Automotive

Techno-Classica Essen: The world's biggest classic car experience ... plus a disruptive new technology

Techno-Classica Essen: The wor...
Part museum, part used car lot: The breadth and depth of expertise across countless automotive fields on display in Essen augurs well for an industry that has sprung from nowhere in the last three decades and while its ultimate destiny is still unfolding, when viewed through the prism of this event, the future for the classic car industry appears bright.
Part museum, part used car lot: The breadth and depth of expertise across countless automotive fields on display in Essen augurs well for an industry that has sprung from nowhere in the last three decades and while its ultimate destiny is still unfolding, when viewed through the prism of this event, the future for the classic car industry appears bright.
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Series I and II E-Type Jaguars in particular were fraught with quality control issues in the day. It's very likely that restored E-Types from Jaguar Classic are a cut above anything produced by the factory in period.
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Series I and II E-Type Jaguars in particular were fraught with quality control issues in the day. It's very likely that restored E-Types from Jaguar Classic are a cut above anything produced by the factory in period.
Series I and II E-Type Jaguars in particular were fraught with quality control issues in the day. It's very likely that restored E-Types from Jaguar Classic are a cut above anything produced by the factory in period.
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Series I and II E-Type Jaguars in particular were fraught with quality control issues in the day. It's very likely that restored E-Types from Jaguar Classic are a cut above anything produced by the factory in period.
Series I and II E-Type Jaguars in particular were fraught with quality control issues in the day. It's very likely that restored E-Types from Jaguar Classic are a cut above anything produced by the factory in period.
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Series I and II E-Type Jaguars in particular were fraught with quality control issues in the day. It's very likely that restored E-Types from Jaguar Classic are a cut above anything produced by the factory in period.
Jaguar Classic went to enormous lengths at Techno-Classica to show the quality of its services.
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Jaguar Classic went to enormous lengths at Techno-Classica to show the quality of its services.
Series I and II E-Type Jaguars in particular were fraught with quality control issues in the day. It's very likely that restored E-Types from Jaguar Classic are a cut above anything produced by the factory in period. This was a sign on the wall of the Jaguar Classic booth.
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Series I and II E-Type Jaguars in particular were fraught with quality control issues in the day. It's very likely that restored E-Types from Jaguar Classic are a cut above anything produced by the factory in period. This was a sign on the wall of the Jaguar Classic booth.
One of the landmark media notifications at Techno-Classica was Land Rover Classic's announcement that it is restoring 25 Series I models to original 1948 factory specification and the cars are available to the public. The show car (pictured) began life as a CKD (Knock Down Vehicle) despatched as a kit from Solihull and assembled locally for the Australian market. It was sold new to a large farm in Queensland (where large farms are the size of small countries) and based on it's experience with this car the Pentland property eventually grew it's own fleet of a dozen Land Rovers. Despite a close inspection of the vehicle, I found it impossible to distinguish it from new.
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One of the landmark media notifications at Techno-Classica was Land Rover Classic's announcement that it is restoring 25 Series I models to original 1948 factory specification and the cars are available to the public. The show car (pictured) began life as a CKD (Knock Down Vehicle) despatched as a kit from Solihull and assembled locally for the Australian market. It was sold new to a large farm in Queensland (where large farms are the size of small countries) and based on it's experience with this car the Pentland property eventually grew it's own fleet of a dozen Land Rovers. Despite a close inspection of the vehicle, I found it impossible to distinguish it from new.
The underside of the Series 1 Land Rover was perfection. Almost certainly better than new.
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The underside of the Series 1 Land Rover was perfection. Almost certainly better than new.
This quaint 1954 Mercedes-Benz 170 SD service wagon was sitting in the little-used Western foyer of Messe Essen, and I passed it a dozen times on my way to and from the press room before I spied the name on the door. This was the service truck from Juan Manuel Fangio's Mercedes dealership in Buenos Aires. Even before he joined the Mercedes Formula One team, Fangio had acquired the Argentine Mercedes concession. He ultimately became President of Mercedes-Benz Argentina in 1974, and its Honorary President for Life in 1987.
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This quaint 1954 Mercedes-Benz 170 SD service wagon was sitting in the little-used Western foyer of Messe Essen, and I passed it a dozen times on my way to and from the press room before I spied the name on the door. This was the service truck from Juan Manuel Fangio's Mercedes dealership in Buenos Aires. Even before he joined the Mercedes Formula One team, Fangio had acquired the Argentine Mercedes concession. He ultimately became President of Mercedes-Benz Argentina in 1974, and its Honorary President for Life in 1987.
The paint on the Series 1 Land Rover restored by Land Rover Classic was also perfection.
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The paint on the Series 1 Land Rover restored by Land Rover Classic was also perfection.
Land Rover Classic's restored Series I models are now available to the public.
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Land Rover Classic's restored Series I models are now available to the public.
Land Rover Classic's restored Series I models are now available to the public.
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Land Rover Classic's restored Series I models are now available to the public.
Land Rover Classic's stand at Techno-Classica showcased one of the cars from the famous 1955-56 Oxford and Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition
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Land Rover Classic's stand at Techno-Classica showcased one of the cars from the famous 1955-56 Oxford and Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition
This quaint 1954 Mercedes-Benz 170 SD was a service truck from Juan Manuel Fangio's Mercedes dealership in Buenos Aires. Even before he joined the Mercedes Formula One team, Fangio had acquired the Argentine Mercedes concession. He ultimately became President of Mercedes-Benz Argentina in 1974, and its Honorary President for Life in 1987.
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This quaint 1954 Mercedes-Benz 170 SD was a service truck from Juan Manuel Fangio's Mercedes dealership in Buenos Aires. Even before he joined the Mercedes Formula One team, Fangio had acquired the Argentine Mercedes concession. He ultimately became President of Mercedes-Benz Argentina in 1974, and its Honorary President for Life in 1987.
One of the dilemmas faced by someone who has restored an oldtimer, is procuring a period-appropriate entertainment device for the dashboard. Slotting the latest digital sound system into a 1950s classic is decidedly gauche, so as more post-war cars are returned to new condition, there's now a thriving business sourcing, restoring and selling appropriate second hand period car radios and sound systems.
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One of the dilemmas faced by someone who has restored an oldtimer, is procuring a period-appropriate entertainment device for the dashboard. Slotting the latest digital sound system into a 1950s classic is decidedly gauche, so as more post-war cars are returned to new condition, there's now a thriving business sourcing, restoring and selling appropriate second hand period car radios and sound systems.
More than 220 classic clubs turned up this year to display their enthusiasm and enrol new members and the levels of enthusiasm was contagious - car clubs are part of the social fabric of German society and it only takes a quick glance at these images to see the camaraderie involved.
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More than 220 classic clubs turned up this year to display their enthusiasm and enrol new members and the levels of enthusiasm was contagious - car clubs are part of the social fabric of German society and it only takes a quick glance at these images to see the camaraderie involved.
The clubs contest the "Techno-Classica Club Grand Prix" for the best booth presentation and competition was fierce with the winning stand taken out by the Fiat 500 club, which created a model kit car theme for the stand. Just how many hours were involved in choreographing this grand schema is almost beyond imagination.
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The clubs contest the "Techno-Classica Club Grand Prix" for the best booth presentation and competition was fierce with the winning stand taken out by the Fiat 500 club, which created a model kit car theme for the stand. Just how many hours were involved in choreographing this grand schema is almost beyond imagination.
Part of the fun of restoring a car is getting it as close as possible by hunting down the correct key and fob, switch, knob, door handle, badge, carpet and seat material, tool kit, fuel line, rubber trim, ad infinitum, or replacing items that have perished to the point of detracting from your masterpiece with exactly the right patina.
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Part of the fun of restoring a car is getting it as close as possible by hunting down the correct key and fob, switch, knob, door handle, badge, carpet and seat material, tool kit, fuel line, rubber trim, ad infinitum, or replacing items that have perished to the point of detracting from your masterpiece with exactly the right patina.
This automotive key specialist worked close to every minute of the show
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This automotive key specialist worked close to every minute of the show
Every stand was worth exploring
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Every stand was worth exploring
Dutch Classic car radiator specialist Blaak can repair or restore any classic radiator, and can even build complete radiators from drawings or photographs.
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Dutch Classic car radiator specialist Blaak can repair or restore any classic radiator, and can even build complete radiators from drawings or photographs.
Interior restoration services for the elite classic car are now a highly-specialised art form
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Interior restoration services for the elite classic car are now a highly-specialised art form
Specialists come in many forms - the correct tool kit is a key component of any restoration
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Specialists come in many forms - the correct tool kit is a key component of any restoration
Bramsche-based Alexander's Oldtimer ElektrikAlexander's Oldtimer Elektrik will supply almost any electrical need for any make or model of car or motorcycle.
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Bramsche-based Alexander's Oldtimer ElektrikAlexander's Oldtimer Elektrik will supply almost any electrical need for any make or model of car or motorcycle.
Think of it as a giant "trash & treasure" market except there's no trash. Everything is very valuable to someone because it's the part they've been looking for. Whatsmore, the dealers really know their stuff. If German is not your language, nealy everyone speaks English and a translation app on your phone will bridge any gaps - much like the auction price coffee table books in Talian and German, you only need a few words to explain what you're looking for because model designations are a universal language
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Think of it as a giant "trash & treasure" market except there's no trash. Everything is very valuable to someone because it's the part they've been looking for. Whatsmore, the dealers really know their stuff. If German is not your language, nealy everyone speaks English and a translation app on your phone will bridge any gaps - much like the auction price coffee table books in Talian and German, you only need a few words to explain what you're looking for because model designations are a universal language
Speedometers, tachometers, fuel gauges ...
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Speedometers, tachometers, fuel gauges ...
Specialists of every hue
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Specialists of every hue
Every era, every style,
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Every era, every style,
Chapal began as a family-run tannery in1832, becoming a globally recognised luxury brand more recently.
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Chapal began as a family-run tannery in1832, becoming a globally recognised luxury brand more recently.
An open car, particularly a fast open car with a low windscreen, requires eye protection. Any style, any colour, and you can tell when you're going really fast because your cheeks start to flap : )
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An open car, particularly a fast open car with a low windscreen, requires eye protection. Any style, any colour, and you can tell when you're going really fast because your cheeks start to flap : )
The WW1 flying helmet certainly found an unexpected marketplace as the automobile became commonplace. Between the wars, they were the only option.
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The WW1 flying helmet certainly found an unexpected marketplace as the automobile became commonplace. Between the wars, they were the only option.
Motoring head wear
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Motoring head wear
Motoring head wear
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Motoring head wear
Motoring head wear
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Motoring head wear
