For the Love of Classic Cars – Retromobile
The Retromobile show in Paris is a definite ‘must see” for classic car aficionados. Three hundred and fifty exhibitors displayed old cars, gadgets and products and over 70,000 visitors, car manufacturers and clubs attended this one of a kind fabulous show, the 36th event of its kind, held between the 2nd and 6th of February this year.
Highlights included the introduction of a section for motorbikes from the 1970s, 80s and 90s. A tribute to Juan Manuel Fangio through the display of four of his single seater racing cars, representing 24 of his racing wins. Celebration of the 50th birthday of the iconic Renault 4L, one of the company’s most successful brands launched in 1961, that took the form of a display of 13 Renault 4 models some never before seen in public and other exhibits and presentations involving this model. A display featuring the world’s first ever self propelled vehicle the Fardie de Cugnot a wood, copper and brass contraption designed for the military, to haul cannons. A Mazda exhibit featuring the 787B prototype that won the Le Mans endurance race in 1991 displayed alongside a Mazda powered Chevron B16, an RX7 type IMSA, a MX 5, an RX7 Group B and a 323 4WD for African rallies. The event also commemorated the many contributions of the Gulf Petroleum Co particularly to endurance racing when in combination with famous car builders the brand won many endurance competitions. Mercedes Benz celebrated its 125th birthday by highlighting its automobile restoration activities at its Stuttgart facility and in the Paris suburb of Stains and displayed a restored 1957 300 SL and a 1910 37/90 PS both of which were for sale. A young timers section displayed automobiles built between the 1970s to the 1990s striving for classic status. The current popularity of sporty vehicles such as the VW Rabbit GTI, the Renault5 TL, Peugeot 205GTI, BMW 232i and others that could still be used on a day to day basis that otherwise would be consigned to the rubbish heap prompted this display. This years’ Art Curial auction proved to be very popular with an 80% success rate. Vehicles sold by auction included General de Gaulle’s Simca, 15 other well loved head of state vehicles, a 1962 Ferrari 250GTE, a Citroen 2cv and classic motorcycles amongst others.
The registration of exhibitors for the 2012 event is well on its way with the organisers expecting even more participants.
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