McLaren F1 ahead of the Lon­don Clas­sic Car Show. Rhom­boid shaped cars and spe­cial tributes to Renaults, all at this year's Rétro­mo­bile.

Rhom­boid-shaped odd­i­ties (well, strangely-shaped wheels), fu­tur­is­tic con­cepts and a lov­ing trib­ute to a Re­nault de­signer made Rétro­mo­bile so dif­fer­ent this year

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - RÉTRO­MO­BILE PARIS, FRANCE, 4-8 FE­BRU­ARY

An ex­hi­bi­tion ded­i­cated to cars with their wheels in a di­a­mond-shaped ‘rhom­boid’ for­mat and a large-scale cel­e­bra­tion of the work of Phillipe Char­bon­neaux, a de­signer who re­fused to ac­cept con­ven­tion, were the key at­trac­tions at Paris’ flag­ship clas­sic show.

The in­tended star of ‘ les Rhom­boides’ was the 1960 Pin­in­fa­rina Fiat PFX, de­signed for min­i­mal aero­dy­namic drag and even in­tended for pro­duc­tion, but even this was up­staged by the 1968 Au­to­mod­ule. De­signed by Jean Pierre Pon­thieu purely as a pro­mo­tional ad­ver­tis­ing ve­hi­cle, the Au­to­mod­ule could ro­tate through 360 de­grees within its own wheel­base, and re­sem­bled a 1960s’ he­li­copter mi­nus its ro­tor blades.

The trib­ute to Char­bon­neaux – the de­signer best known for in­vent­ing the mod­ern hatch­back with his Re­nault 16, as well as de­vis­ing the Re­nault 8 – was hon­oured with a se­lec­tion of his more un­usual de­signs. A mo­bile record­ing stu­dio built for Mar­coni and based on a Pan­hard lorry loomed over the nearby Re­nault stand, its wrap­around win­dows and an­gu­lar avant-garde bodywork mark­ing a fu­sion of Char­bon­neaux’s ex­pe­ri­ences work­ing for De­la­haye in the 1940s and Gen­eral Mo­tors in the 1050s. A pair of mid-en­gined, cen­trally-steered J-P Wimille three­seater pro­to­types, Char­bon­neaux’s Cisi­talia-in­spired De­la­haye and a rad­i­cal vi­sion of a fu­ture Salm­son also lined up along­side the de­signer’s for­ays into tele­vi­sion sets and re­frig­er­a­tors. Sam Daw­son

This Chevro­let Camaro thrashed Porsche 911s and Fer­rari 512 Ber­linetta Box­ers at Le Mans in 1982, fifin­ish­ing se­cond in class with Billy Hagan and Gene Fel­ton. Give Pessac Au­to­mo­biles a call and it could be yours. Saoutchik is known for un­gainly de­signs, but this 1928 MercedesBenz 680S isn’t one of them. It was orig­i­nally de­liv­ered to Robert Lee Slaugh­ter in New York. Rac­ing driver Ju­lia De Bal­danza dis­played her car col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing the ex-Kitty Mau­rice 1959 Frazer Nash Le Mans Coupé, Robert Cow­ell’s Alta 1.5GP, Patsy Burt’s McLaren M3A, and Ju­lia’s favourite racer, the 1951 Maserati A6GCM. Cisi­tilia pro­vided the in­spi­ra­tion for Phillippe Chor­bon­neaux’s doomed 1953 re­vival of De­la­haye.

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