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Essen, 15th - 19th of April, 2015

Sunday April the 19th the biggest European trade fair for classic cars closed its doors after another very successful week. Although competitors like the Retro Classics in Stuttgart might have grown in space due to the more modern exhibition centre it is still remarkable that Essen again attracted more than double the amount of visitors with more than 190.000 in five days. After a quiet media and trade visitors day on Wednesday the main halls of the show filled up early on Thursday morning with a constant stream of people to the final hours on Sunday afternoon. The very international visitor ship had a lot to see with more than 2500 cars offered by 1250 exhibitors alongside of all things related to the classic car hobby including spares, tools, fashion, automobilia or services. Thanks to the latest development on the market the average price of the cars on offer seemed to increase again compared to the previous editions and although many cars were offered with prices on request only (normally indicating a high price tag) not few of them were already sold before the official opening on Thursday morning in the SIHA hall, some of them reportedly even on the parking during unloading.



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Certainly Essen had something in common with Stuttgart a few weeks earlier: the almost never ending offer of Porsche and Mercedes of all ages ranging from the first models to the more and more popular youngtimers. But it seems that the demand has changed a little bit over the last 12 months as just like at the international auctions the sale of the 300 SL Gullwing and Roadsters seems to stagnate and there were less examples on show than in previous years. With prices well in the million the smaller cousins, the 190 SL or even the later Pagoda models take the next step and not few dealers are specialized in them.

At their nearby rivals from Zuffenhausen the trend shows in two different directions. After the previous years were particularly dominated by the 911 S from the early sixties and the 356 Cabriolets and Speedsters this year saw a lot of older pre-A models of the first production models, either as “bent windows” or even as the rarer “split window” variations. Although less sportive than the later models the early Porsches seem to be the favour of the moment alongside the latest and more sportive variations of the last air-cooled boxer engine. Especially the 993 is selling strong at the moment and the GT2/3 or Turbo versions are setting price records on almost every recent auction showing that a younger generation of buyers is coming into the market.

Even more obvious is this development in the market of the marque with the prancing horse. Setting auction records every year the 12-cylinder models of the 1950s and 1960s became unaffordable for most enthusiasts and the younger models come into the market. Especially the 5 litre 12-cylinder from the 1970s with the 512 BB and also the later iconic Testarossa were seen in higher numbers than ever before in Essen, almost every dealer had some of them on offer. Of the older models several 330 GT2+2 or Daytona could be bought.

Same could be said about the Lamborghini models. After the market was more into Miuras in the past the Countachs are starting to fetch serious money and the cars with their typical door opening were very prominently presented by the dealers.

But Essen is also a place to find more exotic machinery and there are several very high profile dealers on show including Lukas Hüni, Axel Schütte, Opus or Jan B. Lühn who all took their spot in hall1, profiting from the less space Mercedes-Benz and their clubs occupying in recent years.

After the sensational French display in Paris Lukas Hüni had a more diversified display this time with a lot of interesting car ranging from the fast Porsche 959 celebrating its 30th anniversary this year to a not so fast Citroen 2CV 4x4 Sahara. A very strong increase in value had the Lancia Aurelia B24 over the last years, in the past several of those could be seen on various driving events but since the car qualifies for the cover image of the major auction catalogues as one of the featured cars they tend to disappear in private collection, Hüni had a very nice Convertible, several America Spiders could be seen in Essen as well. At his entrance one of the stars of Paris, the Bugatti Type 57 S Corsica was flanked by a superb Aston Martin DB3S but star of the booth might have been the green Alfa Romeo Montreal Group 4, a race car built by Autodelta.

Just a few meters further was the display of Jan B. Lühn who clearly took a step up from last year’s display in hall 3. His display featured the first CanAm Spider built on the Porsche 917, the 917/10-001 livered in the famous Gulf Colours. Not less important is the Martini livered Porsche 911 RSR, the prototype of the race version with the “duck rump”. It was flanked by no less than 3 of the 2.7 RS both in street and race trim. Lühn could also get one of the Best of Show trophies for the most important youngtimer, his yellow Bugatti EB110 SS was crowned by the jury indicating that the Italian part of the modern Bugatti history becomes more important as well.

