Pucher Puch motorcycles event in Salzburg: the story & people behind the scenes

A festival for motorcycle enthusiasts in Tennengau

by Barbara / 30. Juni 2022 / Excursions / Event / People
Puch Treffen - Hans und Thomas Wintersteller © TVB Puch - Gerber

The history of the Pucher Puch meeting

For 20 years the Pucher PUCH and motorcycle meeting is organized at the Kirchenwirt in Puch. It can get a bit noisy when more than 100 mopeds, especially motorcycles, but also vintage cars of different years and brands come to Puch. Numerous lovers of the old two-wheelers meet to exchange experiences, talk shop and get to know each other at the parking lot of the Hotel Gasthof Kirchenwirt, as well as for joint trips to and from the surrounding area. Especially as a visitor who "only" wants to look at the machines and perhaps does not have so much idea about it - like me, perceives a special atmosphere. You can feel the passion of the two-wheeled riders dressed in leather jackets and historically equipped, hear exciting stories about the origin of the machines and see with how much attention to detail some motorcycles have been restored.

So there are also in Puch some owners of the old machines. I visited two of them for you! Thomas Wintersteller (above in the picture with father Hans) and Tobias Schnöll tinker every free minute on their historic machines and have by no means enough of it! But before I tell you the exciting stories about the 2 motorcycle friends, we start with the origin of the Pucher Puch event and what the Salzburg town of Puch has to do with the two-wheeler manufacturer Puch in Graz.

Pucher Puch Treffen © TVB Puch - Gerber

Puch, has nothing to do with Puch!

Yes exactly! What may sound a bit stupid now is the truth. Because our place name "Puch" is mentioned for the first time in a document in the year 930 as "pouche" and in the 17th century it was still written as "Buch". In between the name disappeared and our community was called "Thurnberg", which is still known today as a cadastral community. Only in 1905 it was decided to reintroduce the name "Puch"!

However, the two-wheeler manufacturer brand "Puch" was named after Johann Puch (1862-1914) who founded the Puch-Werke in Graz in 1899 and successfully produced bicycles, motorcycles, internal combustion engines, motorcycles and automobiles. After the first single-seater moped appeared in 1954, the unique success story of the largest and most important two-wheeler factory in Austria in the 20th century began.

Puch Motorrad © TVB Puch - Gerber

Thus, our place name has actually no connection with the two-wheeler manufacturer Puch. If it were not for the passion of many Pucher to collect and restore the old motorcycles. Even if the same name is only a coincidence, one associates oneself with the namesake and is proud as a Pucher to own a Puch. If you look through all the Pucher garages, basements and barns, you would probably find over 100 old motorcycles of various brands. Most of them are Puch motorcycles, which are standing around in various conditions.

It comes in handy that all friends of Puch motorcycles meet annually (or more often) and then the most beautiful, oldest and most interesting models are also driven out.

Pucher Puch Treffen © Thomas Wintersteller

The origin of the Pucher Puch Event

The first meetings still took place as an exhibition at the village festivals in Puch. There one could look at a few models searched together by Thomas Wintersteller at the "Schmied" in the present car workshop of Josef Wimmer near the castle Puchstein. On the question whether one could not make also times a common drive and an own meeting in addition, arose together with Christian Rettenbacher of the Kirchenwirt a year later already the 1st Pucher Puch Event 2002. And so it looked at that time...

1. Pucher Puch Treffen beim Kirchenwirt © Thomas Wintersteller

In the meantime, between 100 and 150 vintage models from all over Austria and neighboring Bavaria can be admired at the annual meeting in Puch. In addition to the various Puch models, classic cars from KTM, BMW, HMW, Laverda, Jawa and DKW, among others, are also represented every year. "One of the oldest models are year of construction 1925, most from the 50s," says Christian Rettenbacher.

In addition, "direct journeys from Tyrol and Bad Aussee, as well as from the friends of the Oldtimerclub Mondseeland, who also always have a meeting on the first Sunday in September, are not uncommon," Thomas Wintersteller - the initiator of the Puch meeting - tells me. And why exactly he is the one who brings the Puchs together in Puch has a story that begins with an attic in the middle of Puch!

The Puchs and their owners!

Thomas und Vater Hans Wintersteller © TVB Puch - Gerber

The first Puch!

Because exactly there in the attic begins the real story of the Pucher Puch meeting! If Thomas Wintersteller had not found an old Puch SVS 175 up there from his father Hans Wintersteller and then spent hours screwing around on it, the passion for these old two-wheelers might not have arisen in the first place.

But he was not alone for long with this enthusiasm. His brothers, uncles, friends and acquaintances have also been infected by the Puch fever and tinker with their machines all year round with great attention to detail. In the meantime, there are about 11 motorcycles and Mopes in the Wintersteller house, which are maintained by him and his father and the 2 brothers Hans and Günter.

Puchs in Puch © Wintersteller Thomas

Almost too good to drive!

The machines can also be enjoyed outside the workshop and on rides. Günter Wintersteller has his two Puchs, more precisely a 125 T built in 1949 and a 175 SV built in 1959 as decoration, even in his office.

The magic of Puch engines

If you drive through our village Puch, you will see more and more often - especially on weekends and after work - a Pucher on a Puch! The proud driver is usually equipped with an old helmet and a leather jacket - just as it should be for a classic car driver. Riding a Puch is also an affordable hobby for all motorcycle enthusiasts. More and more young people and also the ladies are becoming enchanted by the magic of Puch engines. "The Puch is a motorcycle for the common people and it is simply fun to ride around with it. Especially the young people are enjoying wrenching around on the old machines again," says Christian Rettenbacher from the Gasthof Kirchenwirt, who of course also owns a Puch motorcycle himself and is already looking forward to the 20th Pucher Puch and motorcycle event on Sunday, July 3, 2022 with Regina!

