Paris, City of Lights, and collector cars, and even snow

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Paris Retromobile, the king of the winter car shows | ClassicCars.com
Renault celebrated its corporate and Le Mans anniversaries with a multi-car display that included the drivers' helmets | Dirk de Jager photos

Paris in February, and this year it meant snow on the ground. But even if it doesn’t, February in Paris for the collector car community means Retromobile, the king of the indoor winter shows.

This year, with the weather, there were some worries that perhaps not all cars would get delivered in time, but all the stands where full.

And not just full, but as is to be expected they were full with some of the highest quality and rare cars in the world.

Paris Retromobile, the king of the winter car shows | ClassicCars.com
Watchmaker Richard Mille salutes McLaren racing

Nowadays, Retromobile also is where the major automobile manufacturers showcase their heritage and classic departments, even going so far to make vehicle debuts there, just as they do at the major new car auto shows in Los Angeles or Frankfurt.

Jaguar has noticed a newly and lucrative market with re-creations of its famous models. At Retromobile 2018 it displayed its latest offering, 25 newly build D-types made their worldwide debut in the City of Lights.

A couple of rows down was Renault with its usual big and impressive stand celebrating the company’s 120th anniversary. It also is the 40th anniversary of the company’s 1978 victory at Le Mans, so it brought all four of its cars from that race, plus the helmets of each of the drivers.

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As usual at Retromobile, collector car dealer displays drew huge crowds. The dealers try to outdo each other. One of the masters is Lucas Huni, a Swiss dealer who this year had 10 short-wheelbase Ferrari 250s in his display.

But you could find gems even at the stands of the smaller dealers. When was the last time you saw an Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva or a Grand Prix Alfa?

Even watch manufacturer Richard Mille grabbed massive attention with his tribute to McLaren. Ranging from a Can-Am to Formula One to the Le Mans winner, this display was not to be missed.

Paris Retromobile, the king of the winter car shows | ClassicCars.com
From the Le Mans Museum, cars from the 1928 24-hour race

To bring in variety to counterbalance the heavy-hitter dealers, in another hall was a special exhibit of classics available for no more than €25.000 ($31,263 at the current exchange rate). The idea was to show that there are loads of interesting and affordable cars out there.

Although I spotted several great cars, the prices listed on them where, well, a bit high for those models, yet still within the 25K budget.

And beyond the cars there are displays of art, books, scale models, spare parts and more.

It’s har to resist Paris anytime of the year, but with vintage vehicles and even snow, it was more so than ever at Retromobile this year.

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A racer's son, Dirk de Jager is a Belgian-based photographer raised in a family of car enthusiasts. While his passion started out with classic Italian cars, it has expanded to include other nationalities with a preference for cars of the 1930s to 1950s. Dirk can often be found at top classic car events in Europe and the United States, whether on a racetrack, rally or concours field. For the past decade he has photographed numerous rare classic cars either for international magazines, commercial work, auction company's or private collectors. In addition to photography, he tests classic cars and assists collectors in managing their collections and showing cars at leading concours.

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