‘Retrotours’, the tourism boom with classic cars


Many places in the world we can take a walk through the old town aboard a classic car An increasingly demanded tourist service. Different tours in emblematic vehicles with drivers that act as tour guides and that sometimes we can even drive. From walks of one or two hours to the full day is what they offer on average this type of guided services. In the case that we drive ourselves, they usually include mandatory third party insurance, as well as driver and passenger assistance. In addition to the payment of a deposit that is usually around 600 euros, depending on the car model. In short, they are the usual rules of rental services.

The services of tours with the driver, which acts as a guide and which are the most common, usually arise from people who have decided to capitalize on their passion for collecting classic cars. Some of them, who have already tried the rental of their showy models for events, such as weddings or parties, is now expanding the business towards these retro-tasting tourist tours.

‘Tours’ in Spain

If there is a classic car that is identified with a walk through the center of Madrid, that is the Seat 600. In the capital, there are several companies that offer both the possibility of touring the monumental Madrid or the Casa de Campo on a guided tour, with the driver, or driving ourselves in a group. It is also possible to rent the vehicle on our own with current tools, such as GPS, to guide us through the different routes. All of them enlivened by cassette music from the 60s and 70s  and souvenir photo album.

Some of these companies allow you to customize the routes both in time and in route and number of vehicles. In the case of the 600 Tour Madrid company, they have tours in their catalog for locations near Madrid such as Chinchón, Aranjuez, El Escorial, Guadarrama, Buitrago or Patones. And for the trip to be more authentic, it is done by regional and old national roads. It is worth noting the cultural tours of this company, such as the “special shops and centuries-old taverns”, the “murders and historical crimes tour” (with stops where legend crimes were committed) or the “  First Dates tour  for travelers who want to take advantage of the trip to meet other people.

classic cars

In the case of the Trip Troop Vintage Tours company, which operates with its Seat 600 also in Barcelona and has just reached a collaboration agreement with the veteran Madrid Road Trip to settle in the capital, it has its cars interconnected with a public address system through the radio of the vehicle for group tours, in such a way that in all cars the explanations of the guide are heard. In addition, being a company based in the La Latina neighborhood, they have permission to circulate through Central Madrid.

In addition to 600, we can visit Madrid with another classic of the industrialization of the sixties. Vintage Tours in Madrid offers us the possibility of getting into an authentic Seat 1500 taxi of those years. Another initiative in Madrid is Vintage City Tours, which offer rides in a car that, although not old, has a retro design inspired by the typical cars of the 30s, but with modern mechanics, more comfort and propulsion by liquefied gas.

In Barcelona, ​​the 600 was also an emblematic car; They were produced right there. The Trip Troop company offers cultural and artistic routes in 600, which include a snack stop. “Gaudí Tour” and “Monjuïc Tour”, are two of their best offers. Another good way to explore Barcelona is on a Ural Russian motorcycle with a sidecar. Barcelona Sidecar exploits the possibility of sightseeing on these retro motorcycles that, although recently built, recover the model of the Second World War. In Valencia, Event Cars is a company specialized in renting classic cars for events, but also organizes tours with them through the city and the Albufera.

An island like Mallorca, with its roads cutting spectacular coasts and its Tramuntana mountains, invites you to be traveled with classic convertibles. Models such as the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet, the Triumph TR6, the Volkswagen Beetle or the Corvette C3  are some of the proposals of Mallorca Driving to visit the island differently and driving ourselves.

In Castilla y León and Castilla-La Mancha you can make day or weekend routes visiting cities like Segovia, Ávila, Toledo or Cuenca with Classic Car Rental cars , which offer us the rental car without driver and They provide us with a Road Book with a detailed selection of picturesque roads, incredible landscapes, interesting places, recommendations of where to eat and accommodations.

‘Tours’ in Europe 

Prague is one of the European capitals that offers the oldest vehicles for these tourist walks. There are several companies that work with classic cars from the 20s, 30s, and 40s skillfully restored and offered in the old town. One of them is History Trip, which has models of Prague AN and Prague Alfa, both from 1929 and a replica of a Mercedes Benz 770 from the 1930s. Another company, Prague Old Car, visits the city and also by areas nearby, for this they have two legendary models, the Ford T and the Ford A. It is also possible to get on old Škoda from the 60s.

classic cars

Classic cars in Prague.

