At the beginning of February the oldtimer world has it’s gaze focused on the French capitol. Retromobile is not the biggest but it might very well be the most important oldtimer salon. The price per square meter is very expensive which results in a very exclusive selection of cars. The big auction houses RM sotheby’s, Bonhams and Artcurial are present as well. Artcurial managed to auction off the most expensive car: A Ferrari 206 P berlinette Dino special, yours for only 4.4 million euro. Needless to say if you are looking for a bargain, Retromobile is not the place to be.
A lot of the european exclusive dealers are present at Retromobile, hoping to reel in some new wealthy customers. JD classics and Fiskens from the UK, Movendi and Axel Schuette from Germany and of course, Lukas Huni from Switzerland. Just like every year Huni impressed with a huge boot, themed “Bugatti meets Bentley”. Some car manufacturers also had boots at the event including: Mercedes- Benz, Fiat group, Renault and Porsche. Bugatti was there to promote their “Bugatti Certified” .
Those looking a new classic/historic racecar had some options at the event as well. Auction house Stanislas Machoïr from Toulouse presented the perfect car to take part in the brand new GT1 series by Peter Auto: an ex Henri Pescarolo Venturi LM 600. The french Ascott collection brought an impressive selection of racecar including: a McLaren M1B, Chevron B16 and a BMW 635 Gr.A, running away with most of the attention was the yellow Porsche 917 K81. The ex-Alpina factory BMW 2800CS presented by William L’Anson is the perfect car to partake in the Heritage Touring cup or DRM revival.
Richard Mille is a name often seen as sponsor for Historic race events, but soon the name of the watch manufacturier will also be present on the McLaren MCL32 F1 car from Stoffel Vandoorne. Not only does mister Mille sponsor Formula1 he also collects historic F1 cars, a selection from his collection was on display in Paris. All fo the cars presented had one common denominator : an unusual drive system. The well known Tyrell P34 had four frontwheels which turned out to be a succesfull recipe during the Grandprix in Sweden. Less succesfull was the March 2-4-0 with four rearwheels. Some formula one teams like Mclaren, BRM and Lotus experimented with AWD , but never with great succes.
Every oldtimer event in 2017 has some special attention for the 70th anniversary from Ferrari. In paris this resulted in a booth with 7 Ferrari F1 cars. Reminding everyone that they have been at the top of motorsport since the beginning. The cars on display were mainly from the sixties and seventies, driven once by famous pilots : Chris Amon, Arturo Merzario, Clay Regazzoni, Niki Lauda and Mario Andretti. Racing was everything for Enzo Ferrari so they used to partake in a lot of races outside of F1 like the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio and the 24hours of Le mans. Sadly Ferrari decided to focus solely on F1 in the seventies. Some private teams built some custom Ferrari racecars for these races, for example the british Prodrive with a self-developed 550 Maranello racecar during the 2004 Le Mans race.
Rallydriving with a Ferrari? Sure why not?! Some people thought it was a good idea so in the seventies and early eighties the Ferrari 308 took part in many important races. The introduction of the Group B cars was the end of the Ferrari Rallycars eventhough they caused a popularity peak between 1982 and 1987. The rally monsters from that era are still worshipped by rally fans. The presence of the Audi Sport Quattro, Lancia Delta S4 and Peugeot 205 T16 and lesser known cars like the Citroen BX 4TC were the perfect excuse for any rallyfan to visit Retromobile.