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Essen Techno Classica 2003

The Techno Classica, covering an area of 85.000m² and having 820 exhibitors from 15 countries, is the largest exhibition of its kind in the world. Techno Classica is also an important commercial meeting place for those in the classic car industry and for those who come purely for the enjoyment of the classic ‘scene’. For example more than 130 clubs get the chance to show their unique vehicles off to the world at large.

The Classic Driver Team was their in force from a commercial, as well as editorial standpoint and this brief review will show you some of the highlights of the event. After all, more than 2000 cars were on display.

Munich ‘old timer’ dealer – Wunscholdtimer – Alexander Haas had a stand redolent of the spirit of the original Mille Miglia. The reproduction 1958 Ferrari 250 Testarossa, with a value of more than 300.000 Euro, certainly looked the part.

Dealers Movendi, from Cologne, also had the most beautiful cars on their stand. Beside the impressive Alfa Romeo 1900 CSS Touring Convertible (according to "Carozzeria Touring" boss Carl Felice Anderloni this particular car is a prototype, that was never produced in volume and is therefore unique), was a Fraser Nash and an Aston Martin DB5 Convertible.

Michael Olu Brinkert classic automobiles from Recklinghausen were showing a beautiful light blue Ferrari 330 GTC as well as examples of Aston Martin, Lagonda and other Ferraris. As is usual the Brinkert stand was a magnet to the public. The photo shows Michael Olu Brinkert beside the Ferrari 330 GTC.

A completely traditional British car could be found at the stand of Lukas Hueni from Zurich where a rare 1940 Lagonda V12 Rapide was standing. The development history of this particular model is very interesting. In the middle of the 1930's Lagonda Ltd was in an economic crisis, and was bought by Alan P. Good. Good immediately engaged the celebrated engineer W.O. Bentley, (whose eponymous company was now under Rolls-Royce ownership), as technical director. The new generation of Lagondas had a sportier image, together with more performance and luxury. At this point the 4 ½ litres V12 was born. A completely new, smaller, series of lighter chassis was soon developed - the Rapide. The model shown here, resplendent in dark grey metallic paint, restored by the marque’s leading expert Peter Whenman, is considered to be the finest example in the world.

Hans Kleissl's company HK-Engineering is Europe’s only restoration enterprise occupied exclusively with the Mercedes SL model. Showing several MB 300 SL models, visitors could see examples of both the coupe and the roadster. The photo shows HK engineering founder, and head of the company, Hans Kleissl, with Vanessa nearly.

The largest automobile club of Germany used the Techno Classica to say they had something to celebrate - 100 years of ADAC - in 350m2 of Hall 2. In this photo: Bastian Schonauer, Dr. Wolfgang Weihtag, Wolfgang Fines and Juergen Moehle (organizer Eifel Klassik).

The most important historic race-meetings in Germany were represented at the Techno Classica. The AvD, Germany’s club most steeped in tradition, showed the 1972 March F1 721X DFV, which will be competing in the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix (8th - 10. August 2003), as well as the OPEL Ascona 1.9 Rallye, that Walter Roehrl and Jochen Berger won 1974 the European Rally Championship in. The yellow and black rally car from Ruesselsheim was last run in the AvD Histo-Monte.

A newcomer at Techno Classica was Stefan Loechler of HCM Innovation, showing the company’s new product series; the Fix40. Featuring rotary brushes to clean wheel rims the product is bound to attract many new enthusiasts tired of manually cleaning. The photo shows Stefan Loechler, with his own Jaguar E-type, demonstrating how Fix40 works. Fix40 is being launched for the first time on the market in 2003; more details on Classic Driver in weeks to come.

Essen Techno Classica 2003 The Dusseldorf company Classicon was showing, among other things, a perfect recreation of the immortal 300 SL Gullwing, in a colour with the characteristic name of "Petrol". The car features a bored 280 engine in place of the usual 300, fabricated especially by a German engine builder. The photo shows Classic Driver’s Sales Director Jan Christopher Sierks talking to Stephan Arensmeier of Classicon by one of their Ferraris for sale on the stand.

Text & Photos:Philipp Stodtmeister