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Porte de Versailles 2.-6. February 2011

The 36th edition of the Classic Car Show saw some changes as it was shortened from the former 10 days with two full weekends to a 5-day event. Especially the clubs, small car and automobilia dealers appreciated the new format as this reduces the costs and the amount of time. 300 exhibitors found their way to the Palais des Congrès at the Porte de Versailles and filled Hall 7.3 that houses the fair since several years and as the organizer does not seem to have plans for an expansion the space stays highly sought after and no free booth could be found.
On the first day that also serves as a press preview in the morning the new format was the talk of the day but when the public was entering the fair the rush of visitors made clear very soon that the amount of customer contacts would be the same as in the years before. So the last concerns were gone already at the first day. The first day is also the day for the major collectors as many well known of them were seen in the first hours of the show, Sir Stirling Moss also payed a visit.

When summarizing the attractions of the Retromobile a major part are always the booths of the major manufacturers. To start with the local companies Renault, Peugeot and Citroen are usually well presented in Paris. Peugeot featured some very special cars like the 402 with aerodynamic body designed by Jean Andreau and a 404 diesel record car. Renault celebrated the 50th anniversary of the R4 with a huge display of the charming grafter in different versions. The R4 was used by many companies for delivery purpose or served the police and the post office so the display featured a yellow postal R4 and a blue Gendarmerie. The R4 had also several special editions over the years ranging from a pink sixties to a flower power model or one with rattan design that was more common in the thirties. And the R4 was raced either at the track or on rally stages.
This leads to the third French manufacturer Citroen that payed tribute to their successes at the rally sports. Decades before Sebastian Loeb and Citroen became dominant in the modern WRC the DS and later the CX were entered in the international rally sport like the Safari Rally with success. The modern era was presented by several Championship winning cars including the last years winning C4.

Mazda celebrated the 20th anniversary of their Le Mans victory in 1991, Skoda showed several cars spanning their long history that is still mostly unknown by the public.
The oldest car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz can look back at a huge history so there is every year a special anniversary of one of the numerous models produced over the decades. This year the automobile itself has it 125th year after Carl Benz invented the Benz Motorenwagen in 1886. The car (a tricycle) is well known for its first tour with Bertha Benz at the “wheel” around Mannheim, several replicas were build since and grace several museums all over the world. A highlight was the 500 K Special Roadster in its very rare first design with its low door line. The car is rarely seen in public as Mercedes also owns a more common later designed roadster that was displayed in the museum or at several shows in the past. The display was rounded off by one of the latest styling studies, the Concept Shooting Break of 2010.

The Retromobile is also known for the large exhibitions of the premium car dealers and in recent years it seems that especially Lukas Hüni, Hall&Hall and Gregor Fisken have a friendly competition as they feature several highlights every year. They usually feature beside the cars for sale several clients cars to present their portfolio.
Centrepiece at the booth of the Lukas Hüni AG was without doubt the Bugatti T57 SC Atlantic. The car is known for having a huge crash with a train in 1955 killing its owner and causing heavy damage to the car. After a last restoration by Paul Russel the Atlantic was displayed at Pebble Beach last year and caused much interest by the public. Being the only of the three Atlantic in Europe this is a rare opportunity to see such a car on the continent.
Another car from last years Pebble Beach Concours was the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza (2111046), for some reasons the splendid restoration did not match that good on the racer as it does on the Atlantic so many discussions developed in front of this car how a pre-war racer should be restored. Furthermore there were 4 Ferraris ranging from a lovely 250 Europa that was displayed at the Villa d´Este a few years ago, a 750 Monza, a 555 Super Squalo to a Dino 206 S with Montagna Spider body. The Jaguar XK120 Roadster finished 11th overall in Le Mans 1951 and leads to the booth around the corner...

Hall&Hall is specialized in rare race cars so it is no surprise that the display features sports cars and single seaters of the thirties and fifties. As already mentioned Hall&Hall had 2 Jaguars with them, a C- and a D-Type. One of the favorites was the beautiful OSCA MT4 prominently displayed at the front platform. The entrance was flanked by the single seaters including a Cooper-Maserati and a Lotus 33 plus a Talbot T26 GS. At the back the Vanwall and an Alfa Romeo P3 attracted the visitors. Hall&Hall gave thought to the lightning in advance and the usual spots were replaced by light-cubes that gave a softer light and that was mainly appreciated by the numerous photographers during the days. This concept is surely worth to be refined in the next years.

