Every year the trade fairs in Maastricht, Bremen and Paris ring in the new classic car season. This year more than 130,000 enthusiasts from the classic car scene met in Paris at the Salon Rétromobile for the 44th edition of the event, which took place from 6 to 10 February 2019. More than 500 vehicles could be admired on 46,000 square meters. A special treat for the generous audience is the get together of three major auction houses. But the highlights of the numerous special shows and club exhibitions pleased the visitor and also the dealers brought some very special attractions to the river Seine.
The immense offer of racing and sports cars was remarkable in this year. In the first row again the Ferrari models. Among them Ferrari 250GT Lusso, Ferrari 275 GTB, 365 GTB / 4 Daytona Competizione and also the legendary California Spider. Two more brands were often seen at dealer displays this year, Aston Martin and Maserati. Fiskens shows two highlights of these brands: the Aston Martin DB 4 GT “Leightweight” from 1960 and the Maserati A6GSC from 1955. Only 19 units were built of the Aston Martin DB 4 GT Zagato. The 1969 BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile” Ex Schnitzer & Alpina BMW, which achieved third place in the overall victory at the Nürburgring in 1971, with real racing pedigree. At the corner of the stand is the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 from 1971, also with impressive racing history, the car won at the Nürburgring, was second in Sebring and on the Targa Florio and has a very impressive history. A fine example of lived history is the 1955 HWM Jaguar, which took part in the Mille Miglia in 1956. The vehicle showed up in a very nice and lively patina.
A real firework of Lancia models was presented by Lukas Hüni. In the front row, seven bright Lancia Stratos glittering in rainbow colors competed and almost distracted themselves from a highlight on the stand, the Lancia D23. The Lancia Martini Racing models also stood out from the crowd of vehicles on display.
For the first time Simon Kidston exhibited this year on its own stand. On a purple carpet he shows a display which he calls “Miuralandia”. There were six Lamborghini Miura models, including the prototype Miura Spyder, SV and SVJ models, and the basic chassis shown at the 1966 Geneva show.
BMW Classic proved that in the history of the company not only automobiles were built. A beautiful example was a speedboat with Riva boat appearance based on the BMW 507 in the same beautiful shape as the classic sports car.
McLaren celebrated 50 years of racing history and presented at the booth of Richard Mille racing cars from five decades, such as the McLaren M7C 01 of 1969 or the M23 the 1974 world champion driven by Emerson Fitipaldi.
Where otherwise in recent years the French vehicles dominated, this year, the Italians went nip & tuck. Lovers of the Italian brands could discover quite a few rarities at the dealers’ booths, such as the Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Zagato Coupe, the Fiat 508 Balilla CS Berlinetta Mille Miglia or the Maserati 4CLT. The variety was large and ranged from the pre-war classic cars to the classics from the 50s and 60s, such as the Alfa Romeo TZ1, Maserati Ghibli or Lancia Flaminia.
The Rétromobile meanwhile is known as an international fair. Visitors from all over the world come to Paris to start the new classic car year with style. German dealers such as Arthur Bechtel, Kienle and Axel Schütte were also represented at the fair. The brands of Mercedes-Benz or the Volkswagen Group were sought in vain.
The auction house Aguttes presented two interesting racing cars at their stand, the Porsche 904-6 ex Tour de France and the March 711 of Ronnie Peterson from the year 1971, which was later driven by Niki Lauda.
Even in the grid of racing cars, the trend is pointing to Youngtimers. At the booth of Girardo & Co. the highlight was a Maserati MC12 Corsa. In the Youngtimer exhibition was a C class racing car was on display.
Not only the high-class vehicles shone on the Rétromobile. In the exhibition area “Vehicles under 25,000 euros” also some real rarities were seen. From the Citroën prewar classic car, the Corvette to the usual French classics such as the Citroën DS or the Traction Avant.