The show organiser’s description of the 29th Techno-Classica Essen is no exaggeration – and CCW was there to capture all the highlights
’An eclectic lineup also celebrated the history of the electric car’
The unmistakable rumble of heavy construction work greeted showgoers at this year’s Techno-Classica in Essen (5-9 April) – it would appear that even the vast Messe Essen building is no longer big enough to host Europe’s biggest classic car show, and must be extended.
Small wonder, when this year’s event packed in more than 2500 classics for sale, 1250 exhibitors and more than 220 clubs, which at the last count are expected to have attracted rather more than the 220,000 visitors who streamed in through the doors last year.
Anniversaries galore guaranteed a healthy manufacturer presence, with Volkswagen-Audi- Group ( VAG) in particular putting on a spectacular display of cars in celebration of 60 years of the Wankel rotary engine and 50 years of the NSU TTS and ground-breaking Ro80. That, and one of just two Škoda Favorit saloons ever made and a real modern rarity – an early SEAT Toledo GT!
Jaguar-Land Rover, meanwhile, unveiled the first E-type Reborn alongside an early Range Rover Reborn (cars restored exactingly in-house by JLR), while Porsche celebrated 40 years of the 928 with a line-up comprising a racer, a PES cutaway car showing off the 928’s inherent safety design features and a special four-seater one-off gifted to Ferry Porsche on his 75th birthday in 1984.
Not to be outdone, BMW exhibited the famous cellphone-controlled E38 750iL from the Bond film Tomorrow
Never Dies – complete with bullet holes – alongside a unique E32 ‘Goldfisch’ saloon, powered by a V16 engine. An eclectic line-up of classics also celebrated the history of the electric car.
Then there were the halls packed with tools, parts, accessories and suppliers, the classic bus and truck halls. Mike Le Caplain
Autostadt – a VW-owned visitor attraction – commemorated the designers associated with VWowned brands. It reckoned John Bletchley’s work on the T2 (and its Silver Shadow cousin) was worth highlighting on an otherwise German-centric stand. 1969 NSU Ro80 The half century of this ground-breaking – but ultimately troubled – saloon was big news at Essen, with this 1969 model taking pride of place on Autostadt’s 12car stand. In the same hall Audi displayed one on its heritage stand, complete with transparent bonnet to show off its Wankel rotary engine. 1978 Bentley T2