Motoring head wear
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Motoring head wear
Motoring head wear
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Motoring head wear
Motoring head wear
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Motoring head wear
Motoring head wear
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Motoring head wear
Motoring head wear
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Motoring head wear
Sporting jackets by Sigrid Axthelm
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Sporting jackets by Sigrid Axthelm
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of all of the clothing available at Techno-Classica is the array of overalls on offer. It's part of the job description of professional race teams to look good at all times, but in the real world of club and classic racing, that's somewhat harder to achieve when you're elbow deep and racing the clock to get the damned thing going for the next event. Salvation is at hand, because amongst the outlier suppliers were stands with every team mechanic uniform ever seen inside Parc fermé. Look closely at the image below and you'll see the uniforms of dozens of teams, many long since extinct. If you're going period racing in style, you can get what you need here.
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Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of all of the clothing available at Techno-Classica is the array of overalls on offer. It's part of the job description of professional race teams to look good at all times, but in the real world of club and classic racing, that's somewhat harder to achieve when you're elbow deep and racing the clock to get the damned thing going for the next event. Salvation is at hand, because amongst the outlier suppliers were stands with every team mechanic uniform ever seen inside Parc fermé. Look closely at the image below and you'll see the uniforms of dozens of teams, many long since extinct. If you're going period racing in style, you can get what you need here.
Jackets and overalls - couturier and proletarian
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Jackets and overalls - couturier and proletarian
Jackets of every persuasion
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Jackets of every persuasion
Jackets of every persuasion
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Jackets of every persuasion
Jackets of every persuasion
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Jackets of every persuasion
Jacket clothing of every persuasion
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Jacket clothing of every persuasion
Jacket clothing of every persuasion
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Jacket clothing of every persuasion
Jacket clothing of every persuasion
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Jacket clothing of every persuasion
Jacket clothing of every persuasion
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Jacket clothing of every persuasion
Hats, jackets and boots, and everything in between
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Hats, jackets and boots, and everything in between
Hats for the ladies
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Hats for the ladies
Watchbands and other adornments, color matched to perfection
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Watchbands and other adornments, color matched to perfection
Pacto Store. Vintage handmade racing helmets from Costa Rica. There's a store in San Jose too.
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Pacto Store. Vintage handmade racing helmets from Costa Rica. There's a store in San Jose too.
The Grandprix Originals booth
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Greycar.com/ specializes in period clothing and accessories
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Greycar.com/ specializes in period clothing and accessories
Writing a description for the diverse offerings here is challenging. Sadly, I can't work out what his web address is because the show has closed and I've lost his card. Any suggestions?
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Writing a description for the diverse offerings here is challenging. Sadly, I can't work out what his web address is because the show has closed and I've lost his card. Any suggestions?
Automotive clothing of every description and price range
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Automotive clothing of every description and price range
Automotive clothing of every description and price range
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Automotive clothing of every description and price range
Automotive clothing of every description and price range
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Automotive clothing of every description and price range
Chapal again, and a lovely period race suit
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Chapal again, and a lovely period race suit
Beautiful stuff, but again, can't find the web site.
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Beautiful stuff, but again, can't find the web site.
More German leather wear
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More German leather wear
More German leather wear
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More German leather wear
Moetefindt does a wonderful range of towable transport options for beautiful cars that double as showcases for the contents with heavy duty curtains that can be drawn back
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Moetefindt does a wonderful range of towable transport options for beautiful cars that double as showcases for the contents with heavy duty curtains that can be drawn back
Beautiful artifacts, and not just automobilia, of every type were on display
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Beautiful artifacts, and not just automobilia, of every type were on display
A mechanical objet d'art
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A mechanical objet d'art
A stunning array of beautiful things for boys
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A stunning array of beautiful things for boys
A stunning array of beautiful things for boys
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A stunning array of beautiful things for boys
Another stunning array of beautiful things for boys
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Another stunning array of beautiful things for boys
More beautiful auto things
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More beautiful auto things
More beautiful auto things
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More beautiful auto things
Another Arte in motion coffee table, this one without the cylinders and heads
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Another Arte in motion coffee table, this one without the cylinders and heads
Arte in motion furniture
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Arte in motion furniture
Some extraordinary promotional art from a century ago
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Some extraordinary promotional art from a century ago
BMW showed it's origins on the BMW Classic stand
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BMW showed it's origins on the BMW Classic stand
A Porsche-themed coffee table - probably 180 kW in its heyday
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A Porsche-themed coffee table - probably 180 kW in its heyday
Key fobs and wrist adornments to finish that outfit
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Key fobs and wrist adornments to finish that outfit
Steve McQueen is still near the top of the list for celebrity association
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Steve McQueen is still near the top of the list for celebrity association
More gorgeous boys toys and adornments
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More gorgeous boys toys and adornments
This stand was superb with some very desirable objects. Dead centre is a periscope.
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This stand was superb with some very desirable objects. Dead centre is a periscope.
More desirable objects
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More desirable objects
Almost every prop imaginable to set the mood
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Almost every prop imaginable to set the mood
The art of Ferencz Olivier is beautiful in any setting.
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The art of Ferencz Olivier is beautiful in any setting.
The art of Ferencz Olivier is beautiful in any setting.
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The art of Ferencz Olivier is beautiful in any setting.
Automotive-themed art and furniture
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Automotive-themed art and furniture
Prints for all purposes from Dilling Fine Art
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Prints for all purposes from Dilling Fine Art
Prints for all purposes from Dilling Fine Art
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Prints for all purposes from Dilling Fine Art
That's a real, period velocipede in the centre - you could spend hours of ferreting for THAT object on many stands
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That's a real, period velocipede in the centre - you could spend hours of ferreting for THAT object on many stands
Something to delight everyone ... unless you're a polar bear
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Something to delight everyone ... unless you're a polar bear
Something to delight everyone ... unless you're a tiger
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Something to delight everyone ... unless you're a tiger
It just didn't seem to end ... a treasure on every flat surface
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It just didn't seem to end ... a treasure on every flat surface
If this automobilia doesn't make your blood course a little faster, you're probably at the wrong show
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If this automobilia doesn't make your blood course a little faster, you're probably at the wrong show
All tastes catered for
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All tastes catered for
Americana everything from the fifties and beyond
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Americana everything from the fifties and beyond
Authentic Mercedes-Benz racing wheels past their use-by date are now turned into coffee tables at EUR500 a shot
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Authentic Mercedes-Benz racing wheels past their use-by date are now turned into coffee tables at EUR500 a shot
Before the days of transponders and mobile phones, they used stopwatches. Seriously, people relied on these things for accurate lap times and there was a human needed to press the button, beautiful but ...
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Before the days of transponders and mobile phones, they used stopwatches. Seriously, people relied on these things for accurate lap times and there was a human needed to press the button, beautiful but ...
More period timekeeping gear
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More period timekeeping gear
The older the object, even with mundane things, the more comely it became
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The older the object, even with mundane things, the more comely it became
Jukeboxes. Not really automobilia, but somehow appropriate
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Jukeboxes. Not really automobilia, but somehow appropriate
American-flavored couches and adornments
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American-flavored couches and adornments
Period gas pumps
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Period gas pumps
For the man with everything ... a miniature steam engine
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For the man with everything ... a miniature steam engine
Prints of every imaginable automotive facet
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Prints of every imaginable automotive facet
Wall hangings ...
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Wall hangings ...
Models of almost every car ever made
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Models of almost every car ever made
and still more models
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and still more models
More prints, with motorcycling throughly catered for too
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More prints, with motorcycling throughly catered for too
Automotive books, records, posters ....
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Automotive books, records, posters ....
Two of the cars which competed in the 1955 Mille Miglia, then and now. A Mercedes 300 SLR which needs no introduction, and a Porsche 550 Spyder, one of around 100 built with Wendler bodywork. The 550 had just 1500cc of boxer four engine, produced around 110 bhp weighs just 550 kg. Six of these left the start line in 1955 and three of them finished in the placings of their class, with one eighth outright.
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Two of the cars which competed in the 1955 Mille Miglia, then and now. A Mercedes 300 SLR which needs no introduction, and a Porsche 550 Spyder, one of around 100 built with Wendler bodywork. The 550 had just 1500cc of boxer four engine, produced around 110 bhp weighs just 550 kg. Six of these left the start line in 1955 and three of them finished in the placings of their class, with one eighth outright.
Showing signs of mishap along the way, a Porsche 550 during the 1955 event. Used 550 Spyders now sell for around 400 times their price when new. Last month Gooding sold Jerry Seinfeld's unmolested 550 at Amelia Island for $5,335,000.
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Showing signs of mishap along the way, a Porsche 550 during the 1955 event. Used 550 Spyders now sell for around 400 times their price when new. Last month Gooding sold Jerry Seinfeld's unmolested 550 at Amelia Island for $5,335,000.
Fangio's 300 SLR and the trophies await the judges decision.
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Fangio's 300 SLR and the trophies await the judges decision.
Fangio's Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. A close relation of this car held the world record for a car at auction not long ago. This one lives in the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart most of the time.
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Fangio's Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. A close relation of this car held the world record for a car at auction not long ago. This one lives in the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart most of the time.
