The 26th Techno Classica Essen opens today and runs through Sunday.
What is it? It is the self-proclaimed “World show for vintage, classic and prestige automobiles, motorcycles, spare parts, restoration and world club meeting.”
How big is it? Well, it fills 20 buildings and four open-air areas at the Essen show grounds in Germany, where 1,250 exhibitors — including more than two dozen automakers or brands, with Maserati and Zagato new this year — from 30 nations will display their historic vehicles and their products for classic cars.
Last year more than 190,000 people attended the event.
Maserati is participating as a company for the first time as part of its centennial celebration. Likewise, Zagato is new to the event and is celebrating its 95th corporate anniversary and will showcase its coachwork for Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia and others in Hall 6.
There also will be a special display of cars from sports car-producer AC, famous for Carroll Shelby’s British-built Ford-powered Cobras but now a German automaker using Chevrolet V8 engines in its new AC Mk VI.
Other automaker showcases include Alfa with “60 Years of Alfa Giulietta;” Audi’s centennial celebration of 100 years of motorsports by the four rings of its Auto Union emblem 00 Audi,/NSU, Horch, DKW and Wanderer; “Volvo at Speed” with various racing-tuned Volvos, including the PV 544 that won the 1965 Safari Rally; and a special display by the BMW Group with BMW and Mini race cars.
“Striving for Victory and Perfection” is the theme of the BMW Group exhibition, which also includes Rolls-Royce and BMW Group Classic, which provides 40,000 original parts and various services for historic BMW vehicles and their owners.
“Among the highlights of history brought back to mind are the record-breaking exploits and spectacular sporting triumphs in which BMW has been involved over nine decades,” BMW said in previewing its display.
“Special attention is devoted to the brand’s tradition of lightweight design, which has shaped the character of BMW cars for 80 years in both racing competition and everyday use. The Essen event also sees Mini celebrating 50 years since the first overall victory of the classic Mini in the Monte Carlo Rally.”
Among the vehicles on display in the BMW hall will be a replica of a BMW 328 Mille Miglia touring coupe that won its class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race 75 years ago. Also in the BMW exhibit will be the BMW V12 LMR that won overall at Le Mans 60 years later.
The Mini Cooper S that Paddy Hopkirk drove to victory in the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964 also will be shown.