The Retromobile Exhibition in Paris is held every February, and it comprises of three elite-quality auctions where the cars on show go for high prices. But this tends to distract the attention from the Retromobile event which, as far as automotive history is concerned, is still the jewel in the crown for collectors and enthusiasts of the worldwide show circuit.
The industry has grown in leaps and bounds. From being a hobby activity for a hardcore group of enthusiasts restoring and collecting automobiles, it has taken on mammoth proportions. Today, there are significant retro mobile shows in all major countries. In addition, there are huge restoration markets in Canada, America, Australia and all European countries.
Within a span of two years, Retromobile has grown three times bigger. Today, there are two additional halls and a whole hall that has been set aside for clubs. The main floor consists of high-end dealers, manufacturers, and shops. Initially, it mainly focused on being an exchange meet for antiques. Gradually the prominent dealers encroached on their space and confined the participants of the meet into a corner. Fortunately, promoters are aware that this is what draws the crowds, and today there is some breathing space. This means some additional artisan level and club stands are being incorporated back into the event.
It is difficult to compare Retromobile to any American event. Perhaps if you considered the AACA Hershey Meet with its club presentations and swap meet, and then throw in dealers with high-quality cars and hefty price tags to match, you may begin to get an idea of what to expect.
If you are an American enthusiast, the club area may offer some real joy. Let us assume you are interested in Alfa Romeos. Every club stand normally welcomes members with cheese and wine. It is a great chance for a visitor to meet people with common interests from various countries—and it is a great experience. You may join The Alfa Romeo Club, join the Italian Vehicle Club or other organizations that focus on historic vehicles. You can keep abreast of the activities of the clubs, get their newsletters or maybe arrange to participate in activities together with friends from other countries.
Organized tours that allow you to drive your own car
A fascinating social trend nowadays involves actually using the collectible vehicle. The number of vintage rally packages and tours which mainly entail driving is growing. If you wish to ride a motorcycle or drive a car around the Alps, Germany or France for two or even three weeks, there is always an upcoming tour.
All the reasonable things that you may wish to do at the moment appear to be on offer. When you look at the huge assortment of stalls, you will find that a number of tour companies not only provide the normal delights, but also unconventional tours. These range from the charming and bizarre to the challenging and even scary tours. Dreaming of touring the historical buildings in Europe while driving your own car? They can make your dream come true. Are you in an adventurous mood? How would you like to take a tour from Beijing to Paris?
The passing of the baton is imminent
Collectors constantly ponder about who will come in and purchase their collections. Another new generation is actually becoming involved, but it has different tastes. Cars like the Porsche 911 and 356, for instance, are already being considered as more than an investment- and they are on the way to becoming very valued cars. Nowadays, a Porsche 914,916 or 928 is viewed with a hint of excitement, and newer Volkswagens, Mercedes and Ferraris have admirers. A dynamic market and a dynamic event. Just what is needed for a dynamic world, and conversation.
Remember that Techno-Classica, to be held in Essen, is near, too. This event is much larger with regard to visitor numbers, floor space and club and artisan stands than Retromobile. It is therefore a better destination when it comes to the needs of enthusiasts and most of the collectors. However, at the high-end, Retromobile still remains the most influential venue for retro cars in the whole world.