What not to miss at Techno Classica Essen 2016

The Techno Classica in Essen is the largest classic car show in the world, and from 6-10 April, it will re-open its doors to thousands of enthusiasts. Here are the attractions you shouldn’t miss at this year’s show…

With more than 1,250 exhibitors from over 30 nations, displaying 2,500 cars across 20 exhibition halls, getting the most from your trip to Techno Classica is no mean feat. Where do you start, where do you stop, what do you skip and what daren’t you miss? The following five highlights got us most hot under the collar… 

Porsche asks: front or rear engines? 

Porsche’s presence at this year’s Techno Classica is dedicated to its transaxle sports cars – machines that have long stood in the shadow of the hallowed 911, and celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2016. Straight from the museum’s secret lair will be a 944 chassis, a 968 cutaway model, and a final-year 928 that’s set to sit alongside a 924 prototype from 1974.

Inevitably, there’ll be a 911 close by ensuring the front-engined cars don’t steal all the thunder. The car in question is a unique 1972 911 2.5 S/T in which Jürgen Barth raced at Daytona, Sebring, the Targa Florio, the Nürburgring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was discovered dilapidated in a barn in the USA a few years ago, and has since been restored by the factory to its fabulous original condition.  

Big birthdays

The family of transaxle Porsches is not the only one celebrating an important anniversary at the Techno Classica. Above all, BMW will mark its centenary with a selection of its most formative models – including those from the ‘Baroque Angel’ and ‘New Class’ epochs, plus other landmark cars such as the M1 and i8. Ferruccio Lamborghini would have also celebrated his 100th birthday this year, and the occasion will be duly marked. Ford’s momentous 1-2-3 victory at Le Mans in 1966 with the GT40 will be celebrated on its stand, while the much younger Golf GTI’s 40th anniversary will also be commemorated. Twenty-five candles will be glowing on the birthday cake of Audi’s brilliant concept cars: the Avus Quattro and the Quattro Spyder, both of which it presented at Frankfurt in 1991. 

In the tyre tracks of the 1955 Mille Miglia

Today’s Mille Miglia retrospective might be a good marketing and press exercise, but fascination of the original race is still very much alive. In a special exhibition, the organisers of Techno Classica have gathered 10 cars that started the 1955 Mille Miglia, including a Ferrari 750 Monza, a Porsche 550 Spyder and the Mercedes 300 SLR in which Juan-Manuel Fangio single-handedly drove to second position overall. 

A commercial dream

If you’re currently in the market for a classic car, the Techno Classica in Essen is a logical place to start your search. More than 1,250 exhibitors will display some 2,500 cars, and we’d be rather concerned if you can’t find your dream machine among them. Many European Classic Driver dealers will be present, including Harry Asunta from Finland; the Houtkamp Collection, Lex Classics and The Gallery Brummen from the Netherlands; Frank Dale & Stepsons from England, Car Collection Wittner from Austria; Lutziger from Switzerland; and Thiesen, Mirbach, Rosier and Springbok Sportwagen from Germany. 

Photos: Messe Essen / Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volkswagen