Big 5 museum exhibit helps draw more than 23,000 visitors
For well over 20 years, Interclassics has been a well-known name within the European winter scene of indoor collector car shows. At least that’s been the case with the Interclassics staged annually in Maastricht, Netherlands.
With the increased popularity and demand for classic cars and shows featuring them, Interclassics has expanded across the border, staging another show in the capitol of Belgium. Now in its third year, the Interclassics show in Brussels occupies four halls filled to the rafters with exhibits, dealers, clubs, memorabilia and so on.
This year one of the main themes was to bring five of the major European museums together and let each of them showcase three cars that represent the museum’s collection. Situated dead center in the main hall, this display was a big showstopper — 15 cars selected for a special exhibit.
Labelled as the Big 5, these are often referred to as their national car museum even if they are in private hands. Belgium of course has Autoworld, located in Brussels, to keep the Belgian honor high. Also present were the The Louwman Collection (Netherlands), Beaulieu (United Kingdom), Cité de L’Automobile, Schlumpf Collection (France) and Museo Nazionale Dell’Automobile (Italy).
It’s difficult to walk past a Talbot Lago T150C Teardrop (Louwman), Graham Hill’s Lotus F1 car (Beaulieu) or a Minerva that used to belong to the Belgian Royal Family (Autoworld), let alone the dozen others displayed with them.
Nonetheless, many people also were pleasantly surprised by a secondary display. On the entire length of the second hall was a line of Cyclecars. Those are tiny vehicles that many have forgotten but that had a big impact in period. Seeing such a broad variety of marques and body styles was without a doubt a bigger showstopper then most people had anticipated, especially since every car was accompanied by an original picture of its heyday.
A couple of club stands also went all out with some neat surprises here and there. For example, seeing the very first BMW Baur HC just casually standing there, making it the very first 3 series convertible.Volkswage Neretti by D’Ieteren (one-off).
Still, the biggest shock came if you wandered past the Volkswagen stand, where you expect to see a Bug and a Golf and the usual plethora, which of course they had on display. Yet in the middle was this sleek looking sports car that would be unknown to most people.
It was a one-off build Neretti by D’Ieteren. As a base, what else, a VW Bug was used with a fiberglass body. Since the D’Ieteren company was building VW Bugs in Brussels, it’s easy to see why it choose one of these as base. Yet, that line… It would have been fantastic to see more of that car around, but with a more sporting engine.
With over 23.000 visitors during the weekend, it’s safe to say that for a young event, this version of Interclassics is off to a very good start.