Once again, the big­gest clas­sic car show in Europe, if not the world, draws us back like moths to a flame. This yearʼs event clashed with Retro Clas­sics at Stuttgart, but there was still plenty to im­press in Essen…

Classic Porsche - - News - Words & pho­tos: Keith Seume

Op­po­site page from top: Mit­tel­mo­tor ʼs Group 5 RSR – yours for €159,000…; or buy their 390bhp 4.0-litre RSR engine to go in your project; Le Mans Leg­ends dis­play in­cluded the 1966 en­try of Gregg and Ax­els­son, chas­sis #906-112; Porsche Clas­sic depart­ment showed this bare-met­alled shell to demon­strate the qual­ity of work­man­ship; M471 Car­rera RS was near per­fect; Porsche Cen­tre Leeds had this 911E on the Porsche Clas­sic stand; past CP cover star Pre-a was in Coys auc­tion; stripped ʼshell is that of the fire ten­der 911 that sped to the scene of Niki Lau­daʼs firey crash; rusty shell is old­est known 912

or­mally, the de­ci­sion whether to go to Techno Clas­sica Essen or not is an easy one to make – af­ter all, itʼs the big­gest clas­sic car show youʼll ever see, and the sheer quan­tity and qual­ity of cars on dis­play beg­gars be­lief. There is, quite lit­er­ally, noth­ing else like it. But, as has hap­pened in the past, this year ʼs show clashed dates with the rel­a­tively new Retro Clas­sics in Stuttgart. De­ci­sions, de­ci­sions…

In the end, we de­cided to head to Essen once again – we just knew if we did­nʼt go there would be ʻthatʼ car – the one weʼd only ever read about, and now ev­ery­body else would be talk­ing about, but we did­nʼt get to see. As it hap­pens, this year ʼs Essen was, in our view, slight lack­lus­tre in some re­spects, but whether thatʼs a con­se­quence of hav­ing at­tended the show for the last 15 or more years, or be­cause of the clash with Stuttgart, weʼre not sure.

Star car for many Porsche afi­ciona­dos was the exWalde­gaard 911S, which ran in the 1970 Monte Carlo Rally and was also used as a ʻTʼ (recce) car by Jo Sif­fert in the fol­low­ing year ʼs Targa Flo­rio. Re­s­plen­dent in bright or­ange, it was breath­tak­ing.

The Porsche Clas­sic dis­play was largely cen­tered around 30 years of the Porsche 964 (is it re­ally that old!) but there was also a 959 and a stripped 356 ʼshell to show off the restora­tion shopʼs tal­ents. Across the way was the huge dis­play put on by the Porsche Clas­sic Part­ners (PCS with a clas­sic depart­ment off­shoot), each of whom showed a car they had re­stored or were of­fer­ing for sale.

So, what else caught our eye? Tucked away was what was re­puted to be the old­est 912 in ex­is­tence – cur­rently lit­tle more than a rusted rolling ʼshell, but des­tined for restora­tion, weʼre sure – and the stripped re­mains of the 911 fire ten­der which rushed to Niki Lau­daʼs res­cue fol­low­ing his crash at the Nür­bur­gring.

This is the rea­son for a visit to Techno Clas­sica: if youʼre pre­pared to walk the halls two or three times, youʼll be amazed at what lit­tle gems show up that you missed on a first ʻtour ʼ. Thatʼs what makes it so hard to con­sider go­ing to al­ter­na­tive shows… CP

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