Just over the corridor was the booth of Gregor Fisken. This featured 2 Jaguars as well, a C-Type and a very rare Lightweight E-Type. The car is presented in remarkable original condition as it was spared from a second racing career in the hands of private racers after its works entry in Silverstone and Goodwood in the hands of Salvadori and alkies. It is interesting to compare an original car with those cars used very competitive in today´s historic racing.
In front of the Jaguars a freshly restored Ford GT40 was flanked by a pair of racing Maseratis, an A6 GCS and a 300S. But star of the display was the recently discovered Squire 1500 with a Ranalagh body. The car is striped from paint showing the sound condition of the aluminum-body but otherwise it is in barn-find condition. With just 10 examples build it is remarkable that just after the completely restored example at the Cavallino Classics 2 weeks ago this second car could be seen in public within such a short time.

New in the “circle” of the large dealer booths was the fabulous display of Duncan Hamilton. The well known classic car dealer once founded by the Le Mans winner and now operated by his son Adrian has put together a collection of Gulf livered cars. The display ranged from single seaters with just a sticker on them (Brabham and McLaren) to the selection of sports cars in the famous light blue / orange paintwork. Most famous are surely the Ford GT40 and the Porsches. Especially the Porsche 917K became prominent by the film “Le Mans” with Steve McQueen that set a monument to this era, the 908/3 was entered in this livery at the Targa Florio. The light blue reappeared at Le Mans in the 1990s with the McLaren and is today visible on the Aston Martin racers either in the GT and the LMP-class.

Another small special display payed tribute to Juan Manuel Fangio and his career in the Formula 1. Fangio won 5 titles on 4 different cars and there was one example of each displayed in Paris. The first title he won on an Alfa Romeo 159, the second on the legendary Mercedes-Benz W196 that dominated in 1954/55 in the hands of Fangio and Moss. Further titles were won on a Lancia D50 and the Maserati 250F.

When it comes to Ferrari the Retromobile usually has quality instead of quantity. Ferrari Classiche themselves were represented with a 330 GT 2+2 and a Daytona. RM brought two of their early consignments for the forthcoming prestigious Auction at the Villa d´Este, the 375 MM Pininfarina Berlinetta with Special Body (0490AM) and a very rare Talbot-Lago Teardrop.
Just around the corner the organizers of the GT&Sports Car Cup, Automobiles Historiques Ltd. displayed the 250 LM (6051) that is currently for sale with them.
Sport et Collection featured two Ferraris with the 857S (0584M) and a 250 GT SWB (2269GT).

Another change for this year's Retromobile was the replacement of the auction within the exhibition. Artcurial took over from Bonhams who moved to the Grand Palais.
The auction preview featured several Aston Martin, Maserati and a selection of presidential cars. For images and the results please visit the auction section on Anamera.

As a conclusion of this year's edition it lasts the impression that there is no loss in quality over the years. There are always some new and interesting cars on show and a visit can´t be a disappointment. Beside the original size the Retromobile is also renown for the high quality of the scale models. Many small series and hand build gems of various size were brought by some of the most talented scale model builders making the visit worth alone for those interested in those.

