You might wonder what it means to ask the question whether a visit to the Paris Retromobile is a visit to a museum or a classic car show. Regular visitors to the event know what I mean. No other show has that many high-quality, rare and exclusive cars. We were mainly focused on Porsches but of course, French, Italian, and British brands are very well represented too.
Rare Porsche race cars
For Porsche fans, there was no other way around a visit to the display of the renowned British dealer Fiskens. 3 cars immediately drew our attention. A genuine Porsche 356 Carrera Speedster was one of them. Chassis 81079 is the third of eight production Carrera Speedsters. It is one of the rarest Speedsters in existence, and with outstanding competition history. Another Porsche gem sat next to that rare Carrera Speedstar.
The 956 prototype, chassis 001, and the father of all Group C Porsches is the revolutionary machine that Jacky Ickx pronounced “Amazing!” after its first day of proper testing at Le Castellet Circuit Paul Ricard on 31 March 1982. Being the prototype 956, 001 is surely one of the most important and historic Porsche competition cars to come to market – for those with a Group C obsession.
The real eyecatcher however was undoubtedly the Gulf Porsche 917-031/26. This Porsche 917K was immortalized as the race winner in Steve McQueen’s 1971 film Le Mans, and was the Gulf-Porsche works entry for Mike Hailwood and David Hobbs in the 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours.
To our great surprise, we found another Porsche 917 on the Paris Retromobile show. Franco Lembo showed Porsche 917 K81, a car that made its first presentation to the Paris Retromobile in 2017. The 1980 Le Mans victory from Jean Rondeau in a car of his own making inspired the Kremer brothers from Cologne. They became confident that they, too, could make a mark with a self-built car. With that in mind, the brothers began to gather various Porsche 917 components and were even given access to the vital drawings created for the original car after revealing their project to Porsche. The result was the Porsche 917 K81. Unfortunately, drivers Bob Wollek, Guy Chasseuil, and Xavier Lapeyre did not make the Kremer brothers’ dream come true.
More Porsche race cars
As if that was not enough Gipimotor showed the Porsche 910-005 that Jacques Lafitte drove in the 2013 Tour Auto. This car was entered for Scooter Patrick and Gerhard Mitter in the 1967 Sebring 12 Hours. They finished 3rd overall and won the 2.0-litre class. Peter Auto brought attention to the 100th anniversary of Le Mans and to this year’s Le Mans Classic with 2 Porsche Museum cars. The Porsche 550 Spyder (Chassis 550-012) was one of the 4 factory cars in the 1954 Le Mans. Porche 907-031 took part in no less than 3 races at the Circuit de la Sarthe
Mentioning all the interesting cars you can admire at the Retromobile is almost impossible. We can only advise you to not miss the show next year. Of course, we cannot guarantee that you’ll see the same number of important, rare and exclusive cars. But in all the years that we visited Retromobile, we never returned home disappointed. A visit to Retroclassics is more than just a visit to a classic car show. It is a visit to a museum. Let’s hope Retroclassics in Stuttgart end February will reach the same quality.