The only Maserati 300S to start the 1955 Mille Miglia retired after five hours with transmission failure but Sir Sterling Moss drove one to victory in two 1956 events and was quoted as saying " this is one of the most beautiful, most balanced and easiest to control racing cars ever built."
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The only Maserati 300S to start the 1955 Mille Miglia retired after five hours with transmission failure but Sir Sterling Moss drove one to victory in two 1956 events and was quoted as saying " this is one of the most beautiful, most balanced and easiest to control racing cars ever built."
The Porsche 550 Spyder had a 1500cc boxer four-cylinder engine, produced around 110 bhp weighs just 550 kg. Six of these left the start line in 1955 and three of them finished in the placings of their class, with one eighth outright.
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The Porsche 550 Spyder had a 1500cc boxer four-cylinder engine, produced around 110 bhp weighs just 550 kg. Six of these left the start line in 1955 and three of them finished in the placings of their class, with one eighth outright.
One of just 114 Fiat 8V (actually they had V8 engines, but Fiat were under the impression that Ford had copyright on the term) cars produced, of which just 30 were produced with an aluminum Zagato body and were hence some 90 kg lighter than the factory steel-bodied cars.
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One of just 114 Fiat 8V (actually they had V8 engines, but Fiat were under the impression that Ford had copyright on the term) cars produced, of which just 30 were produced with an aluminum Zagato body and were hence some 90 kg lighter than the factory steel-bodied cars.
Five Fiat 8V Zagato Coupes started the 1955 Mille Miglia and four finished, with a best of thirteenth place. Today, they are one of the most coveted collector cars from Fiat.
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Five Fiat 8V Zagato Coupes started the 1955 Mille Miglia and four finished, with a best of thirteenth place. Today, they are one of the most coveted collector cars from Fiat.
The only factory-entered Ferrari 750 Monza to compete in the 1955 Mille Miglia was that of Sergio Sighinolfi who drove alone and finished sixth of the 279 starters. Four privately entered 750 Monzas also started for a best of 27th place.
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The only factory-entered Ferrari 750 Monza to compete in the 1955 Mille Miglia was that of Sergio Sighinolfi who drove alone and finished sixth of the 279 starters. Four privately entered 750 Monzas also started for a best of 27th place.
The 750 Monza Ferrari today is a highly sought after collector car, with the highest price yet achieved being $4,070,000 at RM's Monterey 2013 auction
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The 750 Monza Ferrari today is a highly sought after collector car, with the highest price yet achieved being $4,070,000 at RM's Monterey 2013 auction
Only 31 Ferrari 750 Monzas were built in 1954 and 1955 and they achieved 55 significant race wins in the ensuing years.
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Only 31 Ferrari 750 Monzas were built in 1954 and 1955 and they achieved 55 significant race wins in the ensuing years.
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR (W196S) was derived from the all-conquering W196 Formula One car, bored and stroked to three liters and boosted to 310 bhp (230 kW). It won the 1955 World Sportscar Championship but was part of the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans tragedy where a 300 SLR driven by Pierre Levegh flew into the crowd killing 84 people in the most horrendous accident in motor racing history. Mercedes-Benz cancelled it's racing program in the aftermath of the tragedy and the 300 SLR never raced again.
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The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR (W196S) was derived from the all-conquering W196 Formula One car, bored and stroked to three liters and boosted to 310 bhp (230 kW). It won the 1955 World Sportscar Championship but was part of the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans tragedy where a 300 SLR driven by Pierre Levegh flew into the crowd killing 84 people in the most horrendous accident in motor racing history. Mercedes-Benz cancelled it's racing program in the aftermath of the tragedy and the 300 SLR never raced again.
The Maserati 300S is quite sought after and very rare these days. In a Bonhams auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2013, a 300S sold for £4,033,500
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The Maserati 300S is quite sought after and very rare these days. In a Bonhams auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2013, a 300S sold for £4,033,500
The Official Formula 1 Opus is a book of 852 pages, half a meter square, weighing 37 kilograms. It is the biggest book on Formula One racing ever produced, lovingly hand-bound in the finest leather and silk, and will make any coffee table look good. There are a two editions, with the "Champions Edition" limited to 100 copies and personally signed by every living F1 champion. You could buy both editions at Techno-Classica, with the "Champions Edition" normally retailing for €25,000 at a special show rate of €18,750 and the "Classic Edition" which normally goes for €3,750, available for €2,950.
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The Official Formula 1 Opus is a book of 852 pages, half a meter square, weighing 37 kilograms. It is the biggest book on Formula One racing ever produced, lovingly hand-bound in the finest leather and silk, and will make any coffee table look good. There are a two editions, with the "Champions Edition" limited to 100 copies and personally signed by every living F1 champion. You could buy both editions at Techno-Classica, with the "Champions Edition" normally retailing for €25,000 at a special show rate of €18,750 and the "Classic Edition" which normally goes for €3,750, available for €2,950.
This 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was one of more than 2500 classic cars on sale at Techno-Classica, having made the journey across the channel from Vintage & Prestige Fine Motorcars in Essex (U.K.). Available for the princely sum of GBP£1,600,000 (EUR 1.996 million), the 107 year-old car came with a complete history and attracted constant interest throughout the five days of the show. We presume it now has a new owner.
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This 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was one of more than 2500 classic cars on sale at Techno-Classica, having made the journey across the channel from Vintage & Prestige Fine Motorcars in Essex (U.K.). Available for the princely sum of GBP£1,600,000 (EUR 1.996 million), the 107 year-old car came with a complete history and attracted constant interest throughout the five days of the show. We presume it now has a new owner.
A 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost on sale for GBP1.6 million
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A 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost on sale for GBP1.6 million
The heart of a 1930 Bentley 6 and 1/2 litre Speed Six, plus one of it's many admirers. The asking price was EUR 2.0 million.
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The heart of a 1930 Bentley 6 and 1/2 litre Speed Six, plus one of it's many admirers. The asking price was EUR 2.0 million.
There was no price tag, but this rather unique 1934 Armstrong Siddeley 5000 Streamline managed to stop many a passer by, and it was for sale. Armstrong Siddeley also made aircraft engines and did so well enough to be purchased by Rolls-Royce which was more interested in its aircraft engine business than it's luxury cars. Sadly, this eventually led to the demise of the marque.
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There was no price tag, but this rather unique 1934 Armstrong Siddeley 5000 Streamline managed to stop many a passer by, and it was for sale. Armstrong Siddeley also made aircraft engines and did so well enough to be purchased by Rolls-Royce which was more interested in its aircraft engine business than it's luxury cars. Sadly, this eventually led to the demise of the marque.
An incredibly rare short wheelbase 8 litre Hispano-Suiza Boulogne from 1925 is the only remaining example with a factory racing body. For sale, but they weren't about to say for how much to a member of the media. A unique opportunity if it's still available from Madrid-based dealer Francisco Pueche. That's the car as it was discovered in 1976 - quite some barnfind!
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An incredibly rare short wheelbase 8 litre Hispano-Suiza Boulogne from 1925 is the only remaining example with a factory racing body. For sale, but they weren't about to say for how much to a member of the media. A unique opportunity if it's still available from Madrid-based dealer Francisco Pueche. That's the car as it was discovered in 1976 - quite some barnfind!
The HAGI index measures the value of rare cars as an alternative asset class and uses the type of rigorous financial methodology usually associated with more traditional investments. The breadth of HAGI's research enables it to publish market indices on rare Porsche, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz cars and it now tracks the entire rare car market globally. This comparison between the the HAGI Top Index (the most accurate measure of the rare collector's automobile market) and the S&P 500 (Standard & Poor's 500 stock market index of the top 500 American companies based on their share valuation on the NYSE and NASDAQ) since 1980 perfectly illustrates the initial bubble, the Tulip Mania moment and the subsequent sustained growth in values.
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The HAGI index measures the value of rare cars as an alternative asset class and uses the type of rigorous financial methodology usually associated with more traditional investments. The breadth of HAGI's research enables it to publish market indices on rare Porsche, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz cars and it now tracks the entire rare car market globally. This comparison between the the HAGI Top Index (the most accurate measure of the rare collector's automobile market) and the S&P 500 (Standard & Poor's 500 stock market index of the top 500 American companies based on their share valuation on the NYSE and NASDAQ) since 1980 perfectly illustrates the initial bubble, the Tulip Mania moment and the subsequent sustained growth in values.
A comparison of the HAGI Top Index (the most accurate measure of the rare collector's automobile market) and the DAX (German stock market index of 30 "blue chip" German companies trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange) from December, 2008 to February, 2015.
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A comparison of the HAGI Top Index (the most accurate measure of the rare collector's automobile market) and the DAX (German stock market index of 30 "blue chip" German companies trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange) from December, 2008 to February, 2015.
A comparison of the HAGI Top Index (the most accurate measure of the rare collector's automobile market) and the DAX (German stock market index of 30 major German companies trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange) from February, 2011 to the present.
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A comparison of the HAGI Top Index (the most accurate measure of the rare collector's automobile market) and the DAX (German stock market index of 30 major German companies trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange) from February, 2011 to the present.
Techno-Classica is spread over such a large area that the crowd never seems that big. All these cars are for sale.
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Techno-Classica is spread over such a large area that the crowd never seems that big. All these cars are for sale.
Part museum, part used car lot: The breadth and depth of expertise across countless automotive fields on display in Essen augurs well for an industry that has sprung from nowhere in the last three decades and while its ultimate destiny is still unfolding, when viewed through the prism of this event, the future for the classic car industry appears bright.
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Part museum, part used car lot: The breadth and depth of expertise across countless automotive fields on display in Essen augurs well for an industry that has sprung from nowhere in the last three decades and while its ultimate destiny is still unfolding, when viewed through the prism of this event, the future for the classic car industry appears bright.
Just one section of the vast Volkswagen Hall with it's dream team of constituent marques.
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Just one section of the vast Volkswagen Hall with it's dream team of constituent marques.
The throughfares between the halls were great fun. Beer stalls, good German nosh, good nature all round ... much merriment.
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The throughfares between the halls were great fun. Beer stalls, good German nosh, good nature all round ... much merriment.
This Arte in Motion's coffee table was based on a seven-cylinder Jacobs aircraft motor. You can also buy coffee tables based on Continental, Lycoming or Pratt & Whitney motors - all coming in around EUR18,000 apiece.
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This Arte in Motion's coffee table was based on a seven-cylinder Jacobs aircraft motor. You can also buy coffee tables based on Continental, Lycoming or Pratt & Whitney motors - all coming in around EUR18,000 apiece.
A bare Porsche 911 body shell took pride of place in the Porsche Classic section
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A bare Porsche 911 body shell took pride of place in the Porsche Classic section
A Bugatti T35 in the Volkswagen Hall
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A Bugatti T35 in the Volkswagen Hall
Pursang's Bugatti T35 replica
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Pursang's Bugatti T35 replica
Pursang is a small company located in Paraná Entre Rios, about 450 km from Buenos Aires in Argentina. Essentially, if you want a car produced that was made pre-WW2, they can do it. F'rinstance, a brand new, atom-perfect Type 35 Bugatti or Alfa 8C Monza, they are the go-to guys.
