Automotive

Pictorial: Retromobile 2017

Pictorial: Retromobile 2017
Cite de l’ Automobile had several of the museum's  100+ Bugattis on display at Retromobile 2017
Cite de l’ Automobile had several of the museum's  100+ Bugattis on display at Retromobile 2017
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One of the stars of the exhibits in Paris was the RM-Sothebys stand which carried two cars to be auctioned later in the year. This 1937 Talbot-Lago T150C SS "Goutte d’Eau" Coupé by Figoni et Falaschi will go to auction at Villa Erba.
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One of the stars of the exhibits in Paris was the RM-Sothebys stand which carried two cars to be auctioned later in the year. This 1937 Talbot-Lago T150C SS "Goutte d’Eau" Coupé by Figoni et Falaschi will go to auction at Villa Erba.
In 1927, Robert Benoist and his Delage 1500 won the world Grand Prix championship drivers and manufacturers titles and the car that was used was among six Delages gathered together at Retromobile. The 8-cylinder twin cam straight-eight 1500 cc engine delivered more than 100 hp/liter and could rev to 8500 rpm.
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In 1927, Robert Benoist and his Delage 1500 won the world Grand Prix championship drivers and manufacturers titles and the car that was used was among six Delages gathered together at Retromobile. The 8-cylinder twin cam straight-eight 1500 cc engine delivered more than 100 hp/liter and could rev to 8500 rpm.
At the last Rétromobile, Duncan Pittaway and Mark Walker showed the fire-breathing FIAT S76 and the record-breaking Darracq. This year, the pair showed  two racing GNs, one of which is this Aero GN, powered by a Curtiss V8 aircraft engine.
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At the last Rétromobile, Duncan Pittaway and Mark Walker showed the fire-breathing FIAT S76 and the record-breaking Darracq. This year, the pair showed  two racing GNs, one of which is this Aero GN, powered by a Curtiss V8 aircraft engine.
One of the stars of Retromobile at Port de Versailles in Paris this week was a collection of 10 near perfect AJS racing motorcycles (variously from 1949 to 1962) on the Movendi stand. Movendi is a prestige car dealership, and alongside a Bugatti EB110, Porsche 959 and Ferrari F50 was this gorgeous set of period racing motorcycles, and a discrete price tag of €750,000 for the lot. Read the full story here.
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One of the stars of Retromobile at Port de Versailles in Paris this week was a collection of 10 near perfect AJS racing motorcycles (variously from 1949 to 1962) on the Movendi stand. Movendi is a prestige car dealership, and alongside a Bugatti EB110, Porsche 959 and Ferrari F50 was this gorgeous set of period racing motorcycles, and a discrete price tag of €750,000 for the lot. Read the full story here.
Jaguar Classic has finished the six Lightweight E-type sports cars it never completed back in the '60s and is now in the process of completing nine 1957 XKSS models that were planned but never finished. The continuation cars are hand-built to the exact specifications of the originals, giving buyers the rare opportunity to buy a completely new classic car for £1 million. The first such car broke cover at Retromobile and the full story of the old new model is told here.
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Jaguar Classic has finished the six Lightweight E-type sports cars it never completed back in the '60s and is now in the process of completing nine 1957 XKSS models that were planned but never finished. The continuation cars are hand-built to the exact specifications of the originals, giving buyers the rare opportunity to buy a completely new classic car for £1 million. The first such car broke cover at Retromobile and the full story of the old new model is told here.
Boasting unique coachwork by Carrozzeria Fontana, this Ferrari was named “Uovo” for its distinctive egg-shaped design.  It will sell via RM-Sothebys in Pebble Beach this August.
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Boasting unique coachwork by Carrozzeria Fontana, this Ferrari was named “Uovo” for its distinctive egg-shaped design.  It will sell via RM-Sothebys in Pebble Beach this August.
On home gound, the $185,000 French Midual with a splendorous horizontally-opposed motor. I've spent a lot of time looking at this motorcycle at various shows and it never fails to impress me with its workmanship. Full story.
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On home gound, the $185,000 French Midual with a splendorous horizontally-opposed motor. I've spent a lot of time looking at this motorcycle at various shows and it never fails to impress me with its workmanship. Full story.
