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