Retromania at Retromobile 2007 Paris
February 23, 2007
The insatiable appetite for nostalgia is far from passe, with the past never being better than it was.
Many of the cars showcased at the eighth annual Retromobile 2007, Europe’s most prestigious classic car at the Paris Expo are too old for me to remember. Yet we can all still marvel at the cars that grandma may have driven around in, even if the journey to Paris will take place along the cyberhighway.
There is also something for everyone, the Retromobile fair being renowned for it’s diversity, with a range of display stands, new and old, featuring marques from all over the world with the notable absence of Chrysler this year.
Drawing crowds in the hundreds of thousands, the participants include car auctioneers, private vendors, classic car brokers and those peddling automobile memorabilia and car kits.
This year Pink Floyd Nick Mason’s collection of cars and even his drumkit are being represented at the show.
Christie’s International Motor Cars was in attendance in Paris, with the Christies sales of automobilia taking place on the 16th of February, and motor cars on the 17th of February.
There were plenty of classic collectible cars to attract the vintage car enthusiast, including a 1951 Talbot Lago T26GS Barquette driven by Pierre Levegh in Le Mans in the early 1950’s.
My favourite was a heavenly 1936 Mercedes Interim 540k Cabriolet by Sindelfingen, with beautifully graceful coachwork, obviously cherished and cared for lovingly by it’s one French owner. It sold for 396,250 Euros. That is a lot of Kitty bikkies that an eccentric kitty owner like me can’t afford.
There was a 1927 Amilcar, and a 1948 Delahaye 135 MS Drophead Coupe, one of the first cars built by Belgian coachbuilder Antem after the first world war.
Christie’s auction brochure features all of the above and more, including a grand 1908 Panhard Levassor Y Type open drive limousine, whose coachwork has been done by J. Rothschild & Son and one of the last 30 1930 Talbot Berlinettes ever to be built.
The highlight of the show was an extremely rare 1939 auto union D type commissioned by Adolf Hitler, otherwise known as ‘Hitler’s Racer’, and designed by Ferdinand Porsche. It was expected to fetch 15 million dollars, but was withdrawn to investigate the origin of it’s racing parts and their authenticity.
It was the winner of the 1939 Belgrade Grand Prix, surviving the hostilities of the war after it’s remarkable unparalled technology was examined by Russian engineers at Stalin’s behest. It was salvaged from crushing and recovered. The 3 litre 450 hp engine could reach speeds of up to 200mph which is no mean feat.
We all know Christie’s Auction House, but Christies International Motor Car Auctions was established in 1972, and has been selling cars in New York and other places. Having sold millions of cars since 1992 in France, Christie’s has opened a new office in Paris devoted entirely to motor car consignments, with their annual UK winter auctions to come revolving around the annual retromobile February auction.
Check out some of the images at http://www.christies.com