Peugeot 500 had a DOHC 4-valve vertical twin 500 that was timed at 122 km/h prior to WW1 but its most glorious success would come with this bevel driven SOHC 500 twin. It was timed at 157.9 km/h in 1923 and 165.4 km/h in 1924, becoming ultra-competitive by the end of its development in 1927 when it won 21 of 23 races contested. This was the state-of-the-art 500 Grand Prix bike of ninety years ago.
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Peugeot 500 had a DOHC 4-valve vertical twin 500 that was timed at 122 km/h prior to WW1 but its most glorious success would come with this bevel driven SOHC 500 twin. It was timed at 157.9 km/h in 1923 and 165.4 km/h in 1924, becoming ultra-competitive by the end of its development in 1927 when it won 21 of 23 races contested. This was the state-of-the-art 500 Grand Prix bike of ninety years ago.
Prestige dealer Arthur Bechtel has this 1952 Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet D on the stand, along with the obligatory Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Papillon.
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Prestige dealer Arthur Bechtel has this 1952 Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet D on the stand, along with the obligatory Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Papillon.
One of the stages of greatest drama is the telephone bidding platform at the major auctions.
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One of the stages of greatest drama is the telephone bidding platform at the major auctions.
France certainly advanced its credentials in motorcycle history with a vast array of motorcycles that are not well known in the English-centric motorcycling world. This is a 1928 Kohler Escoffier 500cc v-twin, nicknamed the Mandoline for its resemblance of the stringed instrument, and originating prior to WW1.
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France certainly advanced its credentials in motorcycle history with a vast array of motorcycles that are not well known in the English-centric motorcycling world. This is a 1928 Kohler Escoffier 500cc v-twin, nicknamed the Mandoline for its resemblance of the stringed instrument, and originating prior to WW1.
A very original 1939 René Gillet side-valve 750 cc V-twin 
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A very original 1939 René Gillet side-valve 750 cc V-twin 
This is a significant motorcycle in the history of two wheels. It's the 1000 cm3 French Koehler Escoffier v-twin and although it was ridden by the legendary Georges Monneret to set speed records before and after WW2, it is also one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever created.
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This is a significant motorcycle in the history of two wheels. It's the 1000 cm3 French Koehler Escoffier v-twin and although it was ridden by the legendary Georges Monneret to set speed records before and after WW2, it is also one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever created.
Mercedes Benz showed its new W194 recreation
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Mercedes Benz showed its new W194 recreation
This is a 1922 Gnome & Rhone 500cc flat twin, produced a year before BMW's first flat twin, but with a BMW motorcycle around it. The design was produced under license from British ABC and considerably improved on the ABC which dated from 1914. The engine on this bike swept 493 cc.
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This is a 1922 Gnome & Rhone 500cc flat twin, produced a year before BMW's first flat twin, but with a BMW motorcycle around it. The design was produced under license from British ABC and considerably improved on the ABC which dated from 1914. The engine on this bike swept 493 cc.
A current-generation Norton Commando. Beautiful plumage!
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A current-generation Norton Commando. Beautiful plumage!
The spectacular setting for the RM-Sothebys sale at Retromobile 2017
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The spectacular setting for the RM-Sothebys sale at Retromobile 2017
MV Agusta was among the many famous names on the floor at Retromobile 2017.
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MV Agusta was among the many famous names on the floor at Retromobile 2017.
A last-generation Norton Commando
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A last-generation Norton Commando
Boasting unique coachwork by Carrozzeria Fontana, this Ferrari was designed for maximum efficiency and performance, Giannino Marzotto commissioned coachbuilders Fontana of Padova and the famous sculptor, Franco Reggani. The "Uovo" held the lead in the final stages of both the 1951 Mille Miglia and the 1951 Giro di Sicilia before it was forced to retire. Later that year, it won the Coppa Toscana, and featured in many major races of the period in both Europe and America. It will sell via RM-Sothebys in Pebble Beach this August.