The overall Best of Show award was given to Axel Schütte for his wonderful Ferrari 250 GT Series 1 Cabriolet, just after the one in Paris Schütte could again show one of this rare full Cabriolets that climbed into stratospheric price regions in the slipstream of the even more popular California Spider. One could even compare the two versions of the Cabriolet as Schütte also had one of the later Series 2 Pininfarina Cabriolets on show plus a 250 GT Lusso, fortunately all of the in more decent colours than the resale-red of the last Ferrari boom years in the late 1980s. Other important cars on offer where a Porsche 718 RSK and the unique Maserati Boomerang by Giugiaro.

Just opposite was a very lavish display of Opus just showing 6 cars on a stylish white floor making a huge difference to the volume dealers in the other halls trying to display as many cars as possible on the given space. Aside the Maserati Mexico Frua Prototype that was just seen last year at the first Chantilly Art&Elegance Concours in France the main exhibit was the first Porsche to be built in the then all new Porsche Exclusive Department, the Burgundy 935 Street Version of Mansour Ojjeh, boss of TAG. Rarely seen since this might have been one of the highlights of the entire show and one could imagine the sensation a car like this made on public roads back then.

Few people know that the hall 1 also has a downstairs floor and in the past this was not the most interesting part of the show as few exhibitors were willing to display basically “closed to the public”. But this year the lower floor was well presented as Concours and Show car area where further high profile cars could be seen. Kroymans featured the oldest Ferrari on show, a 212 Inter by Vignale whereas Hödlmayer Classics showed a barn find Bugatti T30 that was surrounded all day by spectators. This was also an indicator that the unrestored cars attract much more interest than most of their concours restored sister cars. Especially many Porsche Speedster were shown in good unrestored condition giving their new owner both the possibility to preserve them in as found condition or perform a restoration according their specific wishes.

Another feature of the big trade fairs are always the works displays and just like Paris Essen does show its importance especially with the huge bright booths of the manufacturers, although booth is simply understated. All the German manufacturers Mercedes-Benz, BMW and the VAG-Group occupy almost an entire hall to show their heritage.

Starting at the entrance in the East is hall 12 of BMW. Although the display is not as big as 10 years ago when they set up an entire building in the middle of the hall they always represent Rolls-Royce, Mini and their own car. This year featured the 40th anniversary of the 3-series BMW with their most sportive variations, the M3.

Even bigger is the display of the VAG-Group in hall 7 representing all the marques within the group as well as their own Autostadt, the Museum in Wolfsburg. Audi represented the history of their cabriolet starting with the Audi Front to the latest TT models, VW itself featured the 40th anniversary of the Polo and several interesting exhibits from the Autostadt including their Bugatti Royale Binder and the Bentley 8 Litre Mulliner with an olive green Beetle hanging over them. This also led to the display of their noble marques Bugatti and Bentley including the famous Blue Train Bentley Speed Six.

Latest addition to the VAG-Group is Porsche and so the display from Zuffenhausen went from their former place in hall 3 to hall 7 a few years ago. As mentioned earlier Porsche celebrates the 30th anniversary of the 959 and the evolution into the latest Supercar 918 with a cut-away model of the legendary 4-wheel drive Supercar from the 1980s.

Mercedes-Benz again was in hall 1 surrounded by their numerous clubs with an own display. After the theme of 120 years of motor sports in 2014 this year was again dedicated to their latest restoration, the 540 K Stromlinien-Coupé. Just as in Paris and Stuttgart Streamlining was the theme of the display but unlike in the two former shows the classic department took the display a little bit further. Whereas the cars were just lined up at the other shows every car in Essen had its own wall with the cut-away shape of the bodywork and a description of the car data ranging from the pioneering of streamlining with the Blitzen-Benz to the record braking diesel-powered C111-III. Also included in the display was the streamlined version of the 1955 GP car, the W196. This also led to the main display of this year’s show, the 60th anniversary of Mercedes most successful racing season ever when not just the W196 R (Racing) won the Formula 1 championship in the hands of the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio but also the sports car version, the W196 S (Sport) won the World Sportscar Championship. Better known as the 300 SLR this might be the most dominant sports car ever being undefeated in all the races it was entered.

After the war it was in 1952 when Mercedes came back into the light of international racing with the 300 SL, the clever constructed lightweight space frame with the unusual door layout that should make the serial production renown under the name Gullwing. Whereas the W194 was produced using a lot of parts from production models it encouraged the executive board to give green light for further racing programs. In 1954 it was the W196 starting a dominant season in F1 leading to a sports car derivate of the 8-cylinder with the desmotronic valves and a three litre displacement to the regulations of the sports car championship that should be entered in 1955.

