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Porto, 03 - 05 October 2014

The 12th edition of the Auto Classico classic car show was held over the weekend of 03-05 October in the Exponor exhibition complex, located a short distance from Porto airport. As part of the show, there was a race track and paddock, where a variety of predominantly rally cars did flame spitting, rubber burning and waste gate popping and banging runs, through the course of the weekend. As part of the external features of the show there were displays by various one make or model clubs, who also participated in tours around the city in convoy at various times during the weekend. These included Porsches, BMW M series cars, Lancia Delta Integrales, Citroen Traction Avants and DS models, plus MGs.

The show also featured displays celebrating a number of anniversaries, including 110 years of Rolls Royce, with a nice display of models from the early days through to the sixties. There were a trio of Citroen anniversaries, 80 years of the Traction Avant, 60 years of the DS model and 40 years of the CX model, whilst the Clube Scuderia Rampante, celebrated 30 years of the Ferrari Testarossa with a two car display in pavilion 2. There was another twin car display close by of a pair of Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” coupes, celebrating that model’s 60th anniversary, plus exhibits featuring the golden jubilee of the Ford Mustang and Fiat 850, whilst a fine display of MGs marked that company’s 90th anniversary.

However, it was not only about anniversaries, as there was a fine display of cars by various single marque clubs, professional organisations like restoration shops and vendors, with a wide variety of offerings, ranging from pre-war American leviathans to sixties Mini Coopers, with a number of various motorcycles and scooters thrown in for good measure. For those of a sporting nature, probably the nicest display was that of the Rallye de Portugal, which featured a trio of Martini liveried Lancias, an example of the spectaclar Delta S4 on the starting ramp, flanked by a pair of Integrale HF models. There was a hall dedicated to spare parts, memorabilia, books, scale models, art and the like, which is an integral part of any classic car show, and from the number of people browsing the stands was well received. Auto Classico may not have the international recognition of shows like Tecno Classica or Retromobile, but it is a quality show, and proves that the classic car scene is alive and well in Portugal.

Keith Bluemel