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3/24/2015, 12:42:22 PM cet

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Stuttgart, April 03,2001



Stuttgart - The cradle of the automobile
The idea to organise the first true Classic & Vintage Car Motor Show in Stuttgart – the birthplace and hometown of leading marquees like Mercedes and Porsche - was born last year when a small vintage car display at the AMA, another modern automobile exhibition, created a lot of public interest.

It seems strange that a city like Stuttgart, which will always be remembered because of its important automobile industry, and in which automobiles play such a big role for the people of this region, has never had any outstanding Classic Car Show.

A reason for this could be Daimler-Chrysler’s own Automobile Museum in Untertuerkheim, which is one of the best, albeit devoted to one manufacturing group, which would be difficult for any Car Show to beat.

Anyway, ‘overdue’ was the most commonly used word for the Retro Classica, which was held for the first time over the weekend of 30th March / 1st April 1st 2001. No other town in Germany, if not the whole world, could be more predestined for a Vintage Car Show !

Mainly local automobile clubs and vintage car dealers showed their gems and exceptional automobiles in five halls. Represented were cars ranging from a Heinkel ‘Kabinenroller’ and Isettas to real thoroughbreds like Mercedes 300 SL or Veritas RS.

Mythos Solitude resurrected
Tobias Aichele, the man behind the Mythos Solitude Events, resurrected the old glory of Stuttgart’s once great race track – the Solitude, which was closed in 1965 because of security reasons and general traffic problems. He kept his promise to organise an impressive exhibition of unique and original race cars, such as the one-off Holbein HH 49 or the AFM Intertyp, both based on a BMW 328 chassis and once raced the old Solitude track.

Not only cars, but a dozen ex-Solitude race drivers visited the Mythos Solitude stand to sign autographs, or an exclusive print under a facsimile of the Solitude race tower. Paul Ernst Strähle, Herbert Linge, Paul Pietsch and Hans Hermann to name but a few, took the opportunity to be reunited with their old cars and to recall the old times when racing was so much different from today.

Ursula von Hanstein, the widow of Huschke von Hanstein, remembered that she and her husband often accommodated a lot of drivers, i.e. Dan Gurney or Innes Ireland, when they came to Stuttgart to race at Solitude in the 50’s and 60’s. In comparison to today’s motor sport there was more real friendship and passion for racing, and money played a much lesser part then.

One of the many highlights of Saturday’s evening gathering was the presentation of old Solitude race films made by Justus Pankau, who chatted about his career and the circumstances in which he made racing films during the 50’s in a discourse with Ursula von Hanstein and Tobias Aichele.

Occasions like this will be a treasure of the Mythos Solitude for eternity !


Vintage cars of particular interest
As expected, mainly German vintage cars were on display at the Retro Classica 2001. Kienle, the expert Mercedes restorer, showed an amazing exhibition of some of Mercedes’ greatest milestones. A wonderful Mercedes 540 K together with a 500 K, plus at least five 300 SL Coupes and Roadsters and a Mercedes 600 Pullman crowned Kienle’s stand as the best of all.

One of the 300 SL Coupes was an ultra-rare alloy version (only 29 built) restored to perfection by Kienle in contrast to the unrestored but running highly original example next to it. Bless God that I’m in no position to make a decision to choose which one I would take….

Besides Kienle’s display Horst Koch from Heilbronn offered his stunning metallic blue Fiat Otto Vu for 780.000.- DM together with a Maserati Ghibli Open Cup, Fiat Dino Spider and two Ferrari 328 models.

The Classic Car Center offered a Maserati Ghibli SS, a Jaguar XK 140 and a nice Alfa Romeo 1300 GT Junior ‘Kanenhaube’, freshly restored for 18.500 .- DM.

As already mentioned real Solitude racers were gathered on the Mythos Solitude stand. One of the race cars displayed was Paul Ernst Strähle’s well-known Porsche 356 Carrera – registered ‘WN-V 2’, in which he won his class in the Mille Miglia 1957 together with Herbert Linge.

Other remarkable results of ‘WN-V2’ were class-wins in the 1000km Nuerburgring race 1957, in the Tour de Belgique 1957, in the Bolzano-Mendola hillclimb 1958, in the Schauinsland hiclimb 1958 etc. etc..
Paul Ernst Strähle even races his Carrrera in today’s Historic Race events like the Kitzbühel Alpenrally or the Ennstal Classic. It seems some cars will never retire.

Retro Classica - Promising future
In the next six years the Retro Classica event in Stuttgart will always be held over the last weekend in March. If the organisers continue the concept they’ve started now, I’m sure everybody with interest in Vintage cars should plan a trip to Stuttgart in spring for this event.

Additionally, Tobias Aichele from Mythos Solitude Events has concrete plans to create a Solitude Revival event on the old Solitude race track in 2003. He will invite all surviving Solitude race cars and motorbikes for an unique and unforgettable race gathering.

Gentleman start your engines !

Bjoern Schmidt

Heinkel Tourist 103 A2 Polizei
Isetta
Mercedes 300 SL Coupe black
Mercedes 300 SL unrestored
Holbein HH 49 F2
Tobias Aichele, Ursula v. Hanstein, Justus Pankau
Mercedes 540 K
Mercedes 500 K
Lancia Stratos
Fiat Otto Vu
Maserati Ghibli SS sn AM 115-49-1784
Porsche 356 WN-V2
Talbot Darracq 150 SS
Alfa Romeo 1300 GT Junior sn 1249352