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Pursang is a small company located in Paraná Entre Rios, about 450 km from Buenos Aires in Argentina. Essentially, if you want a car produced that was made pre-WW2, they can do it. F'rinstance, a brand new, atom-perfect Type 35 Bugatti or Alfa 8C Monza, they are the go-to guys.
Pursang's Bugatti T35 replica
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Pursang's Bugatti T35 replica
Inside the cockpit of the Pursang Bugatti T35
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Inside the cockpit of the Pursang Bugatti T35
London's Chater's was just one of several major automotive booksellers at the show
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London's Chater's was just one of several major automotive booksellers at the show
Anything you might need can be procured here. This is a Mittelmotor 200 kW 2.8 liter Porsche 911 Rally motor with a price tag of EUR 28,995
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Anything you might need can be procured here. This is a Mittelmotor 200 kW 2.8 liter Porsche 911 Rally motor with a price tag of EUR 28,995
Auktionsspiegel is a new publication based on European data from Germany's industry-dedicated Classic Data, a company which produces a goldmine of information about the industry in general and will mine that data for any vehicle you might wish to purchase, producing a personalized report.
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Auktionsspiegel is a new publication based on European data from Germany's industry-dedicated Classic Data, a company which produces a goldmine of information about the industry in general and will mine that data for any vehicle you might wish to purchase, producing a personalized report.
A bare metal Lamborghini P400 Miura SV and its glorious motor
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A bare metal Lamborghini P400 Miura SV and its glorious motor
A bare metal Lamborghini P400 Miura SV and a fully-restored one - faultless work too
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A bare metal Lamborghini P400 Miura SV and a fully-restored one - faultless work too
A bare metal Lamborghini P400 Miura SV in The Volkswagen Hall
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A bare metal Lamborghini P400 Miura SV in The Volkswagen Hall
A bare metal Lamborghini P400 Miura SV in The Volkswagen Hall
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A bare metal Lamborghini P400 Miura SV in The Volkswagen Hall
Audi showed something that hasn't been seen anywhere before (to my knowledge) in the form of an 1100 cc prototype motorcycle dubbed the Z02 from 1976.
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Audi showed something that hasn't been seen anywhere before (to my knowledge) in the form of an 1100 cc prototype motorcycle dubbed the Z02 from 1976.
The placard describing the Audi Z02 motorcycle prototype
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The placard describing the Audi Z02 motorcycle prototype
Roland Gumpert is best known these days for his own supercar brand, but he was then fresh out of engineering school and headed the project to create a superbike for Audi using a highly-modified liquid-cooled engine from the Audi 50 as the heart. It comes up quite nicely as a bike motor considering it was originally designed for an engine bay
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Roland Gumpert is best known these days for his own supercar brand, but he was then fresh out of engineering school and headed the project to create a superbike for Audi using a highly-modified liquid-cooled engine from the Audi 50 as the heart. It comes up quite nicely as a bike motor considering it was originally designed for an engine bay
Audi's Z02 prototype
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Audi's Z02 prototype
A DKW 250 two-stroke single cylinder racer from 1930
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A DKW 250 two-stroke single cylinder racer from 1930
The Classic Car Check franchise stand at Techno-Classica shows the portable Active IR system that has been developed and the type of computer imagery that will be available.
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The Classic Car Check franchise stand at Techno-Classica shows the portable Active IR system that has been developed and the type of computer imagery that will be available.
The Classic Car Check franchise stand at Techno-Classica shows the portable Active IR system that has been developed and the type of computer imagery that will be available.
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The Classic Car Check franchise stand at Techno-Classica shows the portable Active IR system that has been developed and the type of computer imagery that will be available.
Classic Car Check has already begun offering it's new service in Germany and Switzerland - the roll-out is intended for every country in the world
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Classic Car Check has already begun offering it's new service in Germany and Switzerland - the roll-out is intended for every country in the world
Under the skin, this Porsche can be seen to have had a significant accident on the left side that has been repaired with a new door and a lot of filler used in the rear left quarter panel and door surround. The coming availability of active IR systems will mean this type of repair work will no longer be undisclosed to a buyer.
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Under the skin, this Porsche can be seen to have had a significant accident on the left side that has been repaired with a new door and a lot of filler used in the rear left quarter panel and door surround. The coming availability of active IR systems will mean this type of repair work will no longer be undisclosed to a buyer.
What you see with a car is not necessarily what you get. Using the active thermography system, this Porsche can be seen to have had an accident on the left side and quite a bit of filler has been used in the repair work.
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What you see with a car is not necessarily what you get. Using the active thermography system, this Porsche can be seen to have had an accident on the left side and quite a bit of filler has been used in the repair work.
Classic Car Check has already begun offering it's new service in Germany and Switzerland - the roll-out is intended for every country in the world and involves the portable unit sitting next to the car and custom software to read and display the imagery
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Classic Car Check has already begun offering it's new service in Germany and Switzerland - the roll-out is intended for every country in the world and involves the portable unit sitting next to the car and custom software to read and display the imagery
Classic Car Check has already begun offering it's new service in Germany and Switzerland - the roll-out is intended for every country in the world and involves the portable unit sitting next to the car and custom software to read and display the imagery
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Classic Car Check has already begun offering it's new service in Germany and Switzerland - the roll-out is intended for every country in the world and involves the portable unit sitting next to the car and custom software to read and display the imagery
Under the skin, this Porsche can be seen to have had a significant accident on the left side that has been repaired with a new door and a lot of filler used in the rear left quarter panel and door surround. The coming availability of active IR systems will mean this type of repair work will no longer be undisclosed to a buyer.
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Under the skin, this Porsche can be seen to have had a significant accident on the left side that has been repaired with a new door and a lot of filler used in the rear left quarter panel and door surround. The coming availability of active IR systems will mean this type of repair work will no longer be undisclosed to a buyer.
Significant repairs are evident in the door and the rear of the front left quarter panel of this Porsche
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Significant repairs are evident in the door and the rear of the front left quarter panel of this Porsche
A Porsche 356 with original ex-factory tinning - ooooh dear
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A Porsche 356 with original ex-factory tinning - ooooh dear
A Porsche 356 with original ex-factory tinning - not what you'd expect
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A Porsche 356 with original ex-factory tinning - not what you'd expect
Volker Carl developed the car check system, and as active thermography works with any material, it can also be used to examine the structural integrity of carbon fibre racing bike frames. Now it has been developed into a new company offering frame checks for people with carbon frame bikes.
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Volker Carl developed the car check system, and as active thermography works with any material, it can also be used to examine the structural integrity of carbon fibre racing bike frames. Now it has been developed into a new company offering frame checks for people with carbon frame bikes.
Ducati was one of the prominent brands in the Volkswagen hall, though as the marriage is a new one, none of the brand's spectacular race winning bikes were on display. Like many of the other Volkswagen marques, all of Ducati's older models are proving to be equally spectacular on the auction block.
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Ducati was one of the prominent brands in the Volkswagen hall, though as the marriage is a new one, none of the brand's spectacular race winning bikes were on display. Like many of the other Volkswagen marques, all of Ducati's older models are proving to be equally spectacular on the auction block.
One of the many elite dealers exhibiting at Techno-Classica was Racing Green Engineering from Llanelli in South Wales (UK) which had an array of exquisite Bentleys on show. Bentley had a few old and a few new on it's stand, which are in the image gallery. Racing Green had a bevy of Bentley beauties, not all of them green.
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One of the many elite dealers exhibiting at Techno-Classica was Racing Green Engineering from Llanelli in South Wales (UK) which had an array of exquisite Bentleys on show. Bentley had a few old and a few new on it's stand, which are in the image gallery. Racing Green had a bevy of Bentley beauties, not all of them green.
Dieter Hatlapa, founder of Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI)
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A Horch 853 Sport Cabriolet from 1936. August Horch founded the company that would become Audi. If history had run a slightly different course, Audi would be named Horch but regardless, he remains one of the towering figures in automotive history and you only need to look at some of the cars built in his name to understand why.
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A Horch 853 Sport Cabriolet from 1936. August Horch founded the company that would become Audi. If history had run a slightly different course, Audi would be named Horch but regardless, he remains one of the towering figures in automotive history and you only need to look at some of the cars built in his name to understand why.
The winning car and team at top left with the car's designer Rudy Uhlenhaut, Denis Jenkinson and Stirling Moss in the centre of it all.
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The winning car and team at top left with the car's designer Rudy Uhlenhaut, Denis Jenkinson and Stirling Moss in the centre of it all.
The dangers of racing on public roads are all too evident, with the crowd lining the course
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The dangers of racing on public roads are all too evident, with the crowd lining the course
Celebrating the victory of Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson in the 1955 Mille Miglia are Ludwig Kraus, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, Denis Jenkinson, Stirling Moss and Dr. Hans Scherenberg.
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Celebrating the victory of Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson in the 1955 Mille Miglia are Ludwig Kraus, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, Denis Jenkinson, Stirling Moss and Dr. Hans Scherenberg.
A pensive Moss and a meticulous Jenkinson still checking his notes as they await the start of the 1955 event
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A pensive Moss and a meticulous Jenkinson still checking his notes as they await the start of the 1955 event
Jenkinson and Moss during the 1955 Mille Miglia
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Jenkinson and Moss during the 1955 Mille Miglia
The tradition of Mercedes-Benz sports cars extends more than a century and goes right back into the histories of the two companies that came together (DMG and Benz & Cie). The most prominent collectibles from the company on the auction block are the cars at top, being the two variants of the 300 SL and the pre-WW2 500K/540K series
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The tradition of Mercedes-Benz sports cars extends more than a century and goes right back into the histories of the two companies that came together (DMG and Benz & Cie). The most prominent collectibles from the company on the auction block are the cars at top, being the two variants of the 300 SL and the pre-WW2 500K/540K series
A Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing on the stand of model specialist HK Engineering
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A Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing on the stand of model specialist HK Engineering
A Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing on the stand of model specialist HK Engineering
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A Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing on the stand of model specialist HK Engineering
The most prominent collectibles from the company on the auction block are these cars, being the two variants of the 300 SL and the pre-WW2 500K/540K series. The car in the middle is a 1952 300SL driven in the legendary Carrera Panamericana.
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The most prominent collectibles from the company on the auction block are these cars, being the two variants of the 300 SL and the pre-WW2 500K/540K series. The car in the middle is a 1952 300SL driven in the legendary Carrera Panamericana.
A Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing and Roadster on the stand of model specialist HK Engineering
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A Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing and Roadster on the stand of model specialist HK Engineering
Fangio's Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR
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Fangio's Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR
Automotive art was everywhere at Techno-Classica, including on-the-spot creations which could be done from a photograph.
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Automotive art was everywhere at Techno-Classica, including on-the-spot creations which could be done from a photograph.
Danish-made Garia golf karts are electric, and come in more than a dozen styles with many remarkable options. The one at right has the high performance lithium battery and controller which gives it a top speed of 36 mph or a range of 45 miles. Bubba Watson has one and reckons he drives it more than his road car.
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Danish-made Garia golf karts are electric, and come in more than a dozen styles with many remarkable options. The one at right has the high performance lithium battery and controller which gives it a top speed of 36 mph or a range of 45 miles. Bubba Watson has one and reckons he drives it more than his road car.
Famous motors of yesteryear are now being reproduced by craftsmen to aid in recreating road and raceworthy exotica. This is a new Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 motor from Jim Stokes Workshops which has been restoring, re-creating and redesigning historic cars for more than four decades. JSW also manufactures new cylinder heads, blocks and ancillary components for 1750 Alfa Romeos, Lancia-Ferrari D50s, Lancia D24s, Lancia Aurelias and the 156 'Sharknose'.
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Famous motors of yesteryear are now being reproduced by craftsmen to aid in recreating road and raceworthy exotica. This is a new Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 motor from Jim Stokes Workshops which has been restoring, re-creating and redesigning historic cars for more than four decades. JSW also manufactures new cylinder heads, blocks and ancillary components for 1750 Alfa Romeos, Lancia-Ferrari D50s, Lancia D24s, Lancia Aurelias and the 156 'Sharknose'.
Another car for sale on the showroom floor with some spectacular history was this unique 1969 Lamborghini Espada "Glass Rood" prototype which was presented to the world on 18, May, 1969 at the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix where it did a lap with Prince Rainier, Princess Grace (aka movie star Grace Kelly) and their son Albert in the car. and received worldwide television coverage for seven minutes.It spent four decades in American collections before returning to Monaco for the elite Top Marques show in 2014.
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Another car for sale on the showroom floor with some spectacular history was this unique 1969 Lamborghini Espada "Glass Rood" prototype which was presented to the world on 18, May, 1969 at the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix where it did a lap with Prince Rainier, Princess Grace (aka movie star Grace Kelly) and their son Albert in the car. and received worldwide television coverage for seven minutes.It spent four decades in American collections before returning to Monaco for the elite Top Marques show in 2014.
Food at Techno-Classica is not your standard show food - numerous upmarket restaurants are set up across the show space, many of them right next to the displays, all serving food and wine of a quality not normally associated with a 200,000 crowd.
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Food at Techno-Classica is not your standard show food - numerous upmarket restaurants are set up across the show space, many of them right next to the displays, all serving food and wine of a quality not normally associated with a 200,000 crowd.
Cars with celebrity provenance were everywhere, many of them for sale. This 1969 Mercedes-Benz W111 was once owned by singer-dancer-actor Madonna and the placard even shows her in the car.
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Cars with celebrity provenance were everywhere, many of them for sale. This 1969 Mercedes-Benz W111 was once owned by singer-dancer-actor Madonna and the placard even shows her in the car.
Another celebrity car. This 1966 Mercedes-Benz W111 was once owned by actor Clint Eastwood, and again, there's a pic of him peering into the engine bay of this car on the placard.
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Another celebrity car. This 1966 Mercedes-Benz W111 was once owned by actor Clint Eastwood, and again, there's a pic of him peering into the engine bay of this car on the placard.
Another famous car, being one of just two Maserati 3500GT prototyps built. Apart from being exquisitely beautiful, it appeared in the movie 'Love is a ball" with Glen Ford and Hope Lange. Also for sale.
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Another famous car, being one of just two Maserati 3500GT prototyps built. Apart from being exquisitely beautiful, it appeared in the movie 'Love is a ball" with Glen Ford and Hope Lange. Also for sale.
And another celebrity car on display and for sale at techno-Classica was this VW Super Beetle Cabriolet once owned by movie star and race driver Paul Newman
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And another celebrity car on display and for sale at techno-Classica was this VW Super Beetle Cabriolet once owned by movie star and race driver Paul Newman
Pins can be a subtle way of showing one's affiliation. The opportunity was there at techno-Classica to show any affiliation under the sun.
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Pins can be a subtle way of showing one's affiliation. The opportunity was there at techno-Classica to show any affiliation under the sun.
A 1955 Maserati A6GCS for sale on the Jim Stokes Workshops stand. Original coachwork by Fiandri/Fantuzzi, extensive period racing history (including a placing in the Targa Florio) and lots of classic racing events in recent times including Goodwood Revival, Monaco Classic and Le Mans Classic.
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A 1955 Maserati A6GCS for sale on the Jim Stokes Workshops stand. Original coachwork by Fiandri/Fantuzzi, extensive period racing history (including a placing in the Targa Florio) and lots of classic racing events in recent times including Goodwood Revival, Monaco Classic and Le Mans Classic.
From the year 1937 and available on the Jim Stokes Workshops stand, the first Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B built. A complete restoration was begun forty years ago and the car was registered again in 2014.
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From the year 1937 and available on the Jim Stokes Workshops stand, the first Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B built. A complete restoration was begun forty years ago and the car was registered again in 2014.
From the Auto Folies stand, this 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500S cabriolet with coachwork by Boneschi is one of just five built and two known to still exist
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From the Auto Folies stand, this 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500S cabriolet with coachwork by Boneschi is one of just five built and two known to still exist
From the Pueche Techno-Classica stand of available cars, this 1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Croydon Convertible by Brewster is one of only 123 LHD Phantom IIs ever built, and one of just 11 convertible Croydon bodies built by Brewster. Delivered new to F. A. Siebert in New York in 1931, with a complete history.
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From the Pueche Techno-Classica stand of available cars, this 1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Croydon Convertible by Brewster is one of only 123 LHD Phantom IIs ever built, and one of just 11 convertible Croydon bodies built by Brewster. Delivered new to F. A. Siebert in New York in 1931, with a complete history.
From the inventory of Arthur Bechtel Classic Motors came this 1938 Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet B
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Displayed on the stand of the historic Allgemeiner Schnauferl Club (ASC) was this 1909 De Dion-Bouton Open Tourer. Though the car is historically significant, the club is even more so, having been founded in Nuremberg in 1900. The ASC is co-founder and member of the vintage World Association Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA).
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Displayed on the stand of the historic Allgemeiner Schnauferl Club (ASC) was this 1909 De Dion-Bouton Open Tourer. Though the car is historically significant, the club is even more so, having been founded in Nuremberg in 1900. The ASC is co-founder and member of the vintage World Association Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA).
On the Frank Dale & Stepsons stand was this 1937 Bentley 4 1/4 litre with coachwork by Vesters & Neirinck
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On the Frank Dale & Stepsons stand was this 1937 Bentley 4 1/4 litre with coachwork by Vesters & Neirinck
On the Lukas Hüni stand, rather than display cars for sale, the focus was to show some of world’s most important automobiles from collections not normally accessible to the public, and one example was this 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680 S, one of a handful of S-type Mercedes with the Ferdinand Porsche chassis and with Art Déco coachwork by Saoutchik Paris. This particular car was originally owned by Robert Lee Slaughter Junior in New York and later was part of the famous Dieter Holterbosch Collection in Connecticut. It is painted in the original black and features the typical lizard skin interior for which the 680 S Saoutchik is famous. Of 18 cars originally built (12 S type and 6 SS type), only nine survive and are typically held within important collections.
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On the Lukas Hüni stand, rather than display cars for sale, the focus was to show some of world’s most important automobiles from collections not normally accessible to the public, and one example was this 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680 S, one of a handful of S-type Mercedes with the Ferdinand Porsche chassis and with Art Déco coachwork by Saoutchik Paris. This particular car was originally owned by Robert Lee Slaughter Junior in New York and later was part of the famous Dieter Holterbosch Collection in Connecticut. It is painted in the original black and features the typical lizard skin interior for which the 680 S Saoutchik is famous. Of 18 cars originally built (12 S type and 6 SS type), only nine survive and are typically held within important collections.
Also on the Lukas Hüni stand was this 1936 Bentley 4 1/4 litre Vanden Plas Open Tourer built for Sir Malcom Campbell, nine times World Land Speed Record holder (and a few Water Speed records too).finished in his signature Bluebird Blue. Not for sale, but given the provenance and a full service history at P & A Wood since new, if it ever reaches auction ...
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Also on the Lukas Hüni stand was this 1936 Bentley 4 1/4 litre Vanden Plas Open Tourer built for Sir Malcom Campbell, nine times World Land Speed Record holder (and a few Water Speed records too).finished in his signature Bluebird Blue. Not for sale, but given the provenance and a full service history at P & A Wood since new, if it ever reaches auction ...
One of the stands of particular interest at techno-Classica was the stand promoting the new book "Unser LeMans". Written by actor Siegfried Rauch, who was Steve McQueen's main rival in the epic "Le Mans" feature film. Despite being cast against each other in the film, the two became close friends and this book covers Le mans, McQueen and much more. An appropriate prop for the promotion was on display - the car in which McQueen enthrals the audience in the first few minutes of the film while taking a not-so-leisurely drive in the French countryside.
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One of the stands of particular interest at techno-Classica was the stand promoting the new book "Unser LeMans". Written by actor Siegfried Rauch, who was Steve McQueen's main rival in the epic "Le Mans" feature film. Despite being cast against each other in the film, the two became close friends and this book covers Le mans, McQueen and much more. An appropriate prop for the promotion was on display - the car in which McQueen enthrals the audience in the first few minutes of the film while taking a not-so-leisurely drive in the French countryside.
Volkswagen continues to defy gravity with the prices of it's original Beetle and Kombi, so much so that we have a feature coming up on the mass-produced beauties and why they are defying the laws of supply and demand.
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Volkswagen continues to defy gravity with the prices of it's original Beetle and Kombi, so much so that we have a feature coming up on the mass-produced beauties and why they are defying the laws of supply and demand.
The elite dealer network mentioned throughout this article is part of the brotherhood of automotive eccentrics as opposed to the "network" one might associate with a branded corporate entity. There are no guidelines for branding and corporate style. Everyone here is different. The common element is the shared passion for automotive experience.
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The elite dealer network mentioned throughout this article is part of the brotherhood of automotive eccentrics as opposed to the "network" one might associate with a branded corporate entity. There are no guidelines for branding and corporate style. Everyone here is different. The common element is the shared passion for automotive experience.
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The raw numbers touted in the Techno-Classica press releases told the story all along, but like one's first visit to the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, you really don't understand the sheer magnitude of an industry until you go to its global "Mecca" and walk the show floor.

