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Rétromobile report - The Show 2013

It grows the more often you get there

please have a look on the Paris Auction review filed under "The Chronicle"

by Matthias Urban

Rétromobile opened its doors to the public on Feb., 6th. Once again three halls of the Parc des Expositions where used for display. To be honest, Pavillion 3 was the main target. Pavillions 2.2 and 2.3 mainly had –beside some Club displays- parts and maintenance products in stock. Pavillion 2.3 only had #113273 on display as a show car for an air-conditioned plastic garage. Thanks to the window codes it was possible to identify the car. The only car that kept the secret of its identity was an obviously crashed 308 GTB with partly restored body without any interior or windows.

As usual, Rétromobile welcomed us with a delicacy: one of the 512 BBLM, #34445 was sold new to Ron Spangler and was leading the 24h of Daytona in 1981 but did not finish in the end. The car was easily identified by its typical Black and Gold accents to the Rosso Corsa paint.

The display of Sport et Collection was marvelous as ever, surprisingly the booth staff seemed at bit stressed for whatever reason. The 8th 312 PB, #0890, is winner of the 1,000 km de Francorchamps in 1972. It later was part of the German Collezione Rosso Bianco before it changed hands to well known names of the Ferrari community: Leventis, Bosch and Knapfield. Beside it stood 250 GT Lusso #5239GT that spent some time in the collection of the Mimran family, one time owners of Lamborghini. Obviously restored with a complete change of colours, the Argento exterior was replaced by a dark Blue livery whilst the Nero interior was changed to Bordeaux.

The highlight was to come already. RM’s teaser for their 2013 Villa d’Este Auction was 0320AM, the 340/375 MM Berlinetta.

Tradex of Bergamo had 512 S #1016 in its long tail configuration beside the beautiful 212 Inter Vignale # 0221EL on display. Sister Cabriolet #0227EL was on display –not for auction- at Arcurial. 0227EL was once owned by actor David Niven and part of the famous Kroyman’s collection. 1016 had its big moment when it was used in the movie 'Le Mans'.

0438MD was shown as well. The 500 Mondial Spider was originally delivered to Porfirio Rubirosa before it was acquired by John von Neumann. If I remember right, we already quoted previously that this is once again a car connected with our high respected friend, Ed Niles!

Official dealer Charles Pozzi’s contribution was fine as ever. #00374 is one of the few 206 Dinos produced. The car’s history is complete French. Beside it stood Daytona #15375, the car with assembly #728. Originally livered in Red it is now restored in Grigio Ferro. The “modern” part of the display was achieved by the 266th F50 with S/N 106825.

Fiskens’ display was breathtaking as ever in Paris. Testarossa #0716TR was accompanied by 275 GTB Competizione Series II #09079 in its full racing livery. Also 0716TR shows Ed Niles in its chain of ownership. The car was once rebodied by Drogo but has been restored to its original configuration.

ECL had 330 GT 2+2 #9549 on offer, close to the marvelous display of Carrosserie Lecoq who showed 246 GT Dino #01282 and 246 GTB Dino #06944, both in Black now. The Berlinetta was rare Giallo Senape and the Targa was Red when new.

The display was completed by two more or less strange cars presented by Chantilly Cars Prestige. The explanation on their information plate put some light to a car we all follow a long time: a 250 GT TdF claiming to be 1303GT. Many of us have seen the open hood presenting the Telaio of 1303GT. Chantilly quotes that the car is a Replica done by Belgian company APAL and that APAL did use a 250 GT Boano chassis for it. We only have to find out the chassis number still… Second Chantilly car was a California SWB and guess what? A further replica. Done by Autorestauro on a 250 GTE with #2517GT.

After six hours we left Rétromobile 2013 full of impressions and once again we have not been disappointed in any way. It was a great event and we are looking forward to return next year, but to be honest, the most lovely display was Lukas Hüni’s homage to the Citroen DS…, if you don’t mind.