Re­view: An­twerp Clas­sic Salon

From Fer­raris to hov­er­ing VWs – this show had it all

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

It was an­niver­sary time for the Clas­sic Salon in An­twerp, Bel­gium as the show cel­e­brated its 40th year as one of Europe’s lead­ing in­door clas­sic car ex­hi­bi­tions, en­joyed by more than 20,000 visi­tors.

This year’s event did noth­ing to tar­nish its in­creas­ingly strong rep­u­ta­tion, with the main themed dis­play inevitably cel­e­brat­ing Fer­rari’s 70th an­niver­sary. A mouth­wa­ter­ing line-up of 16 com­pe­ti­tion and pro­duc­tion cars kicked off with a 1949 Tour­ing-bod­ied 166 In­ter Coupé, plus some out­stand­ing mod­els in­clud­ing a 1952 225 S Vig­nale Ber­linetta, 1957 250 GT LWB Cal­i­for­nia Spi­der and Ger­hard Berger’s 1987 For­mula 1 car.

Away from these dream ma­chines, a wealth of lo­cal Bel­gian clas­sic car clubs staged some gen­uinely imag­i­na­tive dis­plays fea­tur­ing more at­tain­able ve­hi­cles.

A few stand-outs in­cluded the Bel­gian Volk­swa­gen Cabrio Club which imag­ined how the 2117 An­twerp Clas­sic might look, with a pair of hov­er­ing sil­ver VWs, sur­rounded by dry ice! The Bel­gian Peu­geot Club went for a more tra­di­tional dis­play with two red 404 Cabri­o­lets on its all-white stand to evoke an im­age of Pin­in­fa­rina’s 1960s mo­tor show dis­plays.

The Opel Club re­mem­bered the An­twerp-built Ranger mar­que, a short­lived Gen­eral Mo­tors range of Opel Rekord-based mod­els, adapted for the Benelux and Swiss mar­kets.

Fiat Club Bel­gio cel­e­brated 60 years of the 500 with a va­ri­ety of cars based on the bam­bino, in­clud­ing an Au­to­bianchi Eden Roc, Vig­nale Gamine and Moretti jeep. The Flem­ish English Car En­thu­si­asts Club ac­com­pa­nied the façade of a Bri­tish pub with mem­bers wear­ing bowler hats and Union Jack waist­coats to ac­com­pany the Mini Cooper and Rover P4 dis­play.

The over­all con­sen­sus of the 40th edi­tion of the An­twerp Clas­sic Salon was that it was one of the best for some years, and worth a re­turn visit in 2018. Gary Axon

ÕIt was one of the best for some years, and worth a re­turn vis­itÕ

Micky Pat­tin­son and Claire Un­der­wood with the rare BMC JU250 camper many had said was un­restorable. The cou­ple proved them wrong and have toured Switzer­land in it. Both of these mod­i­fied Mi­nor Trav­ellers were re­stored by JLH Mi­nor Restora­tions. Richard Hob­bis’ metal­lic blue ex­am­ple now sports a Rover K-se­ries en­gine and many other up­grades, since which it has done 40,000 miles. Mike Dean, right, was so in­spired by Richard’s car that his 1969 Trav­eller is now pow­ered by a 1275cc MG Mid­get en­gine. Anne-Marie Ed­ding­ton trav­elled from Kent to the Scot­tish High­lands to col­lect her 1983 Mini City… and then took it on a 200-mile Bri­tish tour. ‘I just fell in love with the car af­ter hear­ing about it through friends, she says. Part­ner Terry Ainger ‘just loves any­thing BL.’ Though his Austin Maxi has been re­painted in Ford Rosso Red! A mar­vel­lous pair of Maxis – on the right is the old­est known 1750 Maxi, owned by Martin Cham­ber­lain. Chris Mun­ley’s 1972 ex­am­ple has just reached 100,000 miles. Bring on the pranc­ing horses – the main themed dis­play marked 70 years of Fer­rari. Dis­plays in­cluded hov­er­ing Volk­swa­gens (top) and down to earth Mi­nis (above).

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