Each of us has a particular set of preferences. The flavours of meals, favourite music bands or car brands. But too much of one thing is never good. I value variety very high. That’s why I have a huge respect for one of the most diversified car trade-shows in the calendar – the Paris Retromobile.
It’s not surprising that the events which take place in Stuttgart or Essen feature mostly German cars. Similarly, the Auto e Moto d’Epoca in Padova is a place to go for all the enthusiasts of the Italian machinery. Retromobile is characterized by the most even selection of the cars. There is obviously a rich portfolio of French automobiles. In case of Citroen or Renault the selection of classic vehicles is complemented by the newest addition the manufacturers catalogs. There is nothing bad in it. I always applaud when companies pay tribute to their heritage.
Walking down the alleys in the venue, the Expo Porte de Versailles, one can’t complain about the selection of the cars from Italy or Germany. From the bespoke creations of the Italian coachbuilders from the 50s and 60s to the most recognizable shapes of the 911s – that’s what’s called variety! Ones looking for the elegant lines of a classic Jag or colourful pin-up themed automobilia should also be satisfied.
The exposition that can be seen as a highlight of this year’s edition was the one built by Kidston Motors. How many McLarens F1 have you ever seen? And how many in one place? I bet that the possibility to see 7 of those rarities together was a one-of a kind experience.
But even in such an exclusive group there can be a star and it was the car previously owned and specified by George Harrison. The legend says that the color of the car was inspired by the aubergines available in the artist’s local store.
The stationary exposition of the vehicles is always interesting, but the real emotions starts when the machines are waking up to life. One of the most memorable experiences from this year’s edition was the possibility to see the running of the replica of the world’s first self-propelled vehicle, the grandfather of all the cars, the Fardier à vapeur. This automobile was shown to the World by the French inventor Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot in 1769. The process of filling the water tank and setting the fire to run the steam engine was interesting but the climax was when the vehicle started to really run by itself down the parking located on the terrace of the exposition building.
It’s not possible for me to mention all the interesting vehicles exposed in Paris this year. I can only advise you to look through the pictures and seriously consider visiting next-year’s edition.