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Paris spectacular raises the bar

The 48th Rétromobile attracted a mammoth 130,000 visitors to the Porte de Versailles exhibition complex in Paris from 31 January to 4 February.

The show covered some 75,000sq m and opened only after an unprecedented parade through the streets of Paris to celebrate the centenary of the UTAC Linas-Montlhéry autodrome.

The three main halls were packed with the year’s grandest dealer stands – from the likes of Fiskens, Simon Kidston, Lukas Hüni, Joe Macari and Girardo & Co – as well as stunning displays from mainly French manufacturers. 

But these were ably supplemented by smaller dealer stands, private cars for sale, automobilia, swathes of car clubs and much more.

New for 2024 were a special area given over to ‘living heritage’ companies, and a conservation award, which was won by a 1903 Mercedes Simplex HP 60 that has been inte same family for 121 years. There was even a new Motorcycle Zone with six manufacturers and the Ace Café, plus a 2,000s qm exhibit on the Monneret family saga.

 Star car without question, though, was the MG EX181 record car that was the centrepiece of a special MG centenary display. It had strong competition, however, from the likes of Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic and Bugatti Royale, and a pair of Ferrari 250 GTOs. Famous faces spotted in the halls included Jacky Ickx, Sébastien Loeb, Stéphane Peterhansel, Charles Leclerc, Magnus Walker and Philippe Monneret.

The Artcurial Motorcars auction within the event brought in €17.8m ($19.2m).

Rétromobile xxhibition director Romain Grabowski said: ‘Despite a tumultuous period, our audience once again demonstrated their loyalty and love for classic cars. We are proud to announce that the 130,000 visitor mark has been surpassed, reflecting our year-round commitment to providing quality content. It is thanks to this passionate intergenerational community that we are able to tell the wonderful human and mechanical story of Rétromobile every year.’

Rétromobile 2025 takes place from 5 to 9 February.  

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