In its 28th year, the Techno Classica show remains the largest of its kind, filling up not only the 12 convention center halls at the Messe in Essen, Germany, but also an underground room and four upper-level structures as well with classic vehicles.
This year the show expanded on to outdoor fields, an additional underground parking area and even a large tent erected where officials plan to build another nine more exhibition spaces.
But even with these additional areas, we heard several exhibitors complaining about having difficulty getting the space that they wanted.
No fewer than 25 automakers and most of the top European and United States classic car dealers were present for an event that certainly didn’t disappoint spectators and car enthusiasts alike.
BMW and Mercedes-Benz always tend to steal the show, although VW, Audi and Porsche reguarly give those two a good run for their money as they all display their impressive automotive heritages.
Audi, for example, showcased an obscure but neat-looking electric car by placing it in front of the Avus Quattro concept, a guaranteed eye catcher!
As it seems to be the case every year, it’s impossible not to find a 300SL gullwing or roadster, so many, in fact, that you wonder how many are actually owned and driven instead of being for sale.
Yet you can find rarity’s as well. How about 4 Lancia S4 Stradale and rally versions?
Although this show tends to set a trends and follow where the money is going — which now means relatively late-model sports and supercars — you will still find a plethora of pre-war cars in various price categories.
It does remain interesting to see that some dealers have no problem putting the asking price up on their cars, even if in some cases that means multi-million-dollar vehicles parked next to each other.
For me personally, one of the cars I wanted to take home — even if it carried a re-creation body and a price tag of £500.000 (more than $711,000) — was a 1936 Bentley 4 1/4-liter Count Trossi-style roadster. Yes, I know, it’s a Derby Bentley and not a proper W.O. one, and the real Trossi Roadster is not on a chassis of this brand, but still…
Ah, the joys of visiting such a classic show where all the high prices are widely available for everybody to dream about, and where will be something around for everybody’s taste.
Photography by Dirk de Jager