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Boasting unique coachwork by Carrozzeria Fontana, this Ferrari was designed for maximum efficiency and performance, Giannino Marzotto commissioned coachbuilders Fontana of Padova and the famous sculptor, Franco Reggani. The "Uovo" held the lead in the final stages of both the 1951 Mille Miglia and the 1951 Giro di Sicilia before it was forced to retire. Later that year, it won the Coppa Toscana, and featured in many major races of the period in both Europe and America. It will sell via RM-Sothebys in Pebble Beach this August.
Paris provides a backdrop like no other.
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Paris provides a backdrop like no other.
The RM-Sothebys auction is one of three major auctions held over three days in Paris during Retromobile
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The RM-Sothebys auction is one of three major auctions held over three days in Paris during Retromobile
Don't recognize it? It's a Ferrari. Boasting unique coachwork by Carrozzeria Fontana, the car was named “Uovo” for its distinctive egg-shaped design. In having this car designed for maximum efficiency and performance, Giannino Marzotto commissioned coachbuilders Fontana of Padova and the famous sculptor, Franco Reggani. The Uovo held the lead in the final stages of both the 1951 Mille Miglia and the 1951 Giro di Sicilia before it was forced to retire. Later that year, it won the Coppa Toscana, and featured in many major races of the period in both Europe and America. It will sell via RM-Sothebys in Pebble Beach this August.
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Don't recognize it? It's a Ferrari. Boasting unique coachwork by Carrozzeria Fontana, the car was named “Uovo” for its distinctive egg-shaped design. In having this car designed for maximum efficiency and performance, Giannino Marzotto commissioned coachbuilders Fontana of Padova and the famous sculptor, Franco Reggani. The Uovo held the lead in the final stages of both the 1951 Mille Miglia and the 1951 Giro di Sicilia before it was forced to retire. Later that year, it won the Coppa Toscana, and featured in many major races of the period in both Europe and America. It will sell via RM-Sothebys in Pebble Beach this August.
Considered one of the most beautiful automobiles of all time, only 16 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS Coupés were made by Paris coachbuilders Figoni et Falaschi. This example is the second car built with front spats, and has remained in Switzerland the vast majority of its life. The recipient of a magnificent, concours-quality restoration in 2002, it will go to auction at RM’s Lake Como (Italy) sale on May 27 during the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este weekend. The car is estimated to sell for between €3.2 million and €4.2 million.
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Considered one of the most beautiful automobiles of all time, only 16 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS Coupés were made by Paris coachbuilders Figoni et Falaschi. This example is the second car built with front spats, and has remained in Switzerland the vast majority of its life. The recipient of a magnificent, concours-quality restoration in 2002, it will go to auction at RM’s Lake Como (Italy) sale on May 27 during the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este weekend. The car is estimated to sell for between €3.2 million and €4.2 million.
The Land Rover Classic initiative continues to bear demonstrable fruit with the unveiling of a factory-restored 1978 three-door Range Rover Classic, the first of ten examples of the luxury SUV to be comprehensively restored.
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The Land Rover Classic initiative continues to bear demonstrable fruit with the unveiling of a factory-restored 1978 three-door Range Rover Classic, the first of ten examples of the luxury SUV to be comprehensively restored.
You see some very rare cars at Retromobile, and this 1936 Bugatti 57 S Atlantic is a prime example, being one of three extant. It was nearly destroyed in an accident in 1955, before it was restored in an extended rebuild.
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You see some very rare cars at Retromobile, and this 1936 Bugatti 57 S Atlantic is a prime example, being one of three extant. It was nearly destroyed in an accident in 1955, before it was restored in an extended rebuild.
