Say December and picture anything else but winter holidays, I dare you. Say Bavaria and think of anything else but BMW and Audi, I dare you again! Well… I may have just found an answer to this unlikely riddle: the classic car show Retro Classics in Nuremberg.
This exhibition is put together by the same company organising the more famous “Retro Classics” show in Stuttgart. While the “mother” fair held (each March) in Baden-Wurttemberg’s capital city has become the biggest event in Europe for number of visitors, this event in Nuremberg, now only on its third edition, is slowly but surely becoming a point of reference for classic cars lovers in the Bavaria region. It’s still relatively small scaled, taking up only 4 hangars of the modern Nuremberg Messe Zentrum, but it certainly doesn’t lack in the quality of “material” on display. Being so compact makes is also easier to grasp, all in all a classy season ending for the vintage car scene.
Sure, the German car makers are taking the lion’s share of the exhibition space, but the Italians are close by, and finding the Alfa gems in here made this show even more rewarding.
So as as soon as you take your eyes off the glitzy Benzes, there’s some white sensations to be feasted upon.
Maserati, Ferrari and right at the center… this immaculate 1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider.
Overlooking the honorable audience with a sensual red interior.
What’s captivating about this kind of exhibitions is that you might get to see a concours condition vehicle and not far from it the same exact type of car, but in desperate need of a bit of love and attention.
The glamorous Giulietta, the Cinderella Giulietta.
And nearby, a beautifully restored Montreal body revealing some craftsmen’s skills, for whoever might want to challenge them.
But beauty is not enough. Alfa Romeo means also racing. And here they are, the bad boys of the rallying world: GTV 2.0 and GTV6 2.5
Plus their civilian brother. Already sold, in case you wondered.
What is the classic among the classic Alfas? The Duetto Spider, of course, from the first to the last generation.
Rigorously red, no less.
We’ve had the beautiful, we’ve had the bad. Time for the ugly ? But everyone knows there’s no such thing as an “ugly” Alfa, so I’ll call it quirky.
It’s a 1300 Junior Zagato, say it’s bland and it will get offended. Forza Zagato… we’re in for one hell of a party next year for your Centenary celebrations!
Talking about unusual Alfas, here is my personal highlight of the show, a one-off utilitarian Romeo 2 with a most noble purpose: this Colli bodied Alfa Romeo bus used to be a blood bank vehicle owned by AVIS (Associazione Volontari Italiani del Sangue). Make it run again and I’ll be the first to donate my blood to it! But with a cool asking price of 165.000 euros that might take a while.
Vintage cars come in vintage colours. And sure, recently I’ve heard people saying they want to see green made great again. But if this was to happen, I’d go for this tasty, classy olive hue.
It may sound like a cliché, but whoever left the youngtimer Mercedes next to the older Giulia is not doing the former any favours. Because for opulence there’s always a choice, but for handling there’s only Alfa Romeo.
I wasn’t the only one here though who’s heart beats for Alfa Romeo: Alfa Club Deutschland is a constant and established presence at the classic car shows all across Germany, and their awesome F12 van full of goodies couln’t miss this appointment. Quite a generous stand too, showcasing the last 2 rear wheel drive sedans made by Alfa Romeo: 75 and Giulia. Next to them, a Tipo 105/115 GTV. Maybe my vision is too far fetched, but I’m wishing to see on their stand next time we meet a brand new rear wheel drive GTV next to the old one. Wouldn’t this be awesome?
Another slogan popular on Instragram was represented here: Make Lancia Great Again! And also a reminder that sparkling a bit of Ferrari magic was not premiered by the Giulia Quadrifoglio. Back in the day, this was the Italian über saloon: Thema 8.32. The repmobile powered by Ferrari. Made even greater, if I may add, by the Zender Alfa alloys (apologies to the Lancia purists, these things don’t mix… even if I have a friend who fitted “mille righe” Lancia alloys to his 33 QV).
Once the tour of the Alfas present at Retro Classics Bavaria was completed, then and only then my attention was captured by other “lesser” cars, the likes of Bugatti or Lamborghini.
Whatever rocks your boat, the fair has it: oldtimers and youngtimers, affordable classics and exotics for the 1%.
Did someone say Lamborghini?
But I’m a Alfageek at heart, so I prefered spending the rest of my time there wandering through the memorabilia stands, looking for a bargain or two to complete my collection.
Spot the Alfa. It’s the future classic one!
They say all good things must come to and end. 2018 is closing to an end pretty soon, and I’ve yet to decide whether it was a good year or not.
Retro Classics Bavaria as season endings go… surely was a great one.
See you in 2019!