Public flock to Stuttgart show and more rarities are revealed

| 23 Mar 2012

Retro Classics opened properly to the public today and they flocked to the German show in huge numbers, adding hugely to the classic content.

After yesterday's quiet preview afternoon, when some stands were still being set up, the Stuttgart Messe was swarming and the organisers warning that Saturday and Sunday are likely to be far busier.

One of the highlights of the first public day was the display of classics outside of the actual show, with the huge square beside the halls turned into a dedicated car park packed with hundreds of classics.

They ranged from Brits to youngtimers, but even as the security people checked carefully under every car, the display made a great sight for on-lookers.

French marques were well represented with everything from Cirtoën DS Safari to Alpine A310, but as expected the German brands were dominant.

There was an impressive range of Italian cars, too, a strong Alfa Romeo contingent including a Montreal, a host of Spiders, GTVs and a large number of Giulia saloons and a couple of Junior Zagatos.

Not to be outdone, there were some fine Lancias and Fiats to admire as well.

The oldest car in the car park was a 1922 Chenard et Walcker, while there were two Fiberfab GT Bonito GT40 look-alikes.

Inside the eight-hall show, it was much as yesterday (click here for our report and 60-plus pictures), but a few more highlights and rarities did come to the fore.

Among them a stunning trio of Martini-livered Lancia rally cars (main image) that included a 1991 Safari Rally car, a 037 and a Delta Integrale Evo. 

Another competition car causing a big stir was the 1980 Ferrari 512 BB/LM with Le Mans history.

While the Porsche Museum's offering may have been been meagre in quantity, however, the tastefully lit and sparing display was a massive hit with visitors. Crowds milled around the aerodynamic 1950 356SL Coupé and long-tail 908 all day.


A 1948 Veritas RS was also causing a stir.

As was an ex-Ricardo Patrese Williams FW14 and everything on the LMB Racing stand including the supercharged two-litre Alta and the 1939 Lagonda V12 'Le Mans' (two below).

There were plenty of less spectacular, but also hugely rare discoveries to be made, too. 

De Tomaso Longchamps are hardly an everyday sight, so to see a cabrio version was all the more intriguing.

Likewise, the attractive Moretti Fiat 128 Targa Coupé (above, €18,900) and the understated Glas 3 Litre V8 were both a rare treat to see. 

With production Mercedes estate asking prices sky-high across the show, the rarest variant was the converted 1979 300SD Turbodiesel Kombi on the Car Collection Wittner stand.

With an outdoor car corral added, there were more highly priced classics including – to add to the Spartan spotted yesterday – a matching Phantom by Johnson, a snip at €75,000 and making the €8500 AMC Pacer look decent value.

Click here for more from inside the show.