The 43rd Retromobile in Paris was again enlarged and now took place with a new hall on 69,000 square meters. The extra space made for less crowds in the corridors – but also offered space for special exhibitions. Of course, it was mainly the French brands that presented themselves on the Retromobile, but there were also some surprises.
This year’s Retromobile was all about the 120th anniversary of the French brand Renault. So also at the special exhibition of the French Teuf-Teuf Club. Here, the club showed some vehicles from the early days of the brand, such as the Renault Type C Course race car from 1900, Type AG from the 1910s or the Renault Type CQ from 1912. In the same series was also the Renault Type AX, from 1908 conquered the French streets. The Renault Type K3 taxi from 1933, which was used in this form with 2400 copies until 1959 as a Parisian taxi, is much younger.
Impressive shows the Renault Type V Landaulet in its original condition, which was made substance-preserving ready to drive. Also in the unrestored original condition, the Renault Type A Voiturette showed up at the booth of the Museum Palais de Compiegne. With this automobile the history of the brothers Renault began in year 1898 and also the retrospective view of the group Renault on the Retromobile is introduced just with this model. Next door is a Type B with a closed Labourdette body, a closed model, which was built from 1900 to increase comfort. At the Renault stand a random cross-section of the automotive history was drawn. Among them are the founding fathers such as the bus of 1927 Autocar Type PR in addition to the Renault Type BD Fourgon Postal of 1909, or the Paris Type AG taxi of 1905. The special show also included the first electrified Renault R5, a Renault Colorale pickup, the Renault Estafette ice cream trucks and of course mass vehicles for everyone like the Renault 4CV or the R16, but also the Renault Espace, a revolution in the 80s. An absolute eye-catcher was the Rally Renault R4, with which the former French model, journalist and film producer Michèle Ray traveled in 1968 from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska.
Next to it Renault honored the 40th anniversary of the Alpine victories at Le Mans with a special exhibition. Four Alpine A442 models lined up side by side. Each of the vehicles also presented the helmet of the drivers who once drove the vehicle.
Citroen showed state bodies of the French government, such as the state sedan DS21 with Chapron body of 1968, but also the former sedan DS 19 of 1962. In between, the modern DS of Emmanuel Macron. But Citroen also celebrated the 70th anniversary of the 2CV „duck“ and showed the original model of the 2CV, the prototype TPV. „TPV“ stood for „Petite Voiture“ (small vehicle). Immediately next to the Mehari celebrated its 50th birthday. Peugeot also had two anniversaries to celebrate, 80 years Peugeot 203 and 50 years Peugeot 504. On display were some variants of the two models.
In the new additional hall 3, a special exhibition was dedicated to the French racing driver and automotive designer Jean-Pierre Wimille. Wimille was the son of a motorsport journalist. He denied privately from 1931 in a Bugatti Type 51 some races. However, the vehicle seemed too unreliable and he changed to an Alfa Romeo. After some racing success, the Bugatti factory team hired him and he continued to race for Bugatti. On the one hand his racing cars could be seen in the exhibition, on the other side his automobile constructions. For in 1946, Jean-Pierre Wimille founded the Wimille car brand. His very first 1946 prototype was based on the Citroen 11CV’s 4-cylinder engine, which he had built into the prototype as a mid-engine concept. The vehicle reached 150 km / h after all. It followed the model of 1947, which was equipped with a Ford V8 engine. Particularly striking is the aerodynamic shape of the Wimille vehicles. This shape was optimized again in the 1948 model. Actually, the Wimille vehicles were supposed to go into production, but Ford showed no interest in the model. Tragically, Jean Wilmille crashed in 1950 during a race. Business friends then founded the Compagnie Parisienne d’Automobile and built two more prototypes. But for financial reasons, they soon had to close.
Also in Hall 3 was the Abarth exhibition of the Swiss collector Möll. Including real Abarth rarities such as the Abarth 500 record car by Pininfarina, the prototype Abarth 2000 Sport „4-Fari“ and the Abarth 1000 TCR. Also on the stand, the Abarth 1000 GT Bialbero Le Mans from 1962 and the Abarth 750 Bialbero Record Monza and the Abarth 2000 Sport Spider from 1969.
Also very rare is the Fiat Abarth OT 2000 Coupe America from 1966 and the two prototypes Abarth 2000 Sport Spider from 1969 and Abarth 2000 Spider SEO21 from 1971.
Sporting, it continued at the booth of Richard Mille, with a special show of the brand McLaren. On display were various racing car models with which McLaren had written racing history, starting with the 1974 Marlboro Team Texaco M23 with a Ford V8 Crosworth DFV engine. Emerson Fittipaldi scored the Constructors World Championship and the Driver World Championship. With the monocoque M8D V8 Chevrolet of the Can-Am series, the drivers Hulme / Courne / Gethim achieved the Can-Am overall victory in 1970.
Bruce McLaren’s 1968 M7A and the 1966 Ford V8-powered M2B are the earliest models of the Bruce MacLaren racing team. Of course, they also tightened the clasp to modern times and showed models such as the McLaren P1 and the 1995 McLaren F1 GTO1R.
The special show in the passage of Halls 1 and 2 also described racing history. It was dedicated to the Great Hours of the Autodrom de Linas-Monthéry near Paris. On this route 1800 speed records were retracted. Shown were record cars such as the Peugeot „Petite Rosalie“ from 1933, the Voisin C15 record car from 1930, Citroen 2CV Barbot from 1953, Peugeot 203 Darl’Mat DS from 1953, the Isetta Velam from 1957 and also modern record cars like the Peugeot EX1. Prototype. Of course, the motorcycles, such as the Peugeot 515 record motorcycle from 1934 could not be missing.
The Youngtimer were also discussed on the Retromobile. The highlight of this special exhibition was the Matra Baghera.
Back to the manufacturers. Also Porsche celebrated and showed to the topic 70 years sports car some copies from the history since the Porsche 356. Also Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Jaguar showed the range of their company history.
Despite the snowfall during the Retromobile, Teuf Teuf Club also showed his vehicles in motion and took visitors on a short test drive in front of the halls.