Rétromobile 2023, Paris, France
February 1-5, 2023
No, let it be said, the automotive passion is very much alive! This is evidenced by the success of this Rétromobile 2023, which welcomed 125,000 visitors, the 2nd best score since the creation of the show. And there was plenty to see, with 500 exhibitors and a thousand vehicles. The quality of the stage presented was exceptional, and even if the expression is used and overused, it was an exceptional ephemeral museum. Cars from the end of the 19th century to the 2000s, from popular cars to hypercars, through sports and/or prestige cars, racing cars of all eras and many disciplines, European, American, Japanese cars … there was something for everyone. This article is not intended to be exhaustive, but focuses on (very) many favorites.
Auctions and dealers
Artcurial was in force on its territory, with more than 200 cars for sale spread over 2 huge stands. If the Ferrari 250 LM, star of the sale and expected beyond 20 million Euros, did not find a taker, it was an opportunity for the public to approach this rare and symbolic car in the history of the brand. Aston Martin, Bugatti, Citroën, Delage, Delahaye, De Tomaso, Facel Vega, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Lancia, Porsche, Maserati, Mercedes, impossible to mention all the brands represented. Artcurial even proposed a flying saucer (non-functional)!
Several major European car dealers were also present, with magnificent stands and a choice of dream cars: Mercedes 300 SL at HK Engineering, Bugatti at Fine Automobiles, BMW 507 at Axel Shuette, Maserati 6CM at Gallery Aaldering, Ferrari 250 GT California at Kidston, Daimler 4-hp from 1898 at Lukas Huni, to name just a few cars among the dozens presented in concours condition.
24 Hours of Le Mans
Rétromobile also launched the festivities of the centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with 2 exhibitions on technological innovations and French brands that shone at Le Mans. Here again, cars on display are rare by nature, from the victorious Chenard and Walker in 1923 to the Peugeot 9X8 which will aim for the title in 2023, through Alpine Renault and Matra, or brilliant craftsmen such as Pescarolo, Rondeau or WM. Several stands also paid tribute to Le Mans racing by exhibiting cars that shone there, such as Alpine, Audi or Jaguar at Art & Revs.
Several manufacturers had also made the trip, including the Stellantis Group with the stands of the Peugeot-Citroën-DS Adventure or FCA Heritage (Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Abarth, Lancia), historic cars linking with current or future models. DS illustrated performance with an SM laboratory, transformed in its time to test chassis reactions under different conditions. Citroën presented a splendid white Traction cabriolet and the curious C 10 concept of aerodynamic sedan. Not to mention the “Concept-Char” of the latest Asterix movie.
At Peugeot, we noticed among others a very beautiful 404 coupe and a 401 Éclipse, the first production coupe-convertible in 1935. Porsche celebrated 60 years of the 911 with several models representing the history and versatility of its legend. At Renault, several Twingo for the 30th anniversary of the car, and the spectacular R5 Turbo 3E, which reinterprets the R5 Turbo 2 as an electric car
The Museum of Arts et Metiers (Paris) had moved his “Obeissante” (Obedient), and one imagines that moving it from the nave where it is usually exhibited to the Porte de Versailles was not an easy task, while the National Museum of the Car (Château de Compiègne) presented one of its major pieces, the Torpedo of the flying ace Georges Guynemer which has undergone a complete restoration, mechanical components and body that has been restored to its original color, including freehand painted nets.
We cannot end without mentioning the exhibition that Richard Mille presented on his stand. 8 cars, only Ferraris, but what cars: they represent the 3 main categories in which Ferrari has accumulated successes. Several F1 including 2 312 T recognizable by their front wing placed at the end of the nose of the car, a 512 M with its 5-liter V12 that raced in Sport-Prototype in the early 1970s (against the legendary Porsche 917), and 2 cars that raced in Grand Touring, including the iconic 250 GTO. This is the 2nd GTO produced.
Appointment is made for 2024, hoping to find even more of these legendary cars!
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