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InterClassics Brussels 2016

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This years edition of Interclassics Brussels double up on square meters in comparison with last year. That didn’t stop it from selling out all available surface to mainly Belgian and Dutch exhibitors. The increase in space was necessary to accommodate for the cars of the main theme: ‘The Legends of Spa-Francorchamps’.

Interclassics Brussels was opened by Thierry Boutsen who was flown in from Monaco, on display the Arrows A8 in which Boutsen finished second at the Grand Prix of San Marino in 1985. Boutsen is our second best belgian  F1 pilot, only bettered by Jacky Ickx, he won 8 times of which 2 with Brabham BT26 on display. Even further back in history: in the 50’s Johnny Claes drove several F1 races with the Talbot Lago T26C in the wellknown Ecurie Belge colors.

The circuit of Francorchamps was also home to the World Sportscar Championship (now called the World Endurance Championship). On display: the Alfa Romeo 33 TT12, Porsche 962 and the Jaguar XJR 14. The ex-Brundle/Warwick Jaguar XJR 14 can be seen racing in the historic Group C races, driven by Belgian Christophe d’Ansembourg, supported by MEC-auto.

MEC-auto had their own exhibit in Brussels, they brought ex-James Hunt McLaren M26 from 1978, this car raced in the Belgian  Grand Prix in 1978 on the circuit of Zolder. At the boot of Brussels Classic & Sports Cars stood a  race car that also deserved a spot at the Legends of Francorchamps exhibit: the Ford GT40 chassis 1079, it was part of the Spa 1000 km race in 1968, but did not finish. Most people didn’t see a race car in the Ferrari Mondial, however Stocks guru Jean Pierre van Rossem and his team Moneytron tried to proof everyone wrong at the 24 hours of Spa-Francorchamps in  1989. He even brought in some experienced drivers as Keke Rosberg, Bertrand Gachot and Mauro Bianchi. In the end they only confirmed everyone’s suspicion that the Mondial was not a very good race car.

The jury of the Meguiar’s Interclassics Brussel awards crowned the Excelsior Albert 1 from 1927  “Best of show”, not a huge surprise because this car has won lots of prices already. Handing the award for “Best restored car” to the Bugatti T46 van Arie-Jean was a surprise because the car is not finished yet. The fully restored Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS swb convertible from 1949 won the “Best car of the 40’s” award.

We selected three more cars because the distinguished themselves from the many cars present in Brussels: the Alfa Romeo 1900C sprint “supergioiello” brought by the German Imbu Classics. The number  400 is a remembrance that this car partook in the Monte-Carlo rally in 1955. American cars with italian bodywork have resulted in some intriguing cars throughout history: the Hudson Italia brought by Marreyt Classics, has to be one of the most spectacular. Last but not least the Porsche 935 race car in which Jacky Ickx added some victories to his impressive resume.

Pictures & text: Steven, Translated by: Jonas

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