ANTWERP CLASSIC SALON
ANTWERP, BELGIUM, 4-6 MARCH
Touring cars raced by Belgium’s driving masters stole the limelight in what was the busiest Antwerp Classic Salon on record.
A Ford Sierra Cosworth, Chevrolet Camaro and Mazda RX-7 driven by Belgian greats like Jacky Ickx provided the focal point for fans from 14 nations, including Britain and New Zealand. Visitor numbers increased to 29,200, up by almost 3000 compared with 2015’s attendance figures.
Away from the static racing displays, clubs provided zany stands in a revamped Hall 4 that featured more classic car clubs than ever. Various Volkswagen groups from across Europe used the occasion to meet up. British classics were prominent, with many enthusiasts’ organisations such as the Antwerp MG Car Club embellishing Blighty lifestyle with tongues firmly in their cheeks by donning clichéd clobber, such as bowler hats and plus fours.
More than 400 cars were up for grabs at the show, ranging from high-end dealer classic to cheap and cheerful private sales. Among the European dealers, HK Engineering and Koen Heuts were offering eyewateringly pricey Mercedes-Benzes and Jaguars, but the private car sales held many bargain Renaults, and even a Suzuki Supercarry.
The Best of Show award went to a stunning Brussels-built 1927 Excelsior Albert I Court Cabriolet, while glorious Jaguars, Fiats and Porsches collected individual car gongs. The Belgische Club Voor Oude Peugeot’s picked up the Club of the Show prize.
It was a veritable goldmine for collectors and spares-hunters, too. Think of Antwerp’s Classic Salon as a half-way house between the more down-to-earth Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show and the starspangled, all-singing, all-dancing Techoclassica Essen. All this, and it’s just a two-hour drive from Calais. James Sadlier and Murray Scullion