Mercedes-Benz missed the first two rounds of the championship in Buenos Aires and Sebring but the car was ready for the third round, the legendary Mille Miglia in Italy. What is considered as the finest victory for Sir Stirling Moss (partnered by Denis Jenkinson) and the SLR should be the start of a dominant season. Unfortunately it was also the year of the biggest disaster in the racing history of Mercedes with the horrible crash at La Sarthe when Pierre Leveghs crashed into the spectators on the main straight after avoiding the Jaguar of Hawthorn and an Austin Healey going into the pits. The remaining SLR were withdrawn from the race but with superb drives both at the Tourist Trophy in Dundrod and the Targa Florio at the final race Moss secured the championship for Untertürkheim alongside the F1 title of Fangio. Winning also the two non-championship races at the Nürburgring and in Sweden the SLR left the scene unbeaten at the end of the year when Mercedes quit racing due to the disaster at Le Mans. Today the Mille Miglia winning 300 SLR with the legendary race number “722” is considered the most valuable car in the world and it only leaves the museum for a few selected occasions. After the celebration of Sir Stirling at Amelia Island a few weeks ago the car was displayed in an own room in Essen surrounded by the images of its great victories in 1955 giving this car a well-deserved ambience.

Essen is still the most important trade fair and although it does not match the more familiar charm of the Retromobile it is the place to be both for the dealers and enthusiasts. As there is something for everyone from private sales on the outside area to multi-million Euro classics, pre-war coach built exotics to youngtimers, concours to barn find spread out over the entire exhibition centre one has to take his time to discover everything and when looking at the booking rates of the hotels in Essen during the Techno Classica not few stay for more than one day. The trade fair is as international as it could be and there almost every language could be heard during the days showing that Essen is very well known over the German boarders.

A lot of cars changed hands during these days and with the outdoor season just around the corner one could be curious which ones of them could be seen driven by their proud new owners on the international rallies or on the lawn of the Concours in the next months.