Text&Images: Peter Singhof ... www.ClassicCarPhotography.de

Cars of Particular Interest

Retromobile (2011-02-07)
Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 S Pininfarina Convertible s/n 91564
Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Sport
Alfa Romeo 6CM 3000 s/n 1361.00127
Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza s/n 2111046
Alfa Romeo P3 s/n 50006
Alvis 4.3 Litre Short Chassis VdP Tourer s/n 14812
Amilcar CGSS Coupé Duval
Artcurial Auction Retromobile 2011
Aston Martin DB4 s/n DB4/296/L
Aston Martin DBR4
Aston Martin DBR9 s/n 007
Bentley 3 Litre VdP s/n 295
Bentley 3 Litre VdP s/n 913
Bentley S2 Continental H.J.Mulliner Flying Spur s/n BC73LBY
Benz Tricycle Rep.
Bizzarrini 5300 GT Stradale
Brabham BT26 s/n BT26/4
Bugatti Baby Type 52
Bugatti T13 Torpedo s/n 506
Bugatti T38 A Lavocat&Marsaud s/n 38400
Bugatti T40 Coupe Fiacre Bourak-de Costier s/n 40452
Bugatti T40 Grand Sport
Bugatti T40 Grand Sport s/n 40297
Bugatti T57 Roadster s/n 57160
Bugatti T57 SC Atlantic s/n 57473
Chenard & Walcker
Chevron B16 Mazda
Chrono43 LeMans Paddock display scale 1-43
Citroen 8 CV "Petit Rosalie"
Citroen Autochenille Type P17
Citroen C4 WRC 2010
Citroen CX 2400 Super Groupe V "Senegal"
Citroen Mehari "Arliquine"
Citroen SM Rallye du Maroc 1971
Citroen Xsara Kit Car 1999
Cooper -Jaguar T33
DB HDR 4CV Le Mans
De Dion Bouton Type Z
Delage V12
Duckhams LM s/n LM-1
Facel-Vega FA s/n D178
Ferrari 206 S Dino Spider Montagna Corse s/n 018
Ferrari 250 Europa PF Coupé s/n 0333EU
Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta s/n 2269GT
Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competizione s/n 2445GT
Ferrari 250 LM s/n 6051
Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy s/n 7995
Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 s/n 8469
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona s/n 15357
Ferrari 375 MM PF Speciale s/n 0490AM
Ferrari 555 Super Squalo s/n 555/1
Ferrari 750 Monza s/n 0502M
Ferrari 857 S s/n 0584M
Ford GT40 s/n 1084
Ford GT40 s/n GT40 P/1009
Gregor Fisken & Sir Stirling Moss
Hispano-Suiza K6
Hotchkiss 864 S
Intermarine 55
Invicta 4 1/2 Litre Low Chassis S-Type s/n S42
Jaguar C-Type s/n XKC007
Jaguar C-Type s/n XKC030
Jaguar D-Type s/n XKD534
Jaguar Lightweight E-Type s/n S850661
Jaguar XK120 Roadster s/n 660449
Kremer K8 Spyder s/n K8/07/SP
Lagonda LG45 Rapide s/n 12203/G10S
Lagonda V12 Rapide s/n 14119
Lancia Aprilia Pagani
Lancia D50
Lancia Lambda Series 3
Lancia Lambda Weymann Saloon s/n 18099
Laurenz Schaffer
Ligier JS 2 s/n 24387203
Lola Aston Martin LMP1 s/n DBR1-2/2
Lola MK6 s/n LGT-2
Lorraine-Dietrich "Vieux Charles III"
Lorraine-Dietrich 15 chevaux
Lorraine-Dietrich B3-6
Lotus 33 s/n R10
Maserati 250 F s/n 2529
Maserati 300 S s/n 3057
Maserati A6 GCS s/n 2043
Mazda 787B Le Mans
Mazda RX-7 Groupe B
McLaren F1 GTR Longtail s/n 022
McLaren M14/A2
McLaren M1B
McLaren M20 s/n M20/3
Mercedes 28/95 Sport Pheaton
Mercedes 37/90 ch
Mercedes-Benz 710 SS 38/250 Sindelfingen Sports Tourer s/n 36260
Mercedes-Benz Concept Shooting Break
Mercedes-Benz W196 s/n 00013/55
Mirage s/n 10002
Mirage s/n 704
OSCA MT4 2 AD s/n 1129
Peugeot 301 C "Miramas"
Peugeot 402 Andreau
Peugeot 404 Diesel des records
Peugeot EX1
Peugeot Type 7
Porsche 908/3 s/n 12
Porsche 917 K s/n 917-026
Porsche 935/78
Renault 4 Miss Sixty
Renault 4CV Display
Retromobile 2011
Retromobile Paris 2011
Scale Models
Skoda 1100 OHC
Skoda Laurin&Klement 110 Phaeton
Skoda Superb OHV
Skoda Type A Laurin&Klement
Squire s/n 1501
Steamcar of Nicolas Joseph Cugnot
Talbot T26GS s/n 110057
Talbot-Lago GS Coupé
Talbot-Lago T150 C SS
Talbot-Lago T150C-SS Teardrop Coupe
Talbot-Lago T23 s/n 93064
Tank Ferry 750 4CV Le Mans
Tank Vernet-Pairard 4CV Le Mans
Tipo B P3
Triumph Dolomite
Vanwall s/n VW9