Techno-Classica Essen (Germany) is the largest event in the world dedicated to classic automobiles and like my first visit to CES in the 1980s, the show's gargantuan size was beyond my imagination had provided for and it turned out to be a totally different experience than I'd expected.

The breadth and depth of expertise across countless automotive fields on display in Essen augurs well for an industry that has sprung from nowhere in the last three decades and while its ultimate destiny is still unfolding, when viewed through the prism of this event, the future for the classic car industry appears bright. I guess that's why people use the word "experience" to describe very special events. This event is an experience in automotive passion, the sort of experience which makes you realize there's a global community that has formed around the altar of the automobile.

Just one section of the vast Volkswagen Hall with it's dream team of constituent marques.
Just one section of the vast Volkswagen Hall with it's dream team of constituent marques.

As I walked the 22 halls and passed 1250 exhibitors, I became aware of just how big that community has become.

The heart of a 1930 Bentley 6 and 1/2 litre Speed Six, plus one of it's many admirers. The asking price was EUR 2.0 million.
The heart of a 1930 Bentley 6 and 1/2 litre Speed Six, plus one of it's many admirers. The asking price was EUR 2.0 million.

Common wisdom has it that around two thirds of the global collector car market is conducted through private sales, prestige dealers and brokers, with the most visible and valuable third sold at auction. While walking the halls of Techno-Classica I made a mental note to try to put some solid numbers around that estimate because there's clearly a lot more activity outside the auction arena than in it. The press office for the event estimates around 2700 classic cars were for sale within the show this year, with previous years reporting a sell rate of slightly better than 40 percent. That means around 1100 classic cars were probably sold from the stands this year, maybe more considering the final attendance came in at a new record.

Hence this single event rivals in size the market activity of any of the major auction clusters at Retromobile (Paris), Pebble Beach, Amelia Island or Scottsdale.

I'd estimate that the percentage of classic cars sold at auction to less than 10 percent. Choose any country, look at the number of cars registered from each decade of manufacture, the number that change hands each year, and the number of auction sales reported and you'll never see more than a single digit percentage for auctions. Ah, you say, but at the top end of the market, auctions rule. Yes, they do constitute the majority of elite cars sold to a degree, but if there are 39 Ferrari 250 GTOs in existence, why have we only ever seen one at auction?

Techno-Classica is spread over such a large area that the crowd never seems that big. All these cars are for sale.
Techno-Classica is spread over such a large area that the crowd never seems that big. All these cars are for sale.

Retromobile in Paris is the world's second largest classic car event and it too is smashing attendance and display records year on year. In February this year it attracted 120,000 visitors, 500 exhibitors, 120 car clubs and filled 46,000 square feet of exhibition space with 500 classic cars on display - all of those figures were records for the event.

By comparison, Techno-Classica's attendance in 2016 was 201,034, there were 1250 exhibitors, 220 car clubs, and it covered 127,000 square meters of exhibits, with 2700 vintage cars for sale, along with a lot more on display. That's a big margin between first and second place, emphasizing just how big this show is.

