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Thousands flock to Germany’s biggest classic spectacular

Pictures: Alex Muchnik/©MESSE ESSEN GmbH

More than 1000 exhibitors, 200 clubs and tens of thousands of visitors flocked to Germany’s industrial heartland for the 34th mammoth Techno-Classica Essen from 3-7 April.

The event showcased some 3000 classic cars or which almost two thirds were for sale. As well the thousands of cars on dealer stands, there were hundreds more in the indoor and outdoor private car corrals, ranging from affordable youngtimers such as a BMW E30 or VW Golf 2, Triumph Spitfire or a Mercedes SLK for a few thousand Euros, to a 1937 Riley Kestrel for €65,000, or an unrestored ex-Belgian Royal family 1948 Austin Sheerline.

Dealers reported excellent trade. Nick Aaldering, of Gallery Aaldering displayed 30 cars and said: ‘Buyers are cautious and are looking for value stability – but realistic bids are finding determined buyers.’ Frank Wilke, MD of Classic-Analytics added: ‘There is no other trade fair of this importance in Germany, especially in terms of variety and quality. The classic car market has retained its stability, has remained predictable and has largely consolidated at a high level.’

The Best of Show award went to a 1962 Maserati 5000 after it charmed a 14-person jury headed by Dutchman Maikel de Munnik. The  Pininfarina-bodied car was delivered new – unbadged! – to Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli. It was shown at Essen by specialist Axel Schütte.

Of the club displays, the Münch-Freunde NRW IG was the first motorcycle club to win the Club Grand Prix after 77 club judges ranked the Münch Mammut’s re-enacted Sahara crossing just ahead of the ‘Fusselforum’ car graveyard and the FIAT 600 Freunde ‘organ donation’.

 SIHA representative Michel Franssen said: “Techno-Classica concerns a worldwide classic car community with a great commitment from the exhibitors of the crème de la crème of the automotive world. It is not only a tribute to the past, but also a tribute to the future. It connects yesterday, today, and tomorrow – a new area has started!’

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