GALLERY: Looking Back On Our Favorites From Rétromobile 2018
Photography by Federico Bajetti
If you’re looking for a short respite from the workweek during the doldrums of February, Europe is always a good destination: Alpine skiing is hard to match, and a medieval city blanketed with snow is about as fairy tale as reality will allow, and though there are plenty of wintry weeks to indulge in for some time off, last week saw the return of Rétromobile to Paris.
For 43 years now, the Parc des Expositions de la Porte de Versailles has drawn thousands of enthusiasts from around the world to what many consider to be the first major classic car event of the calendar year. 650 exhibitors filled three halls for the 2018 edition, and all the major names you can think of were assembled together for the multi-day affair, and the selection was, as it always is here, mind blowing. Lukas Hüni for example brought no less than ten Ferrari 250s to Paris, including the unique dark blue GT Berlinetta Speciale, designed in 1962 by a young Georgette Giugiaro for Bertone. Other standouts for me were Fiskens’ Maserati 250F, JD Classics’ TWR Jaguar XJ220, and Girardo & Co. with their Alfa Romeo 33/2 “Daytona” and a Lancia Delta S4 to boot.
For the lucky few who were looking at the selection with intentions to purchase, they were not spoilt for choice, with just about every major decade of automotive importance represented here, and a mixture between road and race cars that all add up to this most ultimate of roll-calls. In addition were some more democratically-priced collector’s items ranging from literature, artwork, spare parts, clothes, models—the typical but always-fun-to-browse assortment of accessories.
Back to the cars. Richard Mille had the 1995 Le Mans-winning McLaren F1 GTR on display, I struggled to decide whether to point my camera at the Ferrari 512 BB LM or the Group 4 BMW M1 next to it, and was captivated by the spread of Alpines that were brought out to celebrate the marque’s 40th anniversary of winning Le Mans in the A442B. While Rétromobile is primarily a dealer/consigner/broker/auction house exhibition, there has been a steady increase in manufacturer interest in the show, which makes sense given its popularity and prominence. Renault was also there to show off, this time for its 120th birthday, and countrymen from Citroën and Peugeot were also present. On the British side, Jaguar revealed its continuation D-Type which was consistently crowded each time I passed by the pristine grey jelly bean.
As you may have read, FCA Heritage has thrown its hat into the factory-backed classic parts and restoration ring, and they were there with a slew of vintage goodies like an Alfa SZ and Spider, a Lancia Fulvia Coupé Monte-Carlo, as well as a Lancia Appia Coupé among the newer metal from Alfa.
For the 110th Birthday of Carlo Abarth, 20 mythical models from the Möll collection were shown on the top floor of the Pavillion, and on the flip side, the organizers this year also decided to devote an entire hall to affordable classics for sale, all under the price point of 25,000€. No space in the garage for these either? Well the “Gallery des Artistes” was offering plenty of painting, sculptures, drawings, and professional photographs, though at times the pieces eclipsed the values of a few of the cars! Whether you were after a nice pair of driving gloves or a Kremer Porsche 935, Rétromobile was the place to find it.