Feb 10, 2014

Helsinki - A Car Mecca?

I wanted to talk a little about Helsinki, the capital of Finland, and its car scene.

You don't hear too often Helsinki mentioned in conversations involving the coolest and rarest cars. But the thing is, when you think about it, carwise Helsinki has pretty much everything. You just have to be in the right place at the right time. Bare with me, and let me explain.

Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG V12

Summertime is the keyword here. You see, on a regular sunny day (in June, July, August), seeing a Ferrari or a Lamborghini parked in front of the Hotel Kämp is not a rare thing, even the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse (!!) was spotted driving down the Esplanade in Helsinki last summer.
The car dealerships in Herttoniemi have pretty sweet collection of exotics on display and so on. All in all, the supercar-scene is in pretty nice shape, but only when it's summertime.

Ferrari 360 Spider & Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster

  Lamborghini Gallardo SE

Bentley Continental GT V8

But when we start talking about those loud, American Muscle Cars with rumbling V8's, old and new, a whole new perspective is born!
Same thing applies here too though; the right place and the right time, but in a whole new level. And that place is the Helsinki Market Square, and the time is every first Friday of the month (excluding wintertime). 

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

That is the place and the time that you will see every imaginable Muscle Car classic (Bullitt Mustang, Challengers, Chargers, Cobras, etc. etc.) or the latest V8-monsters (Shelby GT500, Challenger SRT-8 etc.), Hot Rods, even a few Supercars and European classics (70's/80s Ferraris, Porsches etc.) show up every now and then... And all this is called the 'Helsinki Cruising Night' (aka 'Stadin Cruising'), an event, or actually a car meet that's been going on decades now, and has been growing bigger and bigger every year.

Chevrolet Corvette C2 Sting Ray

1970 Dodge Challenger

Even though Finland is such a small country, it's filled with all kinds of classic American cars. I mean, every single time there's dozens of cars in this event you haven't seen there before.
Here you get to hear live all these V8-engines rumbling at the same time, and literally smell the gasoline in the air, it's such a great atmosphere for a car enthusiast, and this "show" doesn't cost a dime, but you have to be there in person to know what I'm on about.
Anyways, maybe the best way to describe this fantastic event is to show you these few videos from last year, filmed in the heart of Helsinki...


...so in other words, perhaps Helsinki is not the "Supercar heaven", say like Monaco or Dubai, but when talking about those loud V8 Muscle Cars, at least here in Europe, Helsinki may just be a Car Mecca after all, but I say this once more, only when it's summertime.

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