Report & images … Peter Singhof
www.ClassicCarPhotography.de



Keywords used for Techno Classica & Coys (2015-04-19)
60 years of the Citroen DS
60 years of the Fiat 600
AC Cobra 427
AC Cobra s/n CSX3041
Adler Diplomat Cabrolet Papler
Alfa Romeo 1600 GT Autodelta s/n AR752540
Alfa Romeo 1900 C Super Sprint Coupé "Lugano" Ghia-Aigle
Alfa Romeo 1900 Sport Spider
Alfa Romeo 19000 CSS Boano Copé
Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS
Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Ghia
Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 S Pinin Farina
Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 S Touring s/n 915033
Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Touring Cabriolet
Alfa Romeo Montreal Autodelta Gr.4 s/n AR1425230
Aston Martin AR1 Zagato
Aston Martin DB2/4 Vignale
Aston Martin DB3S s/n DB3S/108
Aston Martin DB4 GT s/n DB4GT/0159/R
Aston Martin DB4 Series I
Aston Martin DB4 Series IV
Aston Martin DB5 s/n DB5/1818/R
Aston Martin DB5 Vantage s/n DB5/1861/R
Aston Martin DB6 s/n DB6/3586/R
Aston Martin Le Mans s/n G3/298/S
Austin Healey 3000 BJ7
Autocar 10 HP Twin-Cylinder
BAHREIN
Bentley 3 Litre Speed Model s/n 703
Bentley 4 1/2 Litre SC "Blower" s/n MS3950
Bentley 6 1/2 Litre Tourer s/n MD2475
Bentley 8 Litre H.J.Mulliner Saloon s/n YF5001
Bentley Mark IV Graber DHC s/n B190CF
Bentley Speed Six Blue Train Special s/n HM2855
Bentley Speed Six s/n WK2661
Benz 200 HP Blitzen-Benz
Benz Patent Motorwagen Rep.
BMW 326
BMW 327/328
BMW 328 MM Touring Berlinetta s/n 85368
BMW 329
BMW E36 M3 GTR
Borgward Isabella Coupe
Bugatti EB110 SS
Bugatti T30 Cabrio
Bugatti T41 Royale Coupé de Ville by Binder s/n 41111
Bugatti T57 C Gangloff Cabriolet s/n 57715
Bugatti T57 S Corsica Roadster s/n 57491
Bugatti T57 Vanvooren Cabriolet
Bugatti T57 Ventoux s/n 57528
Bugatti T57 Ventoux s/n 57782
Bugatti Veyron Vitesse Grand Sport
Cisitalia 202 SC Stabilimenti Farina
Citroen BX4 TC Turbo
Citroen DS21 DX Cabrio
Citroen DS21 Pallas
Cooper Bristol T40
Coys Techno Classica 2015
DB HDR
De Dion Bouton Typ Vis-A-Vis
De Santis
Delahaye 135 M Chapron
Delahaye Typ 1
Ferrari 206 GT Dino
Ferrari 206 GT Dino s/n 00306
Ferrari 246 GT Dino s/n 00916
Ferrari 250 GT Boano s/n 0675GT
Ferrari 250 GT Lusso s/n 5289GT
Ferrari 250 GT Pininfarina Coupe s/n 1793GT
Ferrari 250 GTE s/n 2773GT
Ferrari 250 GTE s/n 4599GT
Ferrari 288 GTo Evoluzione Rep. by im Carpenter
Ferrari 308 GTB Vetroresina
Ferrari 328 GTB Turbo s/n 75605
Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 s/n 10085
Ferrari 330 GTC s/n 10629
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona s/n 14693
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona s/n 16327
Ferrari 512 BB s/n 22253
Ferrari 512 BB s/n 28033
Ferrari 512 BB s/n 30863
Ferrari 512 BBi s/n 48511
Ferrari 512 TR s/n 95029
Ferrari F40 s/n 88538
Ferrari Testarossa s/n 63963
Ferrari Testarossa s/n 85285
Fiat 1100 Zagato
Fiat 1500 Touring Berlinetta
Fiat 500 Jolly Ghia
Fiat 500 Kit
Fiat 600 Jolly
Fiat 600 Multipla Marinella by Fissore
Fiat 850 Sheletta Michelotti
Fiat 8V Series II
Fiat OSCA 1100 TV Fissore
Fiat Tipo 5
Ford GT40 s/n P/1079
Ford RS2000
Hanomag Rekord Diesel
Horch 350 Phaeton
Horch 780
Horch 853 A Special Roadster
Horch 853 Head and Crankshaft
Isotta Fraschini 8A Commodore by Castagne
Jaguar SS1 FHC
Lagonda 2 Litre Team Car
Lamborghin Miura Roadster
Lamborghini 350 GT Touring s/n 265
Lamborghini 400 GTS Spider
Lamborghini Countach 5000S QV
Lamborghini Countach Quattrovalvole
Lamborghini Espada Series 1
Lamborghini Islero S
Lamborghini Uraco
Lamborghini Veneno
Lancia Aurelia B24S America Spider
Lancia Aurelia B24S America Spider s/n B24S-1092
Lancia Aurelia B24S Convertible s/n B24S-1328
Lancia D24
Lancia Dilambda Boneschi
Laurin&Klement Type S
Lot 101 - 1965 Lotus Elan S II Roadster
Lot 103 - 1977 ZIL 114
Lot 104 - 1955 MG TF
Lot 106 - 1958 Fiat 600 Rendez-Vous Vignale
Lot 108 - 1993 Ferrari 348 TB
Lot 109 - 1970 Fiat Abarth 595 Essesse
Lot 110 - 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster
Lot 112 - 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190SL
Lot 114 - 1988 Porsche 959 Coupe
Lot 115 - 1960 Porsche 356 Cabriolet 1600
Lot 117 - 1963 Ferrari 250 GTE
Lot 118 - 1995 Porsche 993RS
Lot 119 - 1962 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8 Litre Roadster
