Arne Jacobsen’s Tanken – Summertime Saturday Morning

Even though arriving at Arne Jacobsen’s gas station first late July is much better than my last year’s appearance right at the closing event in October, the classic car season has been going on at this iconic venue for good four months now. Unfortunately, having missed a phenomenal crowd last week, including one of my Prancing Horse favourite – the rare Ferrari 365GT/4 Berlinetta Boxer – I promised myself to visit AJ Tanken this week.


When I arrived at this fantastic place by the coast, with the station being an architectural gem right in the middle, I was very surprised that there were so many cars! As Denmark and Sweden usually almost shut down for the month of July and everyone heads for long holidays, either to Bahamas or to a summerhouse in Jylland, I was expecting a reduced crowd.

Unfortunately, even though it was full right from the start, shortly after I had arrived quite many stunning automobiles went for a yearly tour around Northern Zealand. This included for example two fantastic TVRs 3000M, black Maserati Merak, canary-yellow 911, Alfa Romeo 1750 Berlina and most importantly… Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale. I have seen this one on pictures from various meet-ups but never had a pleasure to meet it myself. Doubtlessly a ‘car of the day’ contender, the title will need to live yet to another day and me – to another photoshoot.


Looking around, there were still lots of beautiful cars and… they kept on coming. It did not come as a surprise that there were quite a few interesting Porsches around. The sports-car brand was represented by three fantastic 356s – two coupes and one roadster, as well as different models of the ever-gold 911. Out of all the ‘neun-elfs’, the biggest impression on me made the one that stood the farthest from the station. Away from all the crowds was a dark green early 911, surrounded by a group of enthusiasts.

Even though surely outnumbered by the manufacturer from Stuttgart, the other two main German makers also had their representatives. There was a beautiful, mint-condition Mercedes 280SL ‘Pagoda’ from 1971, as well as… a decade older BMW M1. Unfortunately, contrary to our encounter last year, it was standing in-between other vehicles and usually wrapped around in curious crowd, which made it impossible to get an all-around photoshoot.


It might just be my subjective feeling, but comparing to last season, there are many more Italian automobiles on the Danish classic car scene. Today was nothing but a good confirmation of it. Had the Giulia Sprint Speciale been gone for the day, Alfa Romeo still was really well represented at Arne Jacobsen’s Tanken. On the right side of the station, there was a stunning Giulia Sprint GT Veloce in red, with yellow headlights. Looking ready to race, it featured a racing engine and MOMO steering wheel. Without the chrome bumpers and with rear arches widened by riveted extensions, it was a true racing queen and… shared the ‘car of the day’ title!

On the other side of the station there was another red Alfa representative – the 2000 ‘Coda Tronca’ Spider. This one blended with the tiled façade of the station and made for a superb, period-correct look. Another Italian parked right in front of the café was not any worse. Ferrari 308 GTS was the only representative of the brand today, but it arrived with a special passenger. A teddy bear wearing Scuderia Ferrari uniform was proudly guarding the car and I bet its name was Enzo! Last but not least, closing the Italian-and-red cars was a cute 1960 Fiat 1200 Pininfarina Cabriolet. I have never seen one before and it really is a beautiful convertible with a stylish, signature design.

Wrapping-up the huge Italian crowd was a 1958 Lancia Flaminia in an incredible, two-tone Berlina body. First revealed at the Turin Auto Show in 1957, it was inspired by Pininfarina’s Florida I prototype. Interestingly, Berlina was the body-type that was not only produced by Lancia themselves, but also the only one to last throughout the entire production time. The pictured car is equipped with a 2.5L engine and is one of the 3’344 Berlinas ever built. It must have been the two-tone body and pristine condition which stole my heart and made this Lancia the second ‘car of the day’. Make Lancia great again!


There were not just German and Italian vehicles worth mentioning, as the American muscle car society was not left without any representation either. Apart from a very iconic Oldsmobile Cutlass, of which I had taken few shots together with Corina Culeva at Toldboden, there was a beautiful 1965 AC Cobra replica build by Arntz, featuring a 427cui engine.

I was overtaken by this beauty whilst cycling to the station and was incredibly impressed both by the looks as well as by the sound of the engine. Standing still, the car is not any less charming. Just look how meticulously the details were done on this muscle car. What a machine – an American Dream come true!


Right before heading back I was watching some of the last participants driving home for Saturday’s lunch, when an unexpected visitor stopped by. Contrary to what the day has been full of so far, this was another specie of a car. It was a modern supercar from Woking – a McLaren 650S Roadster.

Its carbon fiber body covered high-tech 3.8 twin-turbo V8 engine, generating 650PS and 680Nm torque, transmitted onto the rear axle by seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox. This particular model was tastefully configured as a light grey body with orange touches on the splitters and brake calipers, as well as matching grey rims hiding gigantic carbo-ceramic brake discs. What a wrap-up to the day!

When all the cars left, I took a short while to appreciate the surroundings of this great venue. Small sailing yacht’s marina looked just jaw-dropping. I took a snap and headed back to Copenhagen. See you next time!

Text & Photos: Adam Pękala ©

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