Lot 110 Bugatti Baby Type 52
Lot 111 Ferrari 330 P2
Lot 118 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose
Lot 204 Renault Nervasport s/n 675827
Lot 205 Alfa Roméo Giulia Spider s/n 374928
Lot 206 De Dion Bouton K1 s/n 56
Lot 207 Panhard Levassor Dynamic Limousine 160 s/n 222538
Lot 210 Singer Le Mans s/n 5692
Lot 211 Austin Healey 3000 Mk III s/n HBJ8/36131
Lot 212 Peugeot Darl'mat s/n 400210
Lot 213 Jaguar SS 2,5 L Cabriolet s/n 46030
Lot 214 Dino Dino s/n 3344
Lot 215 Bugatti 57 C Atalante s/n 57756
Lot 221 Hispano Suiza K6 s/n 16013330031
Lot 223 Citroën DS 19 Cabriolet s/n 4200104
Lot 225 Rolls Royce Phantom II Continental s/n 40GX
Lot 230 Ferrari 275 GTB s/n 6653
Lot 232 BMW 328 Roadster s/n 85075
Lot 234 Ferrari 250 GTE s/n 3723
Lot 237 Bentley 3.5 L s/n B195EJ
Lot 240 Aston Martin V8 Vantage s/n V8/11863/HAS
Lot 241 Aston Martin DB4 Series 3 Saloon (b) s/n DB4/634/R
Lot 242 Aston Martin DB MKIII s/n AM/300/31696
Lot 243 Aston Martin DBS Vantage s/n DBS/5450/R
Lot 244 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage  s/n DB6/3567/R
Lot 245 Aston Martin Virage Volante Convertible s/n SCFDAM 2COSBL 60196
Lot 246 Aston Martin DB MKIII Competition Saloon s/n AM300/3/1502
Lot 247 Aston Martin V8 Vantage 550ch s/n SCFDAM 2SXVBL 70129
Lot 248 Aston Martin DB4 Series III Sports Saloon (g) s/n DB4/672/R
Lot 252 Ferrari 365 GT s/n 11899
Lot 254 Cisitalia type 202 s/n 183SC
Lot 256 Invicta Type S 4,5 L s/n S 57
Lot 257 Renault DM s/n 39542
Lot 259 Talbot Lago T23 Record s/n 93463
Lot 265 Mercedes Benz 190 SL s/n 121.040.7500094
Lot 267 Mercedes Benz 300 SL s/n 198.042.8500289
Lot 270 Mercedes Benz 220 Cabriolet s/n 180.030.6511690
Lot 271 Mercedes Benz 600 Pullmann s/n 100.0121.2000109
Lot 275 BMW M1 s/n WBS 5991000 4301146
Lot 279 Benova Biplace sport s/n 60300
Lot 281 Maserati 3500 GT Vignale Spyder s/n AM.101.1023
Lot 282 Maserati Mexico s/n AM.112.1-1030
Lot 283 Maserati 222 SR Bi-Turbo s/n *ZAM33B00* NB121895
Lot 284 Maserati Ghibli 4,9L SS s/n 115/49/1868
Lot 285 Lancia appia Zagato s/n 1094
Lot 286 Osca 1600 GT s/n 29
Lot 289 Delahaye 235 cabriolet Chapron s/n 818082
Lot 290 Peugeot 601 torpedo Grand Sport Meulmeester s/n 712006
Lot 291 Citroën DS 23 ie s/n FG 02 3864
Lot 293 Chrysler Crown Imperial s/n 7816131
Lot 296 Mercedes Benz 300 d Cabriolet s/n 189.010. 10001808
Lot 298 Simca Presidence Cabriolet s/n 326075
Lot 301 Citroën DS 19 reconstitution Petit Clamart s/n 4008896
Lot 302 ZIL 111 Cabriolet s/n 603
Lot 305 Lincoln Continental s/n 3Y82 N  420576