, Huelva, La Rioja, Madrid and Tarragona) and from France registered for the Barcelona-Sitges Rally. The winners in the different categories were the following:
1. Nº 27 – Josep N. Arderiu
2. Nº 37 – Robert Fusté
3. Nº 31 – Emili Ripollès
4. Nº 25 – Miquel Raventós
Motorbike elegance award
Nº 10 – Santi Torremorell
Special Award in memory of Gemma Tosca
Nº 19 – Elisabeth Prat
1. Nº 1 – Raleig 800 de 1924 – Àlex Rierola
2. Nº 2 – Rudge JAP 250 de 1930 – Jordi Rosell
3. Nº 6 – Nimbus de 1936 – Toni Betbese
Group I until 1908
1. Nº 3 – Cadillac Thirty de 1908 – Ramon Magriñá
2. Nº 2 – Panhard Levassor de 1907 – Cèsar Pau Alentorn
3. Nº 4 – Wolseley Siddeley 14 HP de 1908 – José Orriols
Group II, 1909 to 1914
1. Nº 11 – Panhard Levassor de 1913 – Jordi Ricardo
2. Nº 7 – Chenard Walker de 1911 – Serge Rinero
3. Nº 12 – Ford T de 1914 – Roger Aussel
Group III, 1915 to 1920
1. Nº 19 – Renault EU de 1918 – Martí Mujal
2. Nº 16 – España Torpedo T II de 1917 – Mercedes Freixa
3. Nº 20 – Essex de 1919 – Josep Montaner
Group IV, 1921 to 1928
1. Nº 36 – Hispano Suiza T-49 de 1924 – Jaume Vila
2. Nº 44 – Rolls-Royce Phantom I de 1926 – Robert Ricardo
3. Nº 38 – Locomobile Junior 8 Cabrio – Antonio Molina
RACC Award to the youngest participant
Nicolás Esteve Magriñá – 20 años
‘Friends of Veteran Cars’ Award
Nº 34 – Ford T de 1924 – Juan Bautista Segarra
Classic Motor Club del Bages Award to the oldest car
Nº 1 – Chenard Walker de 1907 – Juan Manuel Carbonell
Federació Catalana de Cotxes Antics Award to the most iconic car
Nº 15 – Salvador de 1916 – Antonio Silva
The Barcelona-Sitges International Vintage Car Rally is organised by Foment de Sitges with the collaboration of Sitges and Barcelona Councils, and is supported by the ‘Sitges Anytime’ brand, which emphasises culture and family tourism as the town’s identifying features.
The event was sponsored by L’illa Diagonal, RACC and Caves Pere Ventura. Moritz, Menkes, Cochesafondo, as well as the Federació Catalana de Vehicles Històrics, the Antic Car Club de Catalunya, ACV, the Associació d’Afeccionats als Cotxes i Motos d’Època and the Escudería Hispano Suiza have collaborated.