What to see at Retro Classics 2018
We take a sneak preview at one of Europe's largest classic car events, which takes place in Stuttgart on March 22-25
When the doors open in Stuttgart on March 22 for the 18th Retro Classics car show, both exhibitors and guests can look forward to a fresh highlight among many. For the first time, the new Hall 10 will be utilised to open up a total display area of 30,000 square metres – brimming with everything from cars to accessories destined to get the pulse going whether you are a collector, enthusiast or amateur mechanic.
Now the largest trade fair for historic and classic cars in the world, Retro Classics will feature the new Mercedes-Benz Hall and the ALLIANZ Retro Night 2018, both in Hall 10.
Fifty years of Irmscher will be marked with a showcase of unique vehicles built in small-scale series to suit every taste since 1968. The brand’s special, intricately designed models cover the entire spectrum of the auto industry.
Alongside this special celebration are a number of pre-war treasures, including a display from Saulius Karosas – best known for his Erdmann & Rossi vehicles – exhibiting a 1939 Horch 853 A Cabriolet. This example once belonged to Hugo Poddig, owner of the Poddig Works in Berlin.
Two further highlights are the Mercedes-Benz 380 Special Roadster, thought to be the only example of this model, and a 1934 Maybach DS 8, of which fewer than ten remain. As if that isn’t quite enough, the ultimate barn find is also on display; a 1941 Packard Super 8 Eight-Door Airport Limousine. This rare gem now belongs to the ChromeCar team, paired with a 1939 Futurliner. Having undergone a serious restoration, this presentation can be found in Hall 1, Stand 1D53; the first time it’s ever been seen in public.
For all things Italian, Hall 7 is dedicated to the passion of that country’s automobiles. After the success of 2017’s Passione Italiana, in partnership with Vision Up, the nation’s innate flare is destined to spice up proceedings with lavish exhibits covering motorcycles, classic collections, wines, traditional art, music and all the good food you can cope with.
Acclaiming 40 years of the BMW Z1, Retro Classics will give visitors the opportunity to experience the icon’s history with a selection of racing and road-based specimens. These incorporate a number of unique vehicles in Hall 4, including the Schnitzer M1 Turbo.
Neo Classics are trumpeted as residing in Hall 5, and bring together modern classics that stir the emotions and ensure passion remains the lifeblood for the future. The vehicles on display include the Mercedes SL 55 AMG, Porsche 996, BMW Z3 M-Coupé, Ferrari F360 Modena and McLaren SLR – and these are only a fraction of what you will find.
If you prefer Picasso to Citroën, the MAC – Museum of Art and Cars – will be displaying unusual concept art. The number of trade stands is also huge, ensuring you’ll find any piece of memorabilia you require within the halls of Retro Classics.
For something a bit different, under the title of Giants of the Field, Bulldog-und Schlepperfreunde Württemberg e.V. and its partners are putting together a totally unique display – the likes of which is claimed will never be seen again.
As the name suggests, this portion of Retro Classics focuses on heavyweights from the early days of agricultural motorisation right through to modern times. Enjoy seeing up close such leviathans from the steam power age onwards, for it may never happen again.
Silverstone Auctions will also be present, presenting Rowan Atkinson’s Lancia Thema and Mercedes-Benz under the hammer alongside Colin McRae’s winning WRC 1999 Ford Focus rally car.
You can purchase tickets for Retro Classics through the show’s official website.