One wears fur and by no means only on the inside. Sankt Moritz on the last weekend of February 2023: women and men, snuggled dogs and even a few children are out and about in the warming natural garments that have largely disappeared, at least from the western world. But when it comes to struggling on Lake Moritz at the weekend, the noble outfit has to fit and it does - without a doubt. And if not noble fur, then at least a tiger look with the inscription Tarzan, flashy ski overalls or a casual retro look with chestnut roasts - of course only genuine Ludwig Reiter. The fact that there is less snow this winter than it has been for a long time on the 1,600 meter high plateau, on which Sankt Moritz tries to stretch towards the sun every morning, doesn't bother anyone here. The sky is bright blue, it's just over zero degrees Celsius and the world in this still life could hardly be more beautiful. The number of wintry weekend events in St. Moritz is almost limitless, and this year “The Ice” has slipped between the elite white turf events, a classic meeting that wants to develop into an automotive winter Mecca, after a few in the mid-1980s car-mad Britons drifted over the polo tracks of the frozen Lake Moritz in their Bentleys.
This unofficial fun event had been dormant for many years, but fans of the most exquisite automobiles simply wanted to create something in the mountains - with snow, ice and an entertaining opportunity to wake the classics from their far too long hibernation. In a very short time, The Ice became an integral part of the winter car calendar and so it wasn't long before luxury companies, including car manufacturers such as Mercedes, Maserati, Ferrari and Audi, discovered the event for themselves, because the desired audience could hardly be more suitable. Despite all their enthusiasm for cars, many of the approximately 5,000 visitors come on foot, because the way from their own chalet or penthouse up to Lake Moritz is so short that you don't even want to get your G-Class or Range Rover out of the garage. And on the footpath you can chat, present your latest collection, put the limited Audemars Piguet watch on your wrist in the right light and the snuggled-up Wuffi also gets some exercise.
In front of the radiant mountain panorama, a second-generation Mercedes C 111 in autumn and white is doing its laps on the bumpy ice rink. The spectators are visibly impressed, because it's not just the older generation who know the 111 well here. "It's a prototype - it was never for sale. Wankel engines were tested with it,” the Swiss senior chatted to his female companion, who turned back to her glass of Moet champagne. The champagne will be served in front of the VIP tent by professional figure skaters, who will do a pirouette or a double axel after refilling the glass. Admission: 1,200 francs. The picture on this Saturday morning is almost surreal and confirms every existing prejudice. That's Sankt Moritz - exactly like that.
In contrast to an event like the Ice Race in Zell am See, Austria, there are no hot drifts or spectacular performances on the icy circuit. The event in Sankt Moritz is more of a rolling Concours d'Elegance with an audience factor - everyone knows each other, shows themselves. Between the show rounds of the individual The Ice classes such as Open Wheels, Barchettas, 100 Years of Le Mans or Concept Cars, the historic vehicles are in the Parc Ferme - if so, because there can also be a touch of racing. The classics themselves are spectacular gems. Here a Porsche 356, which goes on a chain drive donation tour for children, there the unique Lancia Stratos HF Zero, a grandiose Mercedes 300 SLS O'Shea or the spectacular Lincoln Boana Indianapolis in bright orange - you don't get the Moritz vehicle park in one Collection to see - let alone driving on ice and snow. A grey-blue historical Beetle with the “Ice Control” roof sign is gathering the next group behind it. Open gems from Ferrari, Bentley, Mercedes and Rolls-Royce, along with stylish pilots, are getting ready for the next laps on the ice – cell phone cameras are clicking again every second, while sunglasses and hats are being styled for a moment. After all, it's not just the rare vehicles that can be admired in the countless photo galleries.