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The jury at the Ibbenbürener Motorrad-Veteranen-Rallye in May had an unenviable task: from almost 300 historic motorcycles, it wasn’t about determining the most beautiful, but the best-preserved, unrestored machine. After many hours of discussion, it became clear that the FIVA Best Preserved Vehicle award must go to the Wanderer ‘Army’ model, built in 1914 and owned by Hans-Dieter Springer from Bielefeld.

The five-member jury – consisting of FIVA Vice President Jos Theuns from the Netherlands, President of the Veteran Vehicle Association Martin Schenker (Hamburg), classic car expert at ADAC Nordrhein Jürgen Cüpper (Cologne), former ADAC vintage authority Wolf-Otto Weitekamp (Stemwede), and Dekra test engineer Burkhard Wilhelm (Tecklenburg) – described Hans-Dieter Springer’s Wanderer as “A beautifully preserved specimen of the marque, which still has its original leather saddle and many original features preserved.” The bike has a 500cc V-twin belt-driven engine and two-speed rear hub transmission.

Runner-up was the BMW R52, built in 1929 and owned by Gerd Hindriks from Neuenhaus in the County of Bentheim, Germany. According to the owner, this motorcycle was stored for a great many years and has only been on the road for about five years of its nearly 90-year history. It is indeed that rare thing: a genuine barn-find. The bike still has its original papers, tools, spare Siemens spark plugs – and is clearly extremely well preserved.

Meanwhile, the jury awarded third place to the 1935 DKW SB200 owned by Kay Jäger from Münster. “In its day, the SB200 was the ‘Volkswagen’ of motorcycles,” said the jury. “Most weren’t thought worth preserving, or were abused or greatly modified.” The jury felt it important to show that even a modest heritage is worth saving, and hence listed this very well-preserved DKW as a finalist for the FIVA Award.

Each FIVA Best Preserved Vehicle award – a 1.2kg brass plaque – is individually numbered and registered, inseparably linking it to the vehicle and current owner.