It would be rare that in a city as touristy as Paris, the capital of one of the European countries most linked to the production of cars, we did not find tours in classic vehicles. The Paris Heritage Tours company offers its services in a luxurious Citroën DS 21 Pallas Limousine convertible from 1973, which leads to a minibar. Other initiatives allow you to see the city from the emblematic Citroën 2C, such as 2CV Paris Tour or 4 Roues Sous 1 Parapluie, whose services extend to other locations, such as Bordeaux. In the case of Paris City Wheels Tours, we can get to know the city in an authentic Citroën Traction Avant(also known as Citroën 11), a classic of the French company of the forties and fifties, which was considered “the car of the century” thanks to its revolutionary front-wheel drive and which paved the way for mass production of vehicles equipped with this technique.

In London it is enough to get on one of its classic taxis, the Austin FX4 or the LTI TX4, to be mounted in a vintage vehicle, but there are also tours to use to take a ride in a classic car. Such is the case of Small Car Big City, a company that makes these visits in classic Mini Cooper. One of its star products is to visit all the locations of the Harry Potter movies. On the other hand, it is possible to visit the city in another English classic, the Morris Minor convertible, through Classic City Tour.

classic cars

A Citroën Traction Avant in Paris.

Rome is another one of those cities with a lot of history to which it is good to add a little more through the classic Italian vehicles. Renting a Vespa to tour the city, in the style of Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Holidays in Rome, is already a classic offer and to it we must add initiatives such as tours in Vespa with sidecar, tours in Ape Calessino, that endearing motocarro that was born in Italy , but that triumphed in Asia or the proposal of Rome 500 Experience with its thematic tours aboard colorful FIAT 500.

Also in Italy it is possible to tour Florence, Pisa, Siena and other places of the country with the company Slow Drive and a whole range of magnificent classics such as the Alfa Romeo Giulietta of 1959, a Lancia Flavia convertible of 1965 or a Triumph Spitfire MKII of 1966, among other more than 30 options. Lisbon, in addition to its beautiful old trams, also has tours to tour the city with retro vehicles, such as the case of Lisbon by Beetle, which proposes to tour the Portuguese capital and other surrounding cities, such as Sintra, aboard Convertible Beetles.

In a city like Berlin, a route in Trabant could not fail, a historical emblem of the cold war era in the city. In Trabi Safari, they have several models to try. Continuing in Germany, the Nostalgic company organizes tours around the country aboard Germanic classics, such as the Mercedes-Benz SL or the Volkswagen Beetle convertible. Their experience has made them extend their tours to France and Italy.

In neighboring Poland and specifically in Warsaw, there is the possibility of hiring a tour with vintage cars through the company Warsaw Behind The Scenes. For this, they have FSC Zuk minibusses from the communist era. Another proposal is that of WPT 1313, which offers from tours on Jelcz 043 buses, known as Ogórek (‘cucumber’) to Fiat 125 Polish taxis. The FSC Nysa 522 van is another of the emblems of ancient Poland with which we can visit the capital of the country.

classic cars

The Fiat 125 of Warsaw.

‘Tours’ in the rest of the world

These initiatives extend to virtually every corner of the planet. It is easy to think of Cuba and the Almendros of the fifties that can be hired in Havana, but we will also find initiatives in Asia, such as the Royal Enfield classic motorcycle rides of Vintage Riders in India and other surrounding countries; in America, like Drive Vinty, which operates only in the United States and that has in its catalog models such as the Cadillac DeVille, the Buick Electra, the Ford Mustang or a DeLorean; or even in New Zealand, where the Hooters company offers20-year car tours through various areas of Hawke’s Bay. Finally, it is worth noting the Book a Classic digital platform, a web portal that allows owners of classic vehicles to be contacted with customers who want to rent them for any event or trip. The website indicates that they have more than 4,000 vehicles available and in more than 35 countries.

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