TECHNO ESSEN 2018
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…
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