The steam-powered Michaux-Perreaux appeared at roughly the same time as the Roper (between 1867 and 1869), but Roper never patented his work whereas Louis-Guillaume Perreaux patented his steam velocipede on December 26, 1869. It's all academic, because they operated independently anyway and solved the same equation of functional powered two-wheel transport with the same steam power source, but arranged different ways. They are both perfect examples of humanity's ingenuity at its finest. I'd bet it was a pig to ride just the same.
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The steam-powered Michaux-Perreaux appeared at roughly the same time as the Roper (between 1867 and 1869), but Roper never patented his work whereas Louis-Guillaume Perreaux patented his steam velocipede on December 26, 1869. It's all academic, because they operated independently anyway and solved the same equation of functional powered two-wheel transport with the same steam power source, but arranged different ways. They are both perfect examples of humanity's ingenuity at its finest. I'd bet it was a pig to ride just the same.
Two motorcycles lay claim to being the world's first motorcycle and this is one of them. It's the steam-powered Michaux-Perreaux produced somewhere between 1867 and 1871.  The other contender is the American Roper Steam Cycle. It was a brave man who would entrust his nether regions to such close proximity to a steam engine of the day.
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Two motorcycles lay claim to being the world's first motorcycle and this is one of them. It's the steam-powered Michaux-Perreaux produced somewhere between 1867 and 1871.  The other contender is the American Roper Steam Cycle. It was a brave man who would entrust his nether regions to such close proximity to a steam engine of the day.
Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale invariably throws up a couple of gems each year and this year Bonhams took their gem to Paris to preview the show. The bike is the 1948 KTT Velocette M VIII on which Freddie Frith won the 1949 World 350cc Championship. Can't wait to see what this one fetches. The official estimate states £120,000 to £150,000. | Auction Page
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Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale invariably throws up a couple of gems each year and this year Bonhams took their gem to Paris to preview the show. The bike is the 1948 KTT Velocette M VIII on which Freddie Frith won the 1949 World 350cc Championship. Can't wait to see what this one fetches. The official estimate states £120,000 to £150,000. | Auction Page
The placard sitting next to the new old XKSS explains it all.
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The placard sitting next to the new old XKSS explains it all.
One of many automotive museums exhibiting at Retromobile was the British National Motor Museum which provided one of the three GN racing cars from the 1920s. GN cars were built by Godfrey and Archibald Frazer-Nash who would go on to greater things in their careers.
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One of many automotive museums exhibiting at Retromobile was the British National Motor Museum which provided one of the three GN racing cars from the 1920s. GN cars were built by Godfrey and Archibald Frazer-Nash who would go on to greater things in their careers.
Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale invariably throws up a couple of gems each year and this year Bonhams took their gem to Paris to preview the show. The bike is the 1948 KTT Velocette M VIII on which Freddie Frith won the 1949 World 350cc Championship. Can't wait to see what this one fetches. The official estimate states £120,000 to £150,000. | Auction Page
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Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale invariably throws up a couple of gems each year and this year Bonhams took their gem to Paris to preview the show. The bike is the 1948 KTT Velocette M VIII on which Freddie Frith won the 1949 World 350cc Championship. Can't wait to see what this one fetches. The official estimate states £120,000 to £150,000. | Auction Page
Among a vast array of rare French motorcycles was this gem - an amphibious motorcycle. It was built by Simca for the French Military in the pre-WW2 period for a perceived need for go-anywhere transport. The rules for traditional motorcycles were completely thrown out in the design, with an inverted (crankshaft above cylinders), 314cc two-stroke in-line twin and a propellor for water-borne propulsion. The punchline is that the bike is regularly seen at European get-togethers and always accompanied by its authoritative owner, FranCois-Marie Dumas, who is the author of numerous motorcycle books including "Unusual Motorcycles: A Collection of Curious Concepts, Prototypes and Race Bikes." Could there be a more fitting motorcycling ambassador?
