The classic car season is definitely revving up and gaining speed. After some smaller local classic car shows, like Auto Retro in Roeselare (Belgium) and the first larger Interclassics Maastricht, the ride went on max speed with the first major European classic car show : the Retromobile in Paris. Never before the Retromobile was as large as it was this year. The organisation once again did it’s uttermost best to please both the exhibitors and visitors. The event starts on Wednesday to go on till Sunday. The Palais des Exposition is crowded with classic car enthusiasts during these 5 days. All of them return with a big smile, and so do the continuously number of exhibitors.
Traditionally the Retromobile is the moment major auction houses bring important cars to Paris to be offered to the highest bidder. We’ve brought you a preview of all the Porsches that were offered for sale by the 3 auction houses Artcurial, RM Auctions and Bonhams. In a later report we’ll tell you all about the results.
The eye-catchers at Retromobile
All major European classic car dealers do whatever they can to bring some great cars to Retromobile Paris. And oh my god, yes they did a great job. No Porsche, but Tradex brought an amazing tribute to 70 years Ferrari with the ex F1 car exhibition. Almong them cars that used to be driven by heroes as Pedro Rodriguez, Arturo Merzario or Jacky Ickx . Stunning that’s all one can say about that. Richard Mille, the well-known watch manufacturer brought some of the cars of his collection of F1 cars.
The Porsches at Retromobile
An eye catcher was definitely the Kremer Porsche 917-K81 that ran the 1981 Le Mans 24H with the complete French drivers team Bob Wollek, Xavier Lapeyre and Guy Chausseil at the wheel. Unfortunately the car couldn’t fulfil the high expectations, and wasn’t as successful as the predecessors were in the seventies. Soon, we will bring you a more detailed report on this car, with the complete history. As a Belgian we are always happy to see some Belgian race history represented at classic car shows. To my great surprise the Porsche 356 B-T6 Carrera 2 GT of Eddy Meert and Wim De Jonghe was for sale. The car was entered in the 1963 Tour de France and won the 1964 12H of Huy. The car is in pristine condition now. It was great to see that even the glovebox lid was removed back in the days to lose some extra weight. At the same dealer, you could find another Porsche 356 Carrera 2. This one was never used for racing, and spent all of its life as a ‘normal’ driver.
Wherever you see Serge Heitz at a classic car show, you know you’ll see some great Porsches. Nothing else this year. Eyecatchers were the 1962 Porsche 356 Carrera 2 Cabriolet, one of 25 built. Next to that they had 2 1960 Porsche 356 B-T5 Roadsters, a 1962 Porsche 356 B-T6 Roadster. Impressive, isn’t it. Well that’s only the flat-four division. A 1972 Porsche 911 2.4S, a 1973 Porsche 911 2.7 RS ,a 1974 Porsche 3.0 RS and a 1967 Porsche 911S Targa soft window made the madness complete. Extasy, but you can understand you have to dig deep in your wallet to lay your hands on one of these cars.
The oldest Porsche that was on the Retromobile was the 1950 Porsche 356 Pre-A at the Axel Schuette stand. This car belongs to the oldest survivors of early cars, an extremely rare 4-digit car that gained much attention. There’s no doubt this car will end up in a great collection and be taken care of the way it deserves : with deep respect.
The Porsche Museum brought the one off Porsche 928 that was given to Ferry Porsche for his 75th anniversary. The car that is 28cm longer as a standard Porsche 928 can be seen as an early predecessor of the current Porsche Panamera. Another bespoken Porsche 928 : the one that travelled the world in 2016 during the Porsche 928 expedition. The car drove from Paris to New York over Moscow, Siberia, Mongolia and Japan. Impressive.
Parts, literature and memorabilia
No classic car show without folks looking for parts to complete the restoration of their cars. No classic cars without collectors looking for that one book, brochure or poster they still miss in their collection. A great part of the occupied surface has the booths with dealers of memorabilia and literature. We noticed the rarest of the rare when it comes to literature with some great Porsche memorabilia and manuals. As you could expect, prices were not for the faint of heart but that’s what it is when you’re close to the holy grails of your collection. Dozens of tables with thousands of miniatures of al cars one can imagine. Some of them real toys for kids to play with, other rare gems or high quality reproductions built by skilled craftsmen.
Next to the cars we’ve already written about, dozens and dozens of interesting cars at the Retromobile Paris. Once again the show proved it’s importance and the reason of it’s existence. The large crowds that filled the Palais des Expositions during the 5 day event proved that there’s definitely a steady market for classic cars. It was great to be in Paris at the show again, we will be back in 2018, February 7 – 11. We hope to see you there too
2017 Retromobile Paris
Pictures : Vintage Race Photography & Wilfried Geerts