Re­view: Geneva

Man­u­fac­tur­ers showed off their great­est clas­sics at Geneva – with plenty up­stag­ing their mod­ern sib­lings

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Keith Adams, with ad­di­tional photography by An­drew El­ph­ick

De­spite be­ing very much fo­cused on the fu­ture in these in­creas­ingly tu­mul­tuous times, the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try paid its due re­spects to its colour­ful past at the sea­son-open­ing Geneva In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Show. Among the glitzy new launches, ex­cit­ing con­cepts and end­less in­dus­try chatter about au­ton­o­mous driv­ing, diesel emis­sions and al­ter­na­tive power, nes­tled a fab­u­lous se­lec­tion of clas­sics.

Star billing must go to Ford. The com­pany chose Geneva to line up

’Man­u­fac­tur­ers were look­ing for­ward, but si­mul­ta­ne­ously ref­er­enc­ing the past’

a num­ber of its price­less clas­sics – with a se­lec­tion that en­com­passed a Ford Fi­esta XR2 MkII, a GT40 and rather a lot in be­tween. In­ter­est­ingly, the cars that ap­peared at Geneva were supplied by the UK’s Her­itage op­er­a­tion, which laid on an im­pres­sive dis­play. Given that the XR2 was there to high­light the launch of the lat­est Fi­esta ST, the 1980s orig­i­nal ar­guably up­staged the brand new young pre­tender.

Porsche might have had a new Panam­era shoot­ing brake to pro­mote, but the fact that it had an orig­i­nal 901 on its stand was a nos­tal­gic nod to its il­lus­tri­ous past. But prob­a­bly not as much as tun­ing firm Ruf’s 930-gen­er­a­tion CTR Turbo, which when you looked closely, packed all­new run­ning gear un­der­neath.

And this was un­doubt­edly the story of the show – the world’s car man­u­fac­tur­ers look­ing for­ward, but si­mul­ta­ne­ously al­ways ref­er­enc­ing the past. Volvo with the P1800, Mercedes-Benz with the 300 SL gull­wing, DS Au­to­mo­biles with the, er, Citroën DS, and even May­bach with its re­mark­able open-topped G-Wa­gen Lan­daulet. Ac­tu­ally, on sec­ond thoughts, let’s not men­tion that par­tic­u­lar car...

The fi­nal word must go to Switzer­land’s very own car man­u­fac­turer, Mon­teverdi. Al­though the com­pany hasn’t built new cars since the mid-1980s, its own­ers club, un­de­terred, had an ex­pan­sive stand at the show. It was lo­cated in among the ex­cesses of the tun­ing set – and gen­uinely the line-up that in­cluded the 375L, Sa­fari and Hai, was a sight for sore eyes.

A proper case of clas­sics up­stag­ing the mod­erns.

Brabus doesn’t just tune new Mercedes – it has a thriv­ing busi­ness restor­ing old ones. This 1968 280 sl was one of the stars of its stand. DBa’s lat­est DB5in­spired speed­back is based on Jaguar Xkr me­chan­i­cals. we re­ported last week that ruf has launched a new model in­spired by the 1987 cTr ‘yel­low­bird’. it couldn’t re­sist bring­ing the orig­i­nal to Geneva too. Mon­teverdi hasn’t built a car in more than 30 years, but that didn’t stop mem­bers of the own­ers’ club set­ting up a stand ded­i­cated to the 375l, sa­fari and Hai. Ford brought along this Fi­esta Xr2 Mkii to pro­mote the man­u­fac­turer’s hot hatch her­itage dur­ing its launch of the lat­est Fi­esta sT.

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