Techno-clas­sica essen

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Event Report -

essen, ger­many, 10 april

This is one Ger­man show that won’t have dis­ap­pointed any­one ex­pect­ing bangs for bucks – 21 halls and seem­ingly ev­ery patch of out­door space avail­able was taken up by cars from across the clas­sic spec­trum. There re­ally was some­thing for ev­ery­one.

Man­u­fac­tur­ers pull out all the stops at Essen and this year was no dif­fer­ent. BMW cel­e­brated its cen­te­nary in some style, dom­i­nat­ing one hall with cars from clubs and its own mu­seum. Young­timers also played a key role, with mod­ern clas­sics like the 850 shar­ing floor space with 2002s, which turn 50 this year.

One ma­jor theme that was par­tic­u­larly ev­i­dent on the BMW stand, but also through­out the show, was the role tuners and mod­i­fy­ing has to play in not only clas­sic cir­cles, but in wider man­u­fac­turer his­to­ries. This meant that not only did Alpinas form part of the dis­play, but there were also ex­am­ples of Baur and Diana cre­ations; even some of the club dis­plays were on af­ter­mar­ket wheels.

This could also be seen on the club stands, from a 165PS-at-9000rpm Fiat Panda to Volk­swa­gen Polo with a toi­let for a pas­sen­ger seat.

Mercedes-Benz pro­vided a huge dis­play with a pri­mar­ily con­vert­ible theme to re­flect new prod­uct launches (S- and C-class, in case you were won­der­ing). The high­light here was a cut­away SLK, a Mercedes that in it­self is cel­e­brat­ing its 20th birth­day.

Volk­swa­gen-Audi Group had an en­tire hall to it­self, with prom­i­nent dis­plays from Audi, Skoda and Volk­swa­gen it­self, to cel­e­brate the Golf GTi’s 40th birth­day. Porsche was keen to show off its clas­sic parts se­lec­tion, with a great dis­play demon­strat­ing its lat­est clas­sic car restora­tion suc­cess – the 911 Jur­gen Barth took to a class vic­tory at Le Mans in 1972.

Alfa Romeo put on a big dis­play, us­ing the re­lease of the brand new Gi­u­lia range to show off hot four­doors from its past, from a 1955 Gi­uli­etta Ti to a 75 Turbo Evoluzione.

High-end clas­sic car deal­ers dom­i­nated stand space, and even the out­door ar­eas didn’t yield a plethora of op­tions for those on a tighter bud­get. How­ever, the clubs – as al­ways – put on a great show, with our high­light be­ing the Volk­swa­gen T3 hav­ing a bath. Rub-a-dub-dub, we’re told.

Techno-Clas­sica Essen has so much go­ing on, a week­end doesn’t seem long enough – we’re book­ing the en­tire week next year; and with flights from Heathrow only tak­ing an hour plus half-an-hour’s train ride from Düs­sel­dorf, it’s some­thing you re­ally have to do at least once. Nathan Chad­wick

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