Mammoth Retro Classics Stuttgart offers a feast of classics


With the enormous Retro Classics show in Stuttgart officially opening tomorrow (Friday 23 March), C&SC was there for the preview afternoon today and can reveal the delights on offer until Sunday 25 March.

Though in fewer halls (8) than the rival Essen show that it inexplicably clashes with this year – though neither show seems to have suffered from splitting the cream of German classics over two venues – the organisers have still filled 105,000sq m of exhibition space with 3000-plus vehicles, hundreds of private cars for sale, factory and museum displays, special exhibits, a Lanke auction, clubs, autojumble and more.

The halls each have themes making them easy to navigate, with coaches, trucks and heavy machinery in one, youngtimers and US classics in another, and one entire hall given over to private cars for sale, autojumble and automobilia.

Despite feeling far smaller than Essen, it is still easy to miss the many gems and it would take more than a day to see everything.

You still have time to get to Stuttgart but, in the meantime, this is what you can expect. Or if you can't, this is what you are missing.

With everything to show you from the weird and wonderful to the just plain weird, We've split them into categories, starting with general show shots (scroll down – quite a lot – further for club displays, cars for sale, fire engines and tractors and coaches).

For highlights from day two and the superb public classic car park, click here.

For James Elliott's pick of the tiddlers discovered dotted around the eight huge halls, click here.

Model T oil truck from 1921 was part of a display of six Ford T workhorses

Yours for a nice round figure – €1 million! BMW Werkmeister 328

Distressed classics were all the rage this year, this on the Auto-Feyer Classic stand

And these were on the Car Collecting Wittner stand. The Aston looked great

A wall of 300s on Kienle's outstanding display included two Gullwings...

... and masked the possible car of show (for us) 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabrio

1979 BMW M1 Procar, 1959 Maserati WRE and OSCA-powered 1960 Monteverdi MBM SP100 will all be auctioned by The Swiss Auctioneers on 10 June

Bugatti Type 49 cabrio (1931) and Alfa Romeo 6C-2500S from 1947

Any guesses to the star of the 60 years of Mercedes SLs celebration?

The Porsche Museum showed just three cars, but all were important and impeccable

Super-streched Checker can was part of Meilenwerk's varied display

Gross & Schläger showed a wonderful Facel II among many treats

328 Stromlinien Roadster was beyond distressed, but still very alluring

BMW 507 looked almost sectioned, but was actually mid-restoration

Royal Protec showed a rather nice 1967 Lamborghini 400GT

And this was just one stand's Porsche 356 offering, Die Edelschmiede's

1997 McLaren F1 GTR (Lehto/Soper/Piquet) on the BMW Classic pitch

Alfa Romeo 1900 Touring Sprint from 1953

BMW 503 Coupé was up for sale at small-change under €90,000

The Maseratis upstaged pretty much everything with a circle of all the road cars...

...a grid of single-seaters supplied by the Schlumpf...

...a duo of fantastic sports-racers (450S and 300S) and...

...the achingly pretty Maserati OSCA 1600GT Zagato

A Lotus Cortina muscles in on an otherwise perfect Alfa racer line-up

Believe it or not, this was just one of Stuttgart's petrol pump displays

Lots for the Lanke auction, which takes place on Friday and Saturday


Great Topolino display included Steyr take on Giardiniera and convertible (below)

Excellent 10-car showing from German Peugeot Register ran from 1934 201 Grand Luxe 

There were lots of American muscle cars and hot rods, including this line-up from the Good Guys Rod & Custom Association

Excellent Ford Germany display was Capri dominated and led by a gorgeous 1977 3 Litre Ghia

Plenty of Opels of all ages and varieties, but a particularly strong GT turn-out

Wonderful Unimog was on a trailer being dragged by a rather bigger modern variant

Glas Club led with Goggomobil TS250 Coupé

One of the best club stands was the DKW/Auto Union effort (above and below)

Alpines brightened up the hall, but were heavily outnumbered by 'home' brands

Nice display of Heinkels

The NSU stand was particularly strong. There is a Ro80 lurking there, honest

Dino Register had an almost full-house of engine users, but covered the bases name-wise

CX Club took up more than its fair share of space with just a couple of examples


Several areas are dedicated to cars for sale including this entire hall. Below are just a few of the ones that caught our eye

Might as well start with a tractor! This 1958 Porsche could be yours for €17,500

Only in Germany pt 1: 1993 Spartan II was marked up for €34,950

Only in Germany pt 2: €34,900 would secure you this Excalibur

Pretty little Giulia 1300Ti was more tempting before we saw the €15k price-tag

Left-hooker 1972 Lagonda, €34,500

Lancia 037 didn't have an asking price, annoyingly

1970 Lamborghini Espada was, wait for it, €62,000


Amazing line of eight vintage fire engines was led by a 1916 Model T Ford

Also featuring was a 1919 Cadillac T57

Oldest was the 1911 Benz 14/30

Wildest was the 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II


Lanz Bulldogs as far as the eye can see; there were plenty of immaculate ones, too

Coaches were led by Kässbohrer Setra S6 (above)



Mario Laguna

Had I to choose only one show a year, I'll go to Stuttgart.


I like the look of this show, a bit more human than Essen?

I'm still really glad I went to Essen last year, a long held ambition, but after gazing upon the umpteenth no expense spared Gullwing restoration I wondered where all the Opel Mantas, Capris, and ordinary stuff was hiding. There's just too much money involved there, when the manufacturers start using entire halls it's time to bail out.

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