Christian und Regina vom Kirchenwirt © TVB Puch - Gerber

Oldtimer at the fire department Puch!

Even the Puch fire department has a PUCH! In addition to the old Opel Blitz, the Puch 250 SG was also used for operations in the 70s. The motorcycle was assembled from two models and supplemented with suitable parts for firefighting missions. From time to time you can also see the fire department oldtimers driving through Puch.

Tip: At the Sommerfest der FF Puch on Saturday, July 23, 2022, there will also be a classic car ride in addition to the soap box race and the twilight shopping with Bojanska!

Opel Blitz und Puch Motorrad © TVB Puch - Gerber

Thomas and the Puch!

But what is so special about a Puch? According to Thomas Wintersteller, it"s quite clear: "A Puch has to shine and flash, smoke blue and really cackle! Special experiences also strengthen the "Puch feeling". Thomas Wintersteller once drove 1,000 kilometers in three days to the Dolomites and also likes to ride his machines up the Grossglockner. But not with one like the following picture, that is a children"s motorcross from the 70s!

Thomas Wintersteller © TVB Puch - Gerber

By now, Thomas Wintersteller probably knows everything about Puch motorcycles and is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to information about the two-wheeler manufacturer Puch. There is a so-called "Puch bible" with 648 pages, "The new Puch book, the two-wheelers from 1890-1987" by Friedrich F. Ehn, that Thomas seems to know by heart. For each model he knows immediately the years of construction, special features and the matching history. So if you want to know something about a model at the next Puch meeting, ask him or Tobias Schnöll, the second - one can almost say "Puch freak" in Puch!

Gebrüder Schnöll - Puch Treffen © TVB Puch - Gerber

No way is too far for Tobias - for the Puch!

Tobias Schnöll also collects Puch motorcycles and has something over 30 models standing around at home. According to his own statements, they are "no longer counted out of self-protection from headaches". At the moment he can"t say anything about the total number of motorcycles, because many of the models are still disassembled and waiting to be restored. Among them is currently his oldest Puch motorcycle, a Puch 220 built in 1927.

His brothers, Andreas and Sebastian, have also been infected by his Puch motorcycle enthusiasm and now also restore one or the other motorcycle themselves, but not with the extent and interest as Tobias does. Since he bought his first Puch motorcycle at the age of 12, he has been fascinated by the simple but robust design and spends hours tinkering with it. He is also fascinated by the variety of models or the wide range of mopeds and motorcycles. "With every further restoration I discover new, interesting and sometimes unique things, depending on the model. On top of that, I live in Puch, so you can really only collect Puch motorcycles," says Tobias.

Off to France!

In the following pictures you can see Tobias with his Puch 250 TFS at the Pucher Puch meeting in front of the Kirchenwirt, as well as the motorcycle before and after the restoration. The special thing about this bike? Only about 400 pieces were built at the beginning of the 50s. Because of this rarity Tobias and his friend and also Puch motorcycle enthusiast Peter Waschl drove to Paris to buy this motorcycle. They spent exactly 23 hours on the road, of which about 19 hours were pure driving time. The remaining time was filled with some sleep and the motorcycle purchase. So nothing with sightseeing or a party in Paris. The only goal was to buy the motorcycle and bring it safely "home" - to Puch - as quickly as possible.

Off to Italy!

In the summer of 2021, he fulfilled a long-awaited dream that he never imagined could come true. He learned of a Puch MC 250 Replica that was for sale near Milan. He immediately contacted his Italian friend, also a Puch collector, who organized the purchase for him. It turned out that the seller of the motorcycle was none other than Luigi Frigerio.

Luigi and his brother designed and built many of the motocross and enduro bikes of the "70s and "80s for the Puch factories. "The purchase was therefore not only a complete success because of the great motorcycle we bought, but also because we were allowed to visit the complete museum and the workshops of the brothers. A photo with Luigi Frigerio crowned this unforgettable trip," says Tobias. He also tells me about the special feature of this two-wheeler: "Harry Everts won the Motocross World Championship in 1975 on a motorcycle like this. From the celebration then 1976 a small series of the world champion motorcycle was manufactured. In total, only 98 pieces were built and mine is de No. 98 of de 98!!!"

Every Puch in Salzburg has its story!

No matter with whom of the two you talk - whether with Thomas or Tobias, the expertise is enormous and the passion for Puch motorcycles almost greater! But best you convince yourself of the great machines and their passionate owners and look at the

20th Pucher Puch Event on Sunday, July 3, 2022 at the Kirchenwirt

by. Most motorcycle enthusiasts always gather so between 10.00 and 13.00 clock and for the physical well-being provides the team of the Hotel Gasthof Kirchenwirt! So come by and take a look at the unique Puch motorcycles up close. You never know exactly what to expect. Not only motorcycles, but also mopeds, bicycles and cars of the brand Puch were already there. But also models of other brands or vintage tractors like to join!

August Rettenbacher beim Puch Treffen © TVB Puch - Gerber

Tip: you can always find current events in the Pucher Event Calendar!

Pucher Puch und Motorradtreffen - 3.7.2022 in Puch

Puch pictures and videos!

If you have pictures or videos of your Puchs in Puch send us an Email or link us on Facebook and Instagram, we are happy about your contributions! On these social media platforms you can also find shots from the last years and get current pictures!

Here it goes to Puch near Salzburg

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