28th Techno Classica Essen
The biggest and best just got bigger! With the huge Messe Essen regularly full to bursting point and a long waiting list of exhibitors, organisers S.I.H.A. were this year able to take advantage of two extra halls in the shape of the adjoining Grugahalle and a temporary structure, giving an extra 7,000 square metres of floor space and bringing the total to 127,000 square metres spread over 21huge halls.
That’s a lot of walking! Oh, and the attendance got bigger too, with a record 201,034 visitors during the five days.
Within those halls could be found some 1,250 exhibitors from thirty different countries and in excess of 2,500 classic cars. Not quite all of them are classics however, as some major manufacturers take space at the show and so there were even a few new cars with such as the Alfa Giulia and Fiat 124 Spider making their German debut. Meanwhile manufacturers BMW and Mercedes Benz appeared to reduce their displays a little from previous years but the large hall given over purely to the VAG brands was much as before. With BMW celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the emphasis was on BMW Classic and the different generations of 3-Series, plus their predecessors, most notably the 2002 Turbo complete with mirrorimage script emblazoned across the front. Meanwhile Mercedes majored on convertibles through the ages.
Speaking of anniversaries – and there’s always something to celebrate at Essen – Volvo was marking the 60th anniversary of the Amazon model. Like most of the brand’s fans, it is now of pensionable age! Volkswagen too was celebrating an icon that shows no sign of losing its appeal. Yes, the Golf GTI is 40, but admittedly it has gained a little middle-aged spread along the way, since the original Giugiaro-penned original first appeared.
Show organisers’ S.I.H.A. always mount a special themed display and this years’ subject was the 1955 Mille Miglia. Focal point of the display was a Mercedes Benz 300 SLR from the Mercedes Musuem, replicating Fangio’s car from the race, in which he finished second, behind Stirling Moss’s similar car. Amongst the others on show was the fourth-place Maserati A6 GCS and the Ferrari 750 Monza that came home in sixth.
For the Concours d’Elegance judges there is the serious business of picking winners from the vast array of motoring magnificence on display. The competition is now run in accordance with FIVA rules, which means that a top three have to be found in each of seven age groups, as well as an overall Best of Show, that prize going to a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta, shown by German dealers Axel Schuette Fine cars.
In addition, a panel of journalists, including your CMM correspondent, make their own choices for the Media Awards. Again there are various classes in addition to Best of Show: Cabriolet/Limousine/Coupe. Here we demonstrated a definite bias towards Italians, picking a 1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B Pescara, 1934 Lancia Astura Series3 and a 1953 Fiat 8V Vignale respectively!
There’s so much to see at Techno Classica, one could go on talking about it until next year, but why not go and see for yourself? The 2017 show is scheduled for 5-9 April. For more information, visit www.siha.de
John Elwin reports from Essen, from p. 12 of issue May 2016
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