From early afternoon, Wednesday April 6th till Sunday April 10th 6pm, the heart of any classic car lover was at the Techno Classica 2016 in Essen, the largest classic car show worldwide. As a regular visitor, I have seen quite an evolution in the Techno Classica in Essen, Germany. I can’t remember how many times I visited the show, but it definitely is over 20. I’ve seen the changes. And one of the most striking changes -next to the prices of the cars that keep on going up- is probably the number of visitors that make it to the Techno Classica every year. The number is continuously growing, with an absolute record number this year. No less than 201.034 visitors in 5 days, the first time the show has a number over 200.000 and an absolute world record today. And let one thing be sure, one can only reach such a high number of visitors when you make sure they get value for their money.
To make the exhibition even larger as it was the previous years, the Gruga Halle, that’s right next to the Essen Messe, made part of the show for the first year. The Coys Auction was at the 1st floor of this exhibition space, and to reach the stairs some exhibitors showed their cars on the lower floor. This floor was connected to a large tent outside, and housed some more exhibitors. In my personal opinion, I encourage a show to grow. On the other hand, I don’t know if the exhibitors that were in this ‘new created’ exhibition space were that lucky. Not the most convenient spot of the show, and definitely not the most crowded. I wonder if all visitors even knew about it. The Coys Auction had some Porsche 911s but actually not the most stunning or rare. Probably the rarest was the 1984 Porsche 911/930 Turbo (Flatnose) or the 1996 Porsche 993RS. A great looking Irish Green 1964 Porsche 356C Karmann Coupe went under the hammer too.
At the official Porsche exhibition, the car that took most attention was the Porsche 911ST that freshly had a nut and bolt restoration by the Porsche factory and ofcourse the celebration of 40 years transaxle, which was actually almost the same as at the RetroClassics in Stuttgart earlier this year.
The true stars of the show were to be discovered at the different dealers inside. After so many years, we know where to be to find the gems.
Serge Heitz brought us some great early Porsche 911s and Porsche 356. The Porsche 356A Carrera Cabrio was a car that attracted lots of attention but when I left the show at Friday, no buyer yet. The dutch Porsche Classic Centre Gelderland usually brings some fantastic cars too. Remember the Beutler Porsche just a few years ago. Eyecatchers this year were the 1965 Porsche 911, a stunning yellow Porsche 911S Targa. Most adorable to me was the VW T1 Bus with a Formel V C Combination, that reminded me to the one that was for sale just some years ago by Jan Lühn.
Jan Lühn is another name to remember when it comes to great Porsches. Last year at the Technoclassica he had some 4 fabulous Porsche 911 RS, and a Porsche 917 Spyder. This year he surprised the audience with a 6 times Le Mans 1991 Porsche 962, a ex factory Porsche GT1, a Viper Green 1973 Porsche 2.8 RSR, 1 of just 55 ever, and ofcourse the 1967 Porsche 911R, the type of 911 that drew much attention earlier this year because of the relaunch of 911R. This particular Porsche 911R was delivered new to Sonauto Porsche France, on October 26th 1967. The owner immediately entered the car in the Tour de Corse and the Criterium des Cevennes. One year later, the car participated in several races too, among the the Stuttgart Solitude and the Rally Lorraine with a 4th place over all as a result. In 1969 the car was crashed in practice at the Rally de Rouen, which made it impossible to start the actual rally. This accident meant the end of the racing life of Porsche 911R 006. After that, the car changed ownership a few times to finally be found in storage where it was stored as an unfinished project. The current owner completed the restoration and had the Tour de Corse livery being made to give rebirth to this wonderful car.
The Viper Green Porsche 1973 Porsche 2.8 RSR may be one of the most raced cars of it’s kind asthe privateer, gentlemen racer Eugen Kiemele used it all throughout the 1973-racing season, competing in the DRM, DARM and European GT championships. At the end of the season the car was sold by Kiemele to raise funds for his new acquisition : a Porsche 3.0 RSR that again was traded in one year later for a Porsche 934. The Porsche 2.8 RSR has been in restored in the early nineties and lots of NOS parts have been used back then. It is anabsolutely authentic car that has all of the small details that one wishes to find on such a rare piece of Porsche’s racing history.
Pictures : Vintage Race Photography and Wilfried Geerts