BRUS­SELS TURNS THE CLOCK BACK

A big Porsche party and huge dis­play ded­i­cated to 1958’s mo­tor­ing stars made this event a hit with clas­sic fans on both sides of the Chan­nel

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - OUT & ABOUT - David Simister

Ahuge Porsche pres­ence, in­clud­ing a dis­play of ten 356s to mark 70 years of the man­u­fac­turer’s first model, man­aged to over­shadow even the Brus­sels-themed flag­ship dis­play at this busy three-day show.

With back­ing from Porsche Clas­sic, deal­ers and pri­vate clas­sic col­lec­tions from across the Benelux coun­tries, the 356 dis­play man­aged to bring in some truly sig­nif­i­cant ex­am­ples of the Stuttgart sports car, in­clud­ing a 1961 356B Road­ster orig­i­nally bod­ied in Brus­sels by coach­builder D’Ieteren and a spe­cially-bod­ied 356SL. The ex­hibit was flanked by Porsche Clas­sic’s own stand and nu­mer­ous spe­cial­ists cater­ing for the rear-en­gined clas­sics.

The other big draw at the Brus­sels show was a 22-strong dis­play of ve­hi­cles made in 1958 in hon­our of the year that the Bel­gian cap­i­tal hosted the World’s Fair. Ex­hibits in­cluded an MGA, Oldsmo­bile 88 and an Opel Rekord, and were joined by his­toric mo­tor­cy­cles, scoot­ers and com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles.

While the dis­plays across Brus­sels Expo’s four halls were unashamedly fo­cused on deal­ers and spe­cial­ists, there was also a spe­cial area given over to clubs, cu­rated by the Fédéra­tion Belge des Véhicules An­ciens (FBVA) – the Bel­gian coun­ter­part to the Fed­er­a­tion of British His­toric Ve­hi­cle Clubs. Star at­tractions in­cluded the Brus­sels Clas­sic Car Club, whose three-car stand in­cluded a 1965 Tri­umph Her­ald Con­vert­ible orig­i­nally as­sem­bled in com­plete knocked­down form in Bel­gium, the Bel­gian sec­tion of the Jaguar Driv­ers’ Club, which showed off a 1973 E-type Se­ries 3 and a 1986 XJS-C, and the Bel­gian Mus­tang & Cougar Club, which dis­played three Mus­tang con­vert­ibles.

If you love see­ing clas­sics that don’t of­ten pop up at the UK’s events, then it’s well worth keep­ing your diary free for next year’s event – with the in­door halls less than an half hour away by metro to Eurostar con­nec­tions to the UK, it’s per­haps not sur­pris­ing that plenty of ac­cents over­heard in the 23,000-strong crowd this year were British.

In­ter­clas­sics’ next show takes place in the Dutch city of Maas­tricht on 10-13 Jan­uary.

’The 356 dis­play brought in some truly mag­nif­i­cent ex­am­ples’

In­ter­clas­sics’ 22-ve­hi­cle flag­ship dis­play paid homage to 1958, the year in which Brus­sels hosted the World Fair. Cars from that year tak­ing part in­cluded this MGA. The best clas­sic club dis­play prize went to this 1972 BMW 2002, shown by BMW Bavaria Club Bel­gium mem­bers.

Dutch clas­sic spe­cial­ist, Alphons Ruyl’s 13,000-mile 1975 VW Scirocco was snapped up on the show’s open­ing day.

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