Portugal is one of the few countries in Europe which has traditionally not had a lot of influence in the car world in terms of history, manufacturing or motorsport events. So, it was quite surprising to us when we came across the Caramulo Motorfestival – Festival of Speed held every year at the foothills of the Caramulo mountains.
This motoring festival is organized by the Museu do Caramulo, one of the oldest art and motoring museums in Portugal. It started out in 2005 as an attempt to draw motoring enthusiasts who were local as well as from around Europe with its mixed vibe of competition, tourism and recreation. The highlights of the events are the Caramulo Historic Hillclimb, the Luso-Caramulo Historical Rally and the Viseu-Caramulo Historical Drive. Add to this the quality of automobiles participating in both motorcycles and cars, before the event stretches out to address the bicycle and vintage toy collection from the Museu do Caramulo. That isn’t all, as there is a Caramulo Automobilia Fair that runs alongside classic cars and motorcycle displays brought in by the clubs of Caramulo. This well-rounded feel of the Motorfestival makes it a cosy venue for any kind of petrolhead.
For those who are interested in mechanical machines that transcend over from road-based modes of transport, the Caramulo Motorfestival is host to a stunning air show that features everything from WWII fighters to modern-day F-16s. The event, in just hill climb form, existed between 1979 and 1992, but the organizers decided to broaden its appeal went they reinvented it for its second run. This year saw a whole host of cars participate. Porsches, Ferraris, Jaguars and Morgans from every era imaginable were present, to name a few. Also participating were Group B rally cars, racing trucks, a NASCAR racer and a rare 1930 Bugatti 35.
The event, held between the 8th and 10th of September, had a much more informal air about it as compared to other festivals of this nature such as Goodwood and Pikes Peak. The Caramulo Motorfestival feels more approachable for a budding enthusiast or for someone just out to have a good time, plus the added benefit of being around Portugal’s stunning beaches and laid-back life. Check out this photo gallery to see the action unfold.
Photography by Pedro Ramos Santos