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Among a vast array of rare French motorcycles was this gem - an amphibious motorcycle. It was built by Simca for the French Military in the pre-WW2 period for a perceived need for go-anywhere transport. The rules for traditional motorcycles were completely thrown out in the design, with an inverted (crankshaft above cylinders), 314cc two-stroke in-line twin and a propellor for water-borne propulsion. The punchline is that the bike is regularly seen at European get-togethers and always accompanied by its authoritative owner, FranCois-Marie Dumas, who is the author of numerous motorcycle books including "Unusual Motorcycles: A Collection of Curious Concepts, Prototypes and Race Bikes." Could there be a more fitting motorcycling ambassador?
The Alpine Berlinette body shape first appeared on the Alpine A108 which model debuted in 1958, going on to achieve its greatest acclaim with the A110, whose elegant lines and impressive performance made it an instant automotive classic. The A108 was replaced in 1962 by the Alpine A110, powered by the same engine as the Renault 8. The Berlinette was manufactured until 1977, and almost 8,000 cars rolled off the production line in Dieppe, with a further 4,000 built under licence in Brazil, Mexico, Spain and Bulgaria. Different versions of the Berlinette were equipped with different powerplants (the Renault Dauphine, Renault 8, Gordini, Renault 12 TS and the Renault 16!) generating outputs of between 50hp and 138hp. The A110 Berlinette would establish itself as one of the very best rally cars of its generation, achieving success and fame in equal measure in the hands of some of the discipline’s greatest drivers: between 1967 and 1976, the A110 dominated national series, lifted the European laurels and the inaugural (1973) World Rally Championship manufacturers’ crown. 
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The Alpine Berlinette body shape first appeared on the Alpine A108 which model debuted in 1958, going on to achieve its greatest acclaim with the A110, whose elegant lines and impressive performance made it an instant automotive classic. The A108 was replaced in 1962 by the Alpine A110, powered by the same engine as the Renault 8. The Berlinette was manufactured until 1977, and almost 8,000 cars rolled off the production line in Dieppe, with a further 4,000 built under licence in Brazil, Mexico, Spain and Bulgaria. Different versions of the Berlinette were equipped with different powerplants (the Renault Dauphine, Renault 8, Gordini, Renault 12 TS and the Renault 16!) generating outputs of between 50hp and 138hp. The A110 Berlinette would establish itself as one of the very best rally cars of its generation, achieving success and fame in equal measure in the hands of some of the discipline’s greatest drivers: between 1967 and 1976, the A110 dominated national series, lifted the European laurels and the inaugural (1973) World Rally Championship manufacturers’ crown. 
This one-off Bugatti Type 57 C Cabriolet was given by the French Government to the Mohammad Pahlavi, Shah of Iran in 1939. The body is a collaboration between Vanvooren and Saoutchik. It has been restored to its glorious best by Auto Classique Touraine with more than 5,000 hours of labor and at a cost of €1.0 million.
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This one-off Bugatti Type 57 C Cabriolet was given by the French Government to the Mohammad Pahlavi, Shah of Iran in 1939. The body is a collaboration between Vanvooren and Saoutchik. It has been restored to its glorious best by Auto Classique Touraine with more than 5,000 hours of labor and at a cost of €1.0 million.
Cite de l’ Automobile had several of the museum's  100+ Bugattis on display at Retromobile 2017
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Cite de l’ Automobile had several of the museum's  100+ Bugattis on display at Retromobile 2017
From the British National Motor Museum came this 1913 JAP GN racing car with wooden chassis and five liter, air-cooled V8 engine. Jon Alfred Prestwich (JAP) built primarily motorcycle engines but in 1908 began a foray into aircraft engines with four V8 engines built and tested before the project was abandoned. One of these engines became the engine in this car.
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From the British National Motor Museum came this 1913 JAP GN racing car with wooden chassis and five liter, air-cooled V8 engine. Jon Alfred Prestwich (JAP) built primarily motorcycle engines but in 1908 began a foray into aircraft engines with four V8 engines built and tested before the project was abandoned. One of these engines became the engine in this car.
View gallery - 37 images

