Borgward Arabella Restoration

Arabella-Freunde Deutschland 13 16 May 2010

"Arabella-Freunde Deutschland" Arabella Friends of Germany

Uwe Pawelski with whom I have been corresponding in Germany and his friend Hans Kaut decided to form a club for "Borgward Arabella" owners and admirers of the car. They decided that for too long the "Arabella" has never been recognised in it's own right as it always seemed to be in the shadow of it's big sister "Isabella".

They sent letters to as many Arabella owners and fans that they could contact, some who became known to us through this website and as a result 21 Arabella's and 53 Arabella enthusists came together from Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th May 2010 at Viechtach in the Bavarian Forest in Southern Germany. Among those people were Margaret and myself. Apart from a large contingent from Germany, others came from Italy and Denmark.

Uwe and his wife Silke were so kind to lend Margaret and me their campervan in which during the next two weeks we traveled through part of Germany. The weekend after the meeting in Viechtach we arrived in Bremen where once again we met up with our new friends and had a "Borgward Tour" of Bremen organised by Uwe.

Our "German Borgward Experience" started in Viechtach at the Schnitzmuhle Resort where the "Arabella-Freunde Deutschland" or "1st International Arabella Meeting" was to be held. 


Margaret and I arrived two days early and rested up after our flight from New Zealand. On the Wednesday we took a day trip to  Prague and on returning to Schnitzmule saw our first roadworthy Arabella for about 35 years owned by Walter and Inge Dzubiel. As soon as Walter saw me looking over his car I was given the keys and told to take it for a drive.



  Inge, Walter, myself and Uwe in deep discussion about the Arabella.


The next day Arabella's from throughout Germany and Denmark started arriving and in total 19 arrived. Initially 32 were scheduled to attend but owing to bad weather that was expected a number of owners decided against attending. The car in not known affectionally as the Aquabella for nothing Cry however those that did attend didn't mind mopping the cars out from time to time.

The following selection of photographs shows each of the cars that attended.





Yes, Twin Pipes created a unique sound.

Unfortunately because of the weather on Friday the planned events had to be cancelled and instead we took a trip to a private collection of Zundap motorcycles.


It is understood that this collection features every model made including this curiosity made from wood.


 The next morning the weather was much better and we were able to have the tour around the Viechtach area and visit the Seeblick Restaurant at Hollensteinsee and the Joska Kristall glass factory as planned.

The carpark at Seeblick Restaurant was very large and perfect for taking group photographs of the cars which is believed to be the largest gathering of Arabella's since the early 1960's.






 After the group photoshoot we had lunch at the restaurant which overlooks a picturesque lake with an electricity generating plant before taking photos of the cars and owners and then moving on to the Joska Kristall factory where a carpark had been reserved for the Arabella's.


Yes Hans they are following us.

 After visiting the Kristall factory we made our way back to Viechtach for our closing dinner and preparations for departure the following day.


 Sunday morning saw everyone depart for home. Some drove their Arabella's but others such as the Danes had transporters. The last to leave was this group. From Left

Renato (Italy), Uwe (Germany), Margaret (NZ), Sikle (G), Walter (G), Rita (Italy), Lydia and Hans (G), Myself, Dagmar (G) Georg and Adolf (G).

 It was now time to leave so Margaret and I started driving the campervan North trying to remember to drive on the right side of the road.


The following Thursday we arrived in Bremen and met some of the group from Viechtach and other Borgward enthusiests from the Bremen area. We stayed aboard the Schulschiff Deutschland a sailing ship built in 1927 and is now permanently moored in Bremen and used for accommodation, wedding venues and conferences.

Margaret coming onto the main deck from the accommodation deck below

Christian Jnr, Christian Snr, Georg and Hans enjoying the afternoon sun.

 The next morning started foggy but after breakfast it cleared and we saw our transport for the day, a 1953 Borgward Omnibus that originally saw service as public transport in Bremen.

Our tour around Bremen took in sites of interest relating to Carl Borgward and the Borgward group.

This is the house that he lived in.

And his resting place

We visited the Focke Museum which is a transport museum where this bust of Carl Borgward is on display

and the wooden prototype of the Arabella shown here with Margaret. This is the same model shown elswhere in this website. When I uploaded that photo a couple of years ago I had no idea that we would actually see it ourselves.

 We were fortunate enough to visit a private collection of vehicles of the Borgward group owned by a person who has a business restoring these vehicles. As well as cars being restored for clients he has a collection of his own.

Borgward P100.

Borgward Arabella Coupe

The premises is an old garage and fuel station with the vehicles below in the showroom

Borgward Arabella

Borgward Isabella. This vehicle took part in one of the Mexican Rallies

Hansa 2400

Isabella restoration

 Then we visited the Mercedes factory where we took a tour and watched vehicles being assembled.

The Mercedes plant stands on the site of the Borgward factory and some of the original buildings are still in use.

Outside the gates to the factory stands this tribute to Carl Borgward.



The tour at which we were also fortunate to see Mercedes vehicles on the test track concluded a fantastic day for those interested in the Borgward marque.

Just out of interest, these were three of the vehicles that some of the Bremen enthusiests drove to the Mercedes plant.

Messerschmitt KR200

Borgward Arabella

BMW Isetta

 Many Thanks to Uwe and Hans for making the effort to organise the first Arabella-Freunds Deutschland meeting. It was very sucessful and Margaret and I hope to take part in another one in the future.



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