The 28th edition of Techno Classica opened its doors to one of Europe’s most popular classic car trade fairs in the second week of April 2016. For five days, everything revolved around classic cars and modern classics.
MOTORWORLD also took the opportunity to present its individual locations and partners at this event. Visitors to the MOTORWORLD booth were able to take an in-depth look at current projects in Munich, Zeche Ewald, and at Butzweiler Hof in Cologne. A great deal of interest was also shown in the MOTORWORLD Manufaktur and this year’s MOTORWORLD Classics in Berlin. The fascinating world of motoring passion will be returning to the historical halls of the Berlin ExpoCenter and its summer garden in the shadow of the radio tower on October 6-9. The organisers will once again be putting their faith in a look & feel in the style of the good old days that was much acclaimed at the inaugural show in 2015. Not only that, but the classic car scene will be getting even more space with the expansion of MOTORWORLD Classics Berlin 2016 to encompass two more historical exhibition halls.
Arthur Bechtel had a highly original preserved Mercedes Benz 540K convertible with patina finish on display at the MOTORWORLD booth. While pre-war vehicles are scarcely ever to be seen at other trade fairs, a large number of rare and beautiful pre-war models could be admired by visitors at this year’s Techno Classica.
A conspicuously large number of concept and new cars were to be seen next to their historical predecessors, an approach taken by many leading carmakers to demonstrate the links between past and current developments. Opel, for instance, presented its latest concept for the Opel GT right next to the original Opel GT study and several racing versions like the Irmscher and Conrero. Volvo celebrated an entire design line of estate cars, and the Italian makes Alfa Romeo and Fiat displayed their current models of the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Fiat 124. The absolute highlight of the design studies at the trade fair, however, was the Volkwagen Golf GTI Roadster concept marking the 40th birthday of the original Golf GTI. As the engine of this sleek roadster was started up, visitors flocked into Hall 7 to see the red fireball. As part of the anniversary, Volkswagen displayed different generations of the various Golf GTI models. Among them were a Golf GTI MK1, through to the MK3 and a racing version. During the trade fair, Volkswagen apprentices built a restored Golf GTI MK1 directly at the booth, and then drove it out of the hall on the final day. At the Audi booth, visitors could take a look at two mid-engined classic cars and several of the manufacturer’s vehicles from its early days. Skoda gave an impressive tour through the company’s entire history with some true classics.
BMW was also able to celebrate an important anniversary this year and presented technical masterpieces from its 100-year history, starting with the KLEMM L25 aircraft type with a BMW motor from 1923, through to its more recent cars.
Several unique Mille Miglia cars were presented in the atrium of the fair.
Anybody on the lookout for rare and unusual vehicles found them at the Techno Classica. For example, there was the Ferrari 500 Superfast once owned by the actor Peter Sellers, and a Mercedes Benz 170 SD works car that used to belong to legendary racing driver Juan Manuel Fangio. The Auburn-Duesenberg Roadster radiated all the flair of the Great Gatsby era. Next to it stood the record-holding Abarth with its aerodynamic design. Particularly elegant specimens were a Delahye 135 Ghia and a Chrysler Special Ghia, together with an exceptional Pegaso, a sports car with many surprises in store with its attractive details. Winner of the “Best of Show” award was the Ferrari 259 GT SWB at Axel Schuette’s booth.
The scene would have very little substance without the clubs, and so it was the clubs themselves which also had several highlights on show. One of the themes was “125 years Panhard”, with the Panhard Club presenting the oldest vehicle at the trade fair with a P2D from 1892. It was accompanied by other models from Panhard’s yesteryear. The Ford Club’s booth celebrated the victory at Le Mans in 1966, with three Ford GTs standing underneath an archway to symbolise the legendary finish. The Fiat 500 Club showed the 1:1 scale kit and assembled a Fiat 500 live at the booth.
The main topic of conversation at the Techno Classica, however, concerned the huge explosion in prices for classic cars. This trend has occasionally resulted in totally unrealistic prices, such as the 198,000 euro price tag for a Porsche 911 SC Targa, or a Porsche 924 at an asking price of 84,000 euros. Vehicles that cost somewhere between 20,000 and 60,000 euros just a few years ago, are today no longer to be had for less than a six-figure sum. Meanwhile, some of the passion seems to be missing at such a trade fair.