Lot 120 - 1960 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupe by H.J. Mulliner
Lot 121 - 1936 DKW Meisterklasse Luxe Cabriolet
Lot 122 - 1938 BMW 328 Roadster
Lot 123 - 1972 De Tomaso Pantera
Lot 124 - 1960 Porsche 356 B 1600 Roadster
Lot 125 - 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Lot 126 - 1962 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8 Litre Fixedhead Coupe
Lot 127 - 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT
Lot 128 - 1965 Porsche 356 C Coupe
Lot 129 - 1966 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 4.2 Litre Roadster
Lot 130 - 1976 Porsche 911 G-series Carrera RS
Lot 131 - 1953 EMW 327 Drophead Coupe
Lot 132 - 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL
Lot 133 - 1934 Bentley 3.5 Litre Oxborrow & Fuller Design by Vanden Plas
Lot 134 - 1980 BMW M1
Lot 135 - 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500S Freccia d'Oro Sports Saloon
Lot 136 - 1977 Ferrari 308 GTB - Group 4 Specification
Lot 137 - 1996 Porsche 993 CUP
Lot 138 - 1970 Porsche 911 2.2S Coupe
Lot 139 - 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Pall Mall Tourer
Lot 142 - 1960 Porsche 356 1600S Cabriolet
Lot 143 - 1959 Jaguar XK150 3.4 Fixedhead Coupe
Lot 144 - 1994 Aston Martin Virage Volante
Lot 145 - 1963 Maserati Sebring
Lot 147 - 1971 Maserati Ghibli 4.9SS Spyder
Lot 148 - 1994 Porsche 964 Speedster
Lot 150 - 1971 Porsche 911 S/T
Lot 151 - 1973 Ford Capri 2.8 Group 2
Lot 152 - 1997 Ferrari F1 GP V10 Engine
Lot 154 - 1929 Isotta-Fraschini 8A Faux-Cabriolet Cesare Sala
Lot 156 - 1954 Lancia Aurelia GT B20 S Series IV
Lot 157 - 1963 Fiat OSCA 1600S Cabriolet
Lot 158 - 1935 Riley Imp 9HP
Lot 159 - 1963 Lancia Flavia Convertible Vignale
Lot 160 - 1974 De Tomaso Pantera
Lot 161 - 1992 Porsche 964 RS
Lot 162 - 1954 GAZ ZIM-12
Lot 165 - 1953 Delahaye 235 Coach by Letourneur & Marchand
Lot 166 - 1964 Porsche 356 SC Coupe
Lot 167 - 1971 Lancia Fulvia 1.6 HF
Lot 168 - 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe
Marino Brandoli Fiat 1100 S Spider
Maserati 26B
Maserati 3500 GT Touring Coupé s/n AM101.1588
Maserati 3500 GT Vignale Spider s/n 101.1389
Maserati A6G 2000 Coupé Allemano s/n 2147
Maserati Boomerang
Maserati Ghibli SS Spider
Maserati Mexico Frua Prototype s/n 003
Maserati Tipo 151/3
Mercedes 22/40 HP s/n 6755
Mercedes-Benz 230 N
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing s/n 198.040.5500523
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing s/n 198.043-5500486
Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR s/n 0004/55
Mercedes-Benz 320n Cabriolet s/n 191746
Mercedes-Benz 500 K Roadster
Mercedes-Benz 540 K Experimental W24
Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Cabriolet s/n 130913
Mercedes-Benz 710 SS s/n 35955
Mercedes-Benz 710 SS s/n 36343
Mercedes-Benz 711 SS Tourenwagen
Mercedes-Benz and Porsche
Mercedes-Benz C111-III
Mercedes-Benz SSK s/n 36245
Mercedes-Benz W25 Streamliner
Messerschmitt KR200
Nardi-Danese 750 cc Boby Sport s/n ND47-1
Opel Experimental GT
Opel GT Clay Model
Opel Styling-Studie CD
Ople Design-Studie GT-W Genéve
OSCA 1600 GT2 Coupé Fissore
Ostalgie
Pegaso Z102 Berlinetta Panoramica
Porsche 356 A Reutter Coupe
Porsche 356 A Speedster s/n 83797
Porsche 356 B Carrera 2 Cabriolet
Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500 Knickscheibe
Porsche 356 Pre-A Geteilt-Scheibe
Porsche 911 2.8 RSR s/n 911 360 0001
Porsche 911 HLS
Porsche 911 SC/RS
Porsche 911 ST
Porsche 911 Turbo Targa
Porsche 917 K Replica
Porsche 917/10 s/n 917/10-001
Porsche 935 Street Turbo-TAG
Porsche 993 Cup 3.8 RSR
Porsche 993 Turbo
Renault 40 CV Tourer s/n 139416
Riley 9 HP Brooklands
Rolls-Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost "The Duchess" s/n 27NA
Seat 1400 Visitas
Seat Panda Marbella "Papamobil"
Seat Savio
Siata Daina Transformabile s/n SL0168
Simca 8 Sport
Simca Aronde Oceane Cabriolet
Skoda Display
Stanguellini 1100 Monoalbero Barchetta s/n Cs 01113
Stutz BB Black Hawk
Talbo Lago T14 LS
Talbot Lago T26
Tatra 80 Sport Cabriolet by Zavody Tatra
Tatra T87 Limousine s/n 50.055
Techno Classica 2015
TRACKS
US Cars
Voisin
Volkhart V2 Sagitta
Volvo 262C
Volvo 262C Solaire Convertible
VW 411 E Automatik
VW Bulli Line-up
VW Polo Display
VW T2 Disco Queen
Work in Progress