The high prices fetched by cars at the three elite auctions held during the Retromobile Exhibition in Paris every February often tend to divert attention from the Retromobile event itself, which in terms of automotive history, is the jewel of the collector and enthusiast global show circuit.

The industry has developed from the hobby of a hardcore band of enthusiasts collecting and restoring automobiles and in a short time has grown to gargantuan proportions, with major retro automobile shows in every major country and massive restoration markets in every European country, America, Canada and Australia.

Retromobile has grown three-fold in two years. Now there are two more halls and an entire hall just for clubs. The main floor is comprised of manufacturers, shops and high end dealers. Originally the focus was more of a swap meet for antiquities. Slowly the big dealers squeezed them into a corner, but promoters know that this is what brings the crowds in ... so now there's breathing room, and some more of the club and artisan level stands are getting folded back in.

It is hard to describe Retromobile in relative terms to any American events. Maybe if you took a bit of the AACA Hershey Meet with its swap meet and club presentations, added in dealers with Pebble-Beach-quality-cars and price tags to match, you'd start to get a picture of what to expect.

The clubs area is where American enthusiasts might get some real joy. Let's say you're interested in, say ... Alfa Romeos? Each club stand is usually quite welcoming for members with wine and cheese. It's an opportunity for a visitor to meet new people from different countries with common interests and it works just great. You can join the Italian Vehicle Club, The Alfa Romeo Club or other organizations catering to historic vehicles, get their newsletters and keep up with the clubs activities, perhaps even arranging to join in with friends in other countries.

Organized tours that let you use your car

An interesting trend on the social front is that of actually using your collectible vehicle, and the number of vintage tours and vintage rally packages with large driving components is growing. If you fancy driving a car or riding a motorcycle around France, or Germany or the Alps for two or three weeks, there's a tour coming up.

All the logical things you'd might like to do now seem to be on offer. Quite a few tour companies, when you look around the vast array of stalls, offer not just the predictable delights but offbeat tours, from the eccentric and delightful through to scary and very testing adventure tours. Fancy a tour around historic buildings in Europe in your own car? They can scratch that itch. Feeling a little more adventurous ? How does Peking to Paris sound?

The changing of the guard is nigh

Collectors always wonder who will step in and take over their collections. Another generation is indeed stepping in, but the new generation has different tastes. Cars such as the Porsche 356 and 911, for example, have left the station as far as making an investment at the start of their climb to becoming very valuable cars. Now 914s, 916s and 928s are met with a gleam in the eye. Newer Mercedes, Ferraris and Volkswagens have a following. An ever changing market and an ever changing event. Just the thing for an ever changing world ... and conversation.

The pics are all courtesy of Somer Hooker, as are the thoughts on the event above. The captions are a collaboration. If you love this stuff, Somer's adventures in Paris captured in the photo gallery makes for a wonderful journey around Retromobile.

Don't forget that Techno-Classica in Essen is not far away, too. Techno-Classica is much bigger in terms of visitor numbers, artisan and club stands, and floor space than Retromobile (and hence a better destination for the bulk of collectors and enthusiast needs) but at the high end, Retromobile is still the most important retro venue for cars in the world.

The gallery contains many more images. The following pics were just the highlights.

The world's first motorcycle

Two motorcycles lay claim to being the world's first motorcycle and this is one of them. It's the steam-powered Michaux-Perreaux produced somewhere between 1867 and 1871.  The other contender is the American Roper Steam Cycle. It was a brave man who would entrust his nether regions to such close proximity to a steam engine of the day.
Two motorcycles lay claim to being the world's first motorcycle and this is one of them. It's the steam-powered Michaux-Perreaux produced somewhere between 1867 and 1871.  The other contender is the American Roper Steam Cycle. It was a brave man who would entrust his nether regions to such close proximity to a steam engine of the day.

