Grand Basel could become the most important collector car fair in 2018

Art Basel is the foremost fair for the international art market. For 2018, their directors are organising a salon for collector cars — Grand Basel, a curated exhibition that will celebrate the most unusual cars of yesterday, today, and tomorrow…

The art market has been prosperous for decades, because they’ve realised that what is just as important as the pieces of work themselves is the framework in which they’re presented. At auctions in London and New York, in breath-taking white-cube galleries, and glamorous and exclusive art fairs, such as Art Basel, hundreds of millions of paintings and sculptures are selling around the world. The market for classic collector cars and limited supercars has also experienced an unrivalled boom in recent years — but there aren’t enough places to adequately present the expensive cars. Classic car fairs, such as Rétromobile in Paris and Techno Classica in Essen, frighten buyers with overloaded halls and cacophonic display areas. For many luxury brands, garden parties, such as The Quail and Salon Privé, are the more appropriate setting to present a new concept car or one-off, as opposed to the Frankfurt IAA or Geneva Salon.

The organizers of the MCH Group, which are also responsible for Art Basel and the watchmaking and jewellery fair Baselworld, want to establish an automobile event for next year, in which the world's most important and most valuable automobiles in design, architecture, and art can be shown. Within the framework of a strictly curated exhibition, around 200 pioneering automobiles from yesterday, today, and tomorrow will be presented at Grand Basel, alongside high-class dealerships and automotive brands, which will be able to present their most extraordinary concepts and exclusive models. In ensure the perfect mix, an advisory board will be appointed, which will be filled with creative minds from both within and outside the car industry, allowing for such cars as the Fiat Panda to be recognised as a design icon as well as an invaluable prototype. The simple and modular concept of the exhibition’s architecture, which was developed by Berlin design office BlueScope, will break the mould of what is considered to be a traditional automobile salon. After the premiere in Basel in September 2018, where there will also be panel discussions and moving presentations, further trade fairs are planned in Miami and Hong Kong.

During a sneak-peek of the exhibition, held in the impressive Herzog & de Meuron building in Basel yesterday, the organisers showed everyone what they could expect from Grand Basel: Professor Paolo Tumminelli, a cultural scientist and automobile theorist, who helped develop the concept of the fair, was announced as director of the board of trustees. Design master Giorgetto Giugiaro was present, along with his genius Chevrolet Testudo Concept from 1963, while Andrea Zagato gave a first glimpse at the new Iso Rivolta Vision Concept, which will premiere in the video game Gran Turismo in October. The vision for an alternative future of the automobile was demonstrated by designer Rem D. Koolhaas and his minimalist polygonal Lo Res Car. And the connections between architecture, automotive, and urban planning were made with the coupling of a 1935 Avion Voisin C25 Aérodyne and the works of Swiss architect Le Corbusier. Should the buzz from the concept car preview be any thermometer for future success, Grand Basel could soon become the most important fair for collector cars. We are more than excited!

Photos: Grand Basel

The first edition of Grand Basel will start on 3 September 2018 in Basel. Events in Miami and Hong Kong are scheduled to follow shortly thereafter. For more information, please visit the MCH Group website.