It also emphasizes just how robust the dealer market is and why prices which have seen relentless growth for two decades are unlikely to deflate any time soon.

Now in it's 28th year, Techno-Classica Essen has spanned both peaks of the Classic car industry. The event was inaugurated in 1989 when the first classic car boom was at its peak.

The HAGI index measures the value of rare cars as an alternative asset class and uses the type of rigorous financial methodology usually associated with more traditional investments. The breadth of HAGI's research enables it to publish market indices on rare Porsche, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz cars and it now tracks the entire rare car market globally. This comparison between the the HAGI Top Index (the most accurate measure of the rare collector's automobile market) and the S&P 500 (Standard & Poor's 500 stock market index of the top 500 American companies based on their share valuation on the NYSE and NASDAQ) since 1980 perfectly illustrates the initial bubble, the Tulip Mania moment and the subsequent sustained growth in values.
The HAGI index measures the value of rare cars as an alternative asset class and uses the type of rigorous financial methodology usually associated with more traditional investments. The breadth of HAGI's research enables it to publish market indices on rare Porsche, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz cars and it now tracks the entire rare car market globally. This comparison between the the HAGI Top Index (the most accurate measure of the rare collector's automobile market) and the S&P 500 (Standard & Poor's 500 stock market index of the top 500 American companies based on their share valuation on the NYSE and NASDAQ) since 1980 perfectly illustrates the initial bubble, the Tulip Mania moment and the subsequent sustained growth in values.

In the mid-1980s, cheap money became available and the resultant influx of "get-rich(er)-quick" speculators created a perfect storm in the oldtimer (a frequently used colloquial German word that needs no explanation) market and gave the industry its tulip mania moment in the early 1990s when prices halved. The classic car automotive industry has been fearful of another massive marketplace correction ever since.

German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said it best with "that which does not kill us, makes us stronger" and the subsequent decades of infrastructure development and the rise of the internet (and access to information for all) is very relevant in this instance. Techno-Classica Essen was first held in 1989, so when the supply of play money dried up and the classic car price bubble burst, the show was just getting started. It's survival and subsequent prosperity has not been fueled by the gold rush mentality of the 1980s as it is underpinned by an industry that has matured considerably since then, with the prices paid, extant numbers, and passionate subscribers to the automotive ethic providing a rock solid foundation for what has become a legitimate global industry, far more legitimate than the smoke-and-mirrors art market in my humble opinion. There is no greater proof of the solid foundations which now sustain the classic car marketplace than this event and the myriad facets of the classic car industry which it showcases.

A comparison of the HAGI Top Index (the most accurate measure of the rare collector's automobile market) and the DAX (German stock market index of 30 major German companies trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange) from February, 2011 to the present.
A comparison of the HAGI Top Index (the most accurate measure of the rare collector's automobile market) and the DAX (German stock market index of 30 major German companies trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange) from February, 2011 to the present.

Research shows the enthusiast market is far more stable and resilient than fickle financial markets. As the above three charts so clearly illustrate, the market soldiered straight through the Global Financial Crisis (as the above graph which compares Historic Automobile Group's Top Index and Frankfurt's Deutsche Borse DAX indicates) and on to its current state of consistent growth.

Dieter Hatlapa founded the London-based Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI), an independent investment research house which began when a group of car enthusiasts from London's financial markets decided the rare car market needed some statistical rigor, and it set out to create benchmarks which accurately tracked collectable automobile prices. HAGI publishes a monthly index for investing in rare classic motorcars, which is the gold standard for wealth tracking calculations and the data supplied in the accompanying charts is supplied by HAGI. Indeed, investing in rare cars offers a better return than just about any other form of investment, despite the high upkeep costs.

"We've discovered that classic cars move independently of any other investment area, and that's a very attractive attribute for collectors and investors alike in this day and age," Dieter told me

A comparison of the HAGI Top Index (the most accurate measure of the rare collector's automobile market) and the DAX (German stock market index of 30 "blue chip" German companies trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange) from December, 2008 to February, 2015.
A comparison of the HAGI Top Index (the most accurate measure of the rare collector's automobile market) and the DAX (German stock market index of 30 "blue chip" German companies trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange) from December, 2008 to February, 2015.

"Some people says the stockmarket is weak and that's one of the reasons cited for the current softness in the classic car market, but in all our data work back to 1980 we have looked for correlations with external events, and we haven't really come across any meaningful correlation that shows in times of economic downturn that this market does also. We found everything, we found phases of correlation, phases of no correlation and even phases of negative correlation.

"I am very reluctant to say that just because the stock market is down, people are not buying cars. All markets are the same in that people see a phenomena and in hindsight, people find all sorts of reasons for it, and it's just a really boring game. When I worked in the financial sector, we had all sorts of important people telling us why things had happened in the past but very few told us in advance and got it right. In most cases these reasons are just one possible explanation but not necessarily the right reason. At the moment, economic factors or big picture factors are not really an issue."

The tradition of Mercedes-Benz sports cars extends more than a century and goes right back into the histories of the two companies that came together (DMG and Benz & Cie). The most prominent collectibles from the company on the auction block are the cars at top, being the two variants of the 300 SL and the pre-WW2 500K/540K series
The tradition of Mercedes-Benz sports cars extends more than a century and goes right back into the histories of the two companies that came together (DMG and Benz & Cie). The most prominent collectibles from the company on the auction block are the cars at top, being the two variants of the 300 SL and the pre-WW2 500K/540K series

There's another big factor which doesn't seem to get much discussion and that was very evident at Retromobile. Across the acres of show space I saw more than 20 Mercedes 300 SL Gullwings and Roadsters for sale - at least a dozen on one stand, albeit the display of 300 SL specialist HK Engineering (bottom three images above). Cars such as this are regulars at auction, but not in these numbers. People don't realize that the elite dealers hold a huge stock of important cars and while it may be the auction market which drives up the high end prices, the dealer network doesn't have the same frictional losses and will act as a damper on any downward swings in the auction market.

By frictional losses, I refer to the approximate 25 percent costs involved with an auction sale - add sellers fees and buyers fees and the seller routinely loses 25-30 percent of the reported sell price. Then there's the additional costs of insurance and the cost of getting the car to the right auction, be it in London, Paris, New York or Monterey, and being prepared to double those transport costs if you don't get the price you want, because the car must then be brought home again. A handshake deal on a known product has much to commend it. A broker or dealer is likely to add a 10 percent premium to the price of a car, so if you're buying a million dollar car, that's a saving of $150,000 by comparison with the auction block.

The elite dealer network mentioned throughout this article is part of the brotherhood of automotive eccentrics as opposed to the "network" one might associate with a branded corporate entity. There are no guidelines for branding and corporate style. Everyone here is different. The common element is the shared passion for automotive experience.
The elite dealer network mentioned throughout this article is part of the brotherhood of automotive eccentrics as opposed to the "network" one might associate with a branded corporate entity. There are no guidelines for branding and corporate style. Everyone here is different. The common element is the shared passion for automotive experience.

Private sales are also a huge part of this marketplace because the networks of friendships which develop in this fraternity ("tribal group" might be an equally appropriate description) often mean that when it's time to move it on, you have a friend or two willing and able to take it off your hands. They know the car, love it as much as you do, and it sort of "stays in the family". You know it's gone to someone who will appreciate it as much as you do and you'll still get to see it and maybe drive it from time to time. The savings on a million dollar car can add up to $250,000 if you sell it to a mate by comparison to taking it to auction and a big chunk of the the market clearly knows that.

Auction prices are illustrative of what happens in the marketplace but they are only an indication. I spoke at length with Rob Johnson, the MD of Classic and Sports Finance (which underwrites many of these deals) and when the auction market "took a breather" in Scottsdale, Paris, Stuttgart and Amelia Island earlier this year, Rob reported that nothing much had changed in the dealer network in the way of volumes or prices. While the data set for a finance company is smaller than the entire auction market, the point of difference is that they see the real invoices, not just the reported sale price from the dealer. It's an insight into the marketplace which few individuals are afforded, and one I value access to.

The classic car dealer network and the auction market work synergistically, and the result is a stable marketplace and it all adds up to a recently anointed viable alternative asset class. The team at Classic and Sports Finance also believes the auction market accounts for a much smaller percentage than the oft-quoted 30 percent.

The rise and rise of Techno-Classica

This year, Techno-Classica finally filled the entire exhibition space of Messe Essen, the enormous 22 hall exhibition center which houses many of Northern Europe's largest expo events.

The throughfares between the halls were great fun. Beer stalls, good German nosh, good nature all round ... much merriment.
The throughfares between the halls were great fun. Beer stalls, good German nosh, good nature all round ... much merriment.

Germany gave birth to both the automobile and the automotive industry, and the legacy of Karl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler, Wilhelm Maybach, Nikolaus Otto, August Horch, Ferdinand Porsche, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, et al. is that it has imbued the population with a strong affinity with and commitment to craftsmanship and automotive excellence. German automotive marques have won more European Car of the Year, International Car of the Year and World Car of the Year awards than any other country. Germany's love of the automobile is more than skin deep. It goes to the very heart of the population.

