Although the annual Motor Show in Essen is mostly about modern cars and tuning, an ever-increasing portion of the mammoth, 300,000-visitor event is dedicated to classics.
As a prelude to Techno Classica in March 2014, the show, which kicked off on 30 November, was a dress rehearsal for the Maserati centenary festivities planned for next year.
As a result 12 gorgeous Trident cars took the limelight at Hall 1 in a special Italian setting, including Philippe Étancelin's 8VRi pale blue 1936 Pau Grand Prix car, Fangio's 1949 4CLT (main image), a winner at Mar del Plata, San Remo, Pau, Perpignan and Albi, plus a Tipo 26 which raced at the 1931 Tourist Trophy.
Other interesting racing cars in the Maserati exhibition included a 4CM 1500, a Tipo V4, an A6GCS and a 1956 200S.
Visitors could have a close look at a rare A6G 54 2000, one of 20 hand-built in aluminium by Zagato, on display in a luxury pit setting close to a spectacular pair of Allards restored to mint condition, a 1952 K2 and a 1954 Palm Beach MKI.
Dealers were also out in force, such as well known Mercedes-Benz specialist HK-Engineering, which brought two beautiful 300SLs, a restored roadster and a totally original 1955 Gullwing. Brabus Classic boasted a few 280 SL Pagodas in better than new condition.
Elsewhere, Lamborghini Miuras, 246 GT Dinos and even low mileage NSU RO 80, with only 27.900 Km on the clock, packed the crowed Gruga Park halls.