The steam-powered Michaux-Perreaux appeared at roughly the same time as the Roper (between 1867 and 1869), but Roper never patented his work whereas Louis-Guillaume Perreaux patented his steam velocipede on December 26, 1869. It's all academic, because they operated independently anyway and solved the same equation of functional powered two-wheel transport with the same steam power source, but arranged different ways. They are both perfect examples of humanity's ingenuity at its finest. I'd bet it was a pig to ride just the same.
The steam-powered Michaux-Perreaux appeared at roughly the same time as the Roper (between 1867 and 1869), but Roper never patented his work whereas Louis-Guillaume Perreaux patented his steam velocipede on December 26, 1869. It's all academic, because they operated independently anyway and solved the same equation of functional powered two-wheel transport with the same steam power source, but arranged different ways. They are both perfect examples of humanity's ingenuity at its finest. I'd bet it was a pig to ride just the same.

The Shah of Iran's Bugatti

This one-off Bugatti Type 57 C Cabriolet was given by the French Government to the Mohammad Pahlavi, Shah of Iran in 1939. The body is a collaboration between Vanvooren and Saoutchik. It has been restored to its glorious best by Auto Classique Touraine with more than 5,000 hours of labor and at a cost of €1.0 million.
This one-off Bugatti Type 57 C Cabriolet was given by the French Government to the Mohammad Pahlavi, Shah of Iran in 1939. The body is a collaboration between Vanvooren and Saoutchik. It has been restored to its glorious best by Auto Classique Touraine with more than 5,000 hours of labor and at a cost of €1.0 million.

Talbot-Lago T150-C SS Coupé by Figoni et Falaschi

Considered one of the most beautiful automobiles of all time, only 16 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS Coupés were made by Paris coachbuilders Figoni et Falaschi. This example is the second car built with front spats, and has remained in Switzerland the vast majority of its life. The recipient of a magnificent, concours-quality restoration in 2002, it will go to auction at RM’s Lake Como (Italy) sale on May 27 during the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este weekend. The car is estimated to sell for between €3.2 million and €4.2 million.
Considered one of the most beautiful automobiles of all time, only 16 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS Coupés were made by Paris coachbuilders Figoni et Falaschi. This example is the second car built with front spats, and has remained in Switzerland the vast majority of its life. The recipient of a magnificent, concours-quality restoration in 2002, it will go to auction at RM’s Lake Como (Italy) sale on May 27 during the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este weekend. The car is estimated to sell for between €3.2 million and €4.2 million.

Ferrari "Uovo"

Don't recognize it? It's a Ferrari. Boasting unique coachwork by Carrozzeria Fontana, the car was named “Uovo” for its distinctive egg-shaped design. In having this car designed for maximum efficiency and performance, Giannino Marzotto commissioned coachbuilders Fontana of Padova and the famous sculptor, Franco Reggani. The Uovo held the lead in the final stages of both the 1951 Mille Miglia and the 1951 Giro di Sicilia before it was forced to retire. Later that year, it won the Coppa Toscana, and featured in many major races of the period in both Europe and America. It will sell via RM-Sothebys in Pebble Beach this August.
Don't recognize it? It's a Ferrari. Boasting unique coachwork by Carrozzeria Fontana, the car was named “Uovo” for its distinctive egg-shaped design. In having this car designed for maximum efficiency and performance, Giannino Marzotto commissioned coachbuilders Fontana of Padova and the famous sculptor, Franco Reggani. The Uovo held the lead in the final stages of both the 1951 Mille Miglia and the 1951 Giro di Sicilia before it was forced to retire. Later that year, it won the Coppa Toscana, and featured in many major races of the period in both Europe and America. It will sell via RM-Sothebys in Pebble Beach this August.

The Amphibious Motorcycle

Among a vast array of rare French motorcycles was this gem - an amphibious motorcycle. It was built by Simca for the French Military in the pre-WW2 period for a perceived need for go-anywhere transport. The rules for traditional motorcycles were completely thrown out in the design, with an inverted (crankshaft above cylinders), 314cc two-stroke in-line twin and a propellor for water-borne propulsion. The punchline is that the bike is regularly seen at European get-togethers and always accompanied by its authoritative owner, FranCois-Marie Dumas, who is the author of numerous motorcycle books including "Unusual Motorcycles: A Collection of Curious Concepts, Prototypes and Race Bikes." Could there be a more fitting motorcycling ambassador?
Among a vast array of rare French motorcycles was this gem - an amphibious motorcycle. It was built by Simca for the French Military in the pre-WW2 period for a perceived need for go-anywhere transport. The rules for traditional motorcycles were completely thrown out in the design, with an inverted (crankshaft above cylinders), 314cc two-stroke in-line twin and a propellor for water-borne propulsion. The punchline is that the bike is regularly seen at European get-togethers and always accompanied by its authoritative owner, FranCois-Marie Dumas, who is the author of numerous motorcycle books including "Unusual Motorcycles: A Collection of Curious Concepts, Prototypes and Race Bikes." Could there be a more fitting motorcycling ambassador?