Techno-Classica is the classic car industry "Mecca" event because it has been built on the devotion of the world's strongest automotive enthusiast market, giving it vast reserves of "grass roots" resilience. Statistics compiled by the Allensbach Institute for Public Opinion (Oldtimer Study 2015/2016) show that the percentage of German drivers who would like to own a classic automobile grew from 17 percent in 2013 to 27 percent in 2015. The detailed survey is regularly held and the most recent poll shows that 37 percent of German drivers below the age of 30 would like to have their own vintage car. This percentage drops ever-so-slightly with age, with 32 percent for drivers 30–44 years, 28 percent for drivers 45–59 years and 17 percent for drivers 60 years and older. It should be pointed out that until the baby boomers came along, 60 years of age was considered positively geriatric. Now one in six German sexagenarians wants a matching oldtimer car and the nature of the clothing being sold at Techno-Clasica indicates they're driving them too. Some markets, where the interest in classic cars is more akin to stamp collecting, see very few miles added to the odometer each year.

A bare Porsche 911 body shell took pride of place in the Porsche Classic section
A bare Porsche 911 body shell took pride of place in the Porsche Classic section

It's no secret that wealth accumulates with age, and the latter segments of monied "empty nester" drivers were predominant amongst the crowd at Techno-Classica, particularly so on the initial "happy viewing day" where you can pay twice as much to get first crack at the goodies on offer in an uncluttered environment. It's a technique other motor shows might consider too, as it sorts the buyers from the tire-kickers better than any other methodology I have witnessed and reduces the clutter so media professionals can get the job done.

Food at Techno-Classica is not your standard show food - numerous upmarket restaurants are set up across the show space, many of them right next to the displays, all serving food and wine of a quality not normally associated with a 200,000 crowd.
Food at Techno-Classica is not your standard show food - numerous upmarket restaurants are set up across the show space, many of them right next to the displays, all serving food and wine of a quality not normally associated with a 200,000 crowd.

From the behavior and dress of this first day clientele, it was quite clear they were not the traditional car show audience either. Never before at a European car show has my camera been shown so much courtesy. In a major thoroughfare at one stage, I looked up from the viewfinder to find I'd stopped the foot traffic entirely. I was attempting to photographically capture the blurred motion of the crowd past the stands, but the crowd stopped whenever I aimed my camera as they were politely waiting for me to finish my photograph. This is the polar opposite of my experience over countless visits to motor shows the world over, and Germany's primary automotive industry event, the Frankfurt Motor Show, in particular. At Frankfurt, I feel like paparazzi, shouldering a rugby pack aside to get each shot. In Essen, I felt like I was waving a magic wand, such was the courtesy and respect of the crowd.

This Arte in Motion's coffee table was based on a seven-cylinder Jacobs aircraft motor. You can also buy coffee tables based on Continental, Lycoming or Pratt & Whitney motors - all coming in around EUR18,000 apiece.
This Arte in Motion's coffee table was based on a seven-cylinder Jacobs aircraft motor. You can also buy coffee tables based on Continental, Lycoming or Pratt & Whitney motors - all coming in around EUR18,000 apiece.

The 200,000 strong army of patrons at Techno-Classica is a very different crowd to the masses that attend a normal motor show and walk heedlessly, sometimes knowingly, in front of the camera, even on the press day. The camaraderie, gentlemanly demeanor and respect for fellow patrons is more akin to the experience of a motorcycle get-together than a mainstream car show, and the quality of the exhibits at Techno-Classica leave little doubt as to the financial wherewithal of the audience. They may not wear salmon trousers and speak with a faux British accent, but manufacturers selling €20,000 coffee tables (like the one above) and desks and bars made from aircraft wings, expensive period clothing and elite period automobilia do not come back year on year if it's not a viable exercise. I finished "happy viewing day" with a wide grin and a feeling of zen I have never experienced photographing a car show before.

More beautiful auto things
More beautiful auto things

This is a parts-and knowledge-sourcing event for a large and growing global enthusiast market. On the first afternoon of the show I witnessed a gentleman in couturier clothing crawling under the front end of an obscure classic car with a Leica pocket camera. I observed him for some time, wondering if he was an artist of some sort. It turned out he was capturing the exact detail he needed to recreate in his own restoration project from a car that had already been impeccably restored. As the show wore on, I saw similar curious sites many times. That is, people who looked like the Chairman of the Board, doing somewhat undignified things, in the name of their automotive passion.

As any market researcher will tell you, what people say they do/think and what they actually do/think are not necessarily the same thing. Germany is in complete congruence when it comes to matters automotive.

There are more than 250 automotive museums in Germany - more than any other country in the world. It has more than 7000 drive-in camping grounds – waaay more than any country with just 80 million people should have. It gave the world its first high speed road network, the world's best known driver's circuit (the lap time for the Nurburgring (AKA "the Green Hell") is to this day the recognized yardstick of a car's all-round performance) and it has more enthusiast car clubs than any country regardless of size. There are more than 1,000 clubs, associations and "communities of interest" dedicated just to classic and vintage cars in Germany.

More than 220 classic clubs turned up this year to display their enthusiasm and enrol new members and the levels of enthusiasm was contagious - car clubs are part of the social fabric of German society and it only takes a quick glance at these images to see the camaraderie involved.
More than 220 classic clubs turned up this year to display their enthusiasm and enrol new members and the levels of enthusiasm was contagious - car clubs are part of the social fabric of German society and it only takes a quick glance at these images to see the camaraderie involved.

Any marque-specialist club in Germany is invariably much bigger than the corresponding club in the native country of the respective brand. More than 220 classic clubs turned up this year to display their enthusiasm and enroll new members and the levels of enthusiasm was contagious - car clubs are part of the social fabric of German society and it only takes a quick glance at these images to see the camaraderie and passion involved.

The clubs contest the "Techno-Classica Club Grand Prix" for the best booth presentation and competition was fierce with the winning stand taken out by the Fiat 500 club, which created a model kit car theme for the stand. Just how many hours were involved in choreographing this grand schema is almost beyond imagination.
The clubs contest the "Techno-Classica Club Grand Prix" for the best booth presentation and competition was fierce with the winning stand taken out by the Fiat 500 club, which created a model kit car theme for the stand. Just how many hours were involved in choreographing this grand schema is almost beyond imagination.

The clubs contest the "Techno-Classica Club Grand Prix" for the best booth presentation and competition was fierce with the winning stand taken out by the Fiat 500 club, which created a model kit car theme for the stand. Just how many hours were involved in choreographing this ambitious schema is almost beyond imagination. Finally, the Techno-Classica gathering of German classic car clubs is the largest automotive club gathering of any form in the world. QED!

While on the kit car theme, the rebranded Jaguar Classic took a similar approach with a serious budget and the result was equally as enthralling. Series I and II E-Type Jaguars in particular were fraught with quality control issues in their day. It is very likely that restored E-Types from Jaguar Classic are a cut above anything produced by the factory in period. A sign on the wall read thus: "To create a true rendition worthy of the E-Type's legacy, Jaguar laser-scanned every panel from an original series-1 – ensuring perfect alignment."

Germany adores its automobiles, motorcycles, indeed anything with an internal-combustion-engine pulse. The show's official subtitle ("World Show for Vintage, Classic & Prestige Automobiles, Motor Sport, Motorcycles, Spare Parts and Restoration and World Club Meeting") is not the fanciful musing of a copywriter, but an accurate reflection of what happens at Messe Essen every April. If you're looking for anything for a classic car of almost any description, you'll find it here if it exists.

Anything? Yes, pretty close to anything if it is related to automotive pursuit. One of the dilemmas faced by someone who has restored an oldtimer is procuring a period-appropriate entertainment device for the dashboard. Slotting the latest digital sound system into a 1950s classic is decidedly gauche, so as more post-war cars are returned to new condition, there's now a thriving business sourcing, restoring and selling appropriate second hand period car radios and sound systems. One car radio dealer I spoke with had sold his entire stock by the second morning of the show - another reason to pay the extra freight for "happy viewing day".

Part of the fun of restoring a car is getting it as close as possible by hunting down the correct key and fob, switch, knob, door handle, badge, carpet and seat material, tool kit, fuel line, rubber trim, ad infinitum, or replacing items that have perished to the point of detracting from your masterpiece with exactly the right patina.
Part of the fun of restoring a car is getting it as close as possible by hunting down the correct key and fob, switch, knob, door handle, badge, carpet and seat material, tool kit, fuel line, rubber trim, ad infinitum, or replacing items that have perished to the point of detracting from your masterpiece with exactly the right patina.

Anyone who has ever undertaken a restoration project will agree it is akin to raising a child, with similar unforeseen pitfalls and the need for an all-consuming unrelenting dedication, only a restoration is crammed into a much shorter time frame. The biggest difference is that in restoring a car, perfection of methodology is within reach and part of the fun is getting it as close as possible by hunting down the correct key and fob, switch, knob, door handle, badge, carpet and seat material, tool kit, fuel line, rubber trim, hose coupling, ad infinitum, or replacing items that have perished to the point of detracting from your masterpiece with substitutes of exactly the right patina. The above is just a selection of the pics in the image library for this article - I can't think of anything that isn't available for the restorer at Techno-Classica, and if you can't find it, you'll find someone who will find it for you given a bit of time.

Every stand was worth exploring
Every stand was worth exploring