Now in its 30th year, Essen’s Techno Classic remains the largest European indoor show. Here are the highlights
It is impossible to think of any indoor event that can rival Techno Classica in Essen for sheer scale and quality. Rétromobile in Paris might rival it for chic and glitz and the more club-focused Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show leaves visitors similarly exhausted, but nothing indoors and in Europe can challenge the daddy.
Now in its 30th year, the headline figures are astonishing: 188,000 visitors compared to 30,000 in 1989, 200 or so clubs, 1250 exhibitors from 30 countries and 2700 cars. Much of its scale is thanks to superb support from German manufacturers, each of whom take their own hall, but also Brits in the form of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, which had a huge display from 21-25 March.SEE RELATED: Best Classic car shows and events in 2018
Even though the organisers’ decision to bring the show forward so it clashed with Retro Classics in Stuttgart
was not universally well received by the manufacturers, it is not expected that their support will wane at an event where ‘Gullwings’ and 911s are so numerous that they almost cease to standout.
One of the delights of Essen is that among the myriad halls, there are always rare gems to be found, one-offs, super-rarities and concepts that would usually only grace a concours field such as two special Ghia bodied Alfa 6Cs with Classic Cars of Holland and the Houtkamp Collection. Other highlights were the BMW-Veritas C90 Scorpion presented by Thiesen, the Triumph ‘Sabrina’ on Movendi’s stand, a Beutler Porsche 356, and the Volvo ’Rocket’ 1800ES prototype (above).
This is also the event for those who appreciate Youngtimers and has done much to champion their inclusion in the classic world since the millennium. Many were for sale in the huge outdoor car corrals, but the prices were unrealistic at best and mostly outright crazy.
The central display around the SIHA stand in Hall 6 was an impressive collection of Le Mans Legends (cars not drivers). Meanwhile the talk of the event was the announcement that RM Sotheby’s is to hold a 150-car auction at Techno Classica in 2019 (10-14 April, unless they change it again!). Whispers suggested that the announcement was news to Coys, which has held a sale at Essen for several years.