The first of nine new Jaguar XKSS models from 1957

Jaguar Classic has finished the six Lightweight E-type sports cars it never completed back in the '60s and is now in the process of completing nine 1957 XKSS models that were planned but never finished. The continuation cars are hand-built to the exact specifications of the originals, giving buyers the rare opportunity to buy a completely new classic car for £1 million. The first such car broke cover at Retromobile and the full story of the old new model is told here.
Jaguar Classic has finished the six Lightweight E-type sports cars it never completed back in the '60s and is now in the process of completing nine 1957 XKSS models that were planned but never finished. The continuation cars are hand-built to the exact specifications of the originals, giving buyers the rare opportunity to buy a completely new classic car for £1 million. The first such car broke cover at Retromobile and the full story of the old new model is told here.

Ten AJS 7R Boy Racers

One of the stars of Retromobile at Port de Versailles in Paris this week was a collection of 10 near perfect AJS racing motorcycles (variously from 1949 to 1962) on the Movendi stand. Movendi is a prestige car dealership, and alongside a Bugatti EB110, Porsche 959 and Ferrari F50 was this gorgeous set of period racing motorcycles, and a discrete price tag of €750,000 for the lot. Read the full story here.
One of the stars of Retromobile at Port de Versailles in Paris this week was a collection of 10 near perfect AJS racing motorcycles (variously from 1949 to 1962) on the Movendi stand. Movendi is a prestige car dealership, and alongside a Bugatti EB110, Porsche 959 and Ferrari F50 was this gorgeous set of period racing motorcycles, and a discrete price tag of €750,000 for the lot. Read the full story here.

One of three: 1936 Bugatti 57 S Atlantic

You see some very rare cars at Retromobile, and this 1936 Bugatti 57 S Atlantic is a prime example, being one of three extant. It was nearly destroyed in an accident in 1955, before it was restored in an extended rebuild.
You see some very rare cars at Retromobile, and this 1936 Bugatti 57 S Atlantic is a prime example, being one of three extant. It was nearly destroyed in an accident in 1955, before it was restored in an extended rebuild.

Freddie Frith's World 350cc championship-winning
1949 KTT Velocette Mk. VIII

Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale invariably throws up a couple of gems each year and this year Bonhams took their gem to Paris to preview the show. The bike is the 1948 KTT Velocette M VIII on which Freddie Frith won the 1949 World 350cc Championship. Can't wait to see what this one fetches. The official estimate states £120,000 to £150,000. | Auction Page
Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale invariably throws up a couple of gems each year and this year Bonhams took their gem to Paris to preview the show. The bike is the 1948 KTT Velocette M VIII on which Freddie Frith won the 1949 World 350cc Championship. Can't wait to see what this one fetches. The official estimate states £120,000 to £150,000. | Auction Page

Don't forget there's a lot more in our Retromobile 2017 photo gallery.

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1 comment
Nicolas Zart
Wow, you really captured the essence of Retromobile. I grew up in a family of collectors and my parents' family friends were one of the folks behind Retromobile.
I remember going to Retromobile in the 80s. It was very different. It was almost low-key. It was more about collectors and less about investors. Cars were not over-restored as they tend to be these days. There were also what I consider to be the highlight of the show, prototypes. Our friend displayed his Ferrari 512 S with the tractor and two batteries the car needed to start.
I haven't been for a while, but it sounds lime it's coming along just well.