A big party took place yesterday not only for lovers of classic cars, under the motto “Legends and Visionaries” at the Handelshalle in Motorworld, as the business premises of Arthur Bechtel Classic Motors are known.
“We are honoured that guests from all over the country have taken up our invitation to celebrate with us despite the football game,” were the welcoming words of the completely overwhelmed host and founder of the company Arthur Bechtel for the 400 guests from industry, culture and politics who had travelled from all over Germany. “We’d like to be able to mention each of you in person, but of course that would just take too long,” added his son Tim Bechtel in their joint welcoming speech.
For several years now, Arthur and Tim Bechtel have been running the company together, which Tim’s father established back in 1972, and are thus setting a successful example of transition from one generation to the next.
The company has made a name for itself in the national and international classic car scene in the more than four decades which have passed since its establishment.
There was no indication at all of the considerable popularity of classic automobiles, which is continually growing, during the company’s initial years.
"If I take up the motto of the evening, the question comes up for me as to whether you regarded yourself as a visionary in the company’s start-up years”. Germany’s most popular television chef and classic car fan Horst Lichter was chatting with the hosts on the stage almost as if he was with his own family. Arthur Bechtel’s answer to this was an unambiguous no, as he had simply done with passion what he had always enjoyed doing.
With delightful anecdotes from his eventful life, Horst Lichter amused the guests, who were in an excellent mood at the latest after 1:0 win for Germany (the game was naturally also screened), and the auction which the hosts had requested of a picture by pop artist Devin Miles to benefit the organisation "Schlupfwinkel e.V." - helping homeless children and juveniles in Stuttgart – formed a moving programme item in the evening. Arthur and Tim Bechtel furthermore presented a symbolic cheque for the good cause, and their star-studded guests did not disappoint. A total of € 13,000 was collected to aid Stuttgart’s street children.
"...You know, I am 52 years old now and I have no time left in my life for bad moods..." These were Horst Lichter’s last words in his stage performance, and he stayed on with his wife into the early hours as a guest of the house of Bechtel.
Miss Germany 2009, the enchanting Doris Schmidts, acted as compère in a fashion show with fantastic evening and cocktail dresses, and two singers from Stuttgart’s Musicals put the icing on the cake of the challenging programme, presented by Anja Schäfer-Oettinger, with a potpourri from the musical "We will rock you".
To quote an enthusiastic guest: “A truly unforgettable evening”.