Why you want to visit Stuttgart's Retro Classics 2018

There’s far more than just the Porsche 911 and various Mercedes-Benz saloons to be found during 2018’s Retro Classics event in Stuttgart. Here’s some highlights so far

Stuttgart’s Retro Classics show has found itself tarnished by keyboard warriors and brainwashed wagon-jumpers in the run-up to the 18th annual event. Taking to forums and stalking anyone who will listen, critical enthusiasts claim Retro Classics 2018 is brimmed only with Porsche 911s, Mercedes-Benz 190s, some more Porsche 911s, Audi Quattros and some further Porsche 911 variants.

Well, that claim is nonsense. For 2018’s showcase in the Messe Stuttgart centre there’s a broad range of vehicles covering everything – from daily hacks of yesteryear, to supercars, to…erm…agricultural farm machinery.

Gawking surprise aside, there’s a serious point to the displayed heavyweights. Stretching from modern day back to the origins of agricultural motorisation – this is a display that will never be seen again. As far as one-offs go, this cabinet of mud-plugging muscle has to be seen to be believed – entitled ‘Giants of the Field’. We’ll report on that soon.

However, if tracked workhorses and tractors larger than most semi-detached houses don’t quite satisfy your cravings, there are nine other halls packed with cars from across the globe. Mazda drift cars, pre-war Horches, project barn finds – it’s ten halls and all manner of corridors lined with Ferraris, Aston Martins and the odd Brit offering; tucked away in the ‘English corner by Retro Classics’.

For those seeking the most German of automotive offerings, this is the main artery of the event. Yes, there are - shock - lashings of 911s, but they are complimented by every other vehicle in the Porsche range; alongside rarities and genuinely groundbreaking engineering marvels from all calibre of marques.

Deep within the displays you’ll discover the likes of a V12 Mercedes S-class W140, the daintiest example of BMW’s now-legendary 507 and an Audi V8 – now so rare that most believe it to be extinct, although for good reason. The engine itself claims the coveted title as one of the most problematic, unreliable and downright challenging powerplants to ever grace a production line. Seeing one of these up close remains a seldom found opportunity.

Should you be more of a 4x4 driver than anything else, the good news is that you are well catered for. The bad news is, there is so much to find peppered throughout the insane coverage that your bank account will never be safe again – especially as so many are up for grabs.

Over 1000 vehicles – commercial, classic and modern – are untaken at the time of writing; including Rowan Atkinson’s Lancia Thema and Colin McRae’s WRC 1999 Ford Focus rally car.

The latter two are offered by Silverstone Auctions. You can view the full lot listings for Saturday’s sale here.

Before you so much as enter the building, there is a presentation of highly desirable classics, all offered for various prices. Besides luxurious barges of Range Rover P38 and Mercedes G-Wagen ilk, Ford Mustangs, Citroën Dyanes, Fiat 500s, Mercedes 450 SLs And BMW 750is are all seeking new homes. There is a DeLorean DMC-12 and a Jaguar XK140 adoring the entrance too.

As if that’s not enough mouth-watering excitement as a taster, a stunt team continuously display the capabilities of the iconic UniMog on a man-made course within a holding pen, mere feet away from a priceless swathe of heritage vehicles.

Special celebrations at Retro Classics 2018

Mated to all manner of celebrations, a number of pre-war treasures have been amassed in public after many years away from communal attention. A display from Mr Saulius Karosas brings together the world’s largest collection of ‘Karossier Erdmann & Rossi vehicles’. Made up of more than 80 cars, the throng includes sought-after examples of incredibly early Horch, Audi, Maybach, Rolls-Royce and Bentley models.

‘I’m very glad, and proud, to show this collection here,’ explained Karl-Ulrich Herrmann, Managing Director of RETRO Messen GmbH. ‘I admired this collection 25 years ago in Berlin.’

Porsche are celebrating their 70th anniversary throughout 2018, with a curtain-raiser during the popular Stuttgart event. Besides a Porsche Museum exhibition residing in Hall 4 that is sure to get all Porsche purists’ hearts racing, there are to be short guided tours and autographing slots with legendary racing drivers Walter Röhrl and Hans Herrmann on Saturday (March 24) and Sunday (March 25) at 2pm each day.

The BMW Z1’s 40th birthday celebrations are worth viewing, with an exceptional Schnitzer M1 Turbo residing in Hall 4.

You can find out more about the upcoming three days with the AutoClassics' Retro Classics preview.

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