Retromobile, the sweeping annual classic car festival in Paris, opens its doors today with more than 400 exhibitors, three major auctions, collector cars and automobilia for sale, and with many special features, including 15 magnificent maharaja cars of India, a display dedicated to Italian automaker Lancia, and the sights and sounds of early land-speed-record race cars.
Continuing through Feb. 9, the 39th annual Retromobile has grown for the first time into the largest hall at the Place de Versailles Exhibition Center as it kicks off Europe’s classic car season for 2014.
Among the special exhibits is an homage to land-speed-record drivers of the 1920s, John Parry-Thomas and Sir Malcolm Campbell, and their streamlined cars. On display is Parry-Thomas’ reconstructed racer named Babs – in which he fatally crashed during a record attempt– that’s powered by a 27-liter V12 aircraft engine, and the 500-horsepower Blue Bird Sunbeam that Campbell drove to more than 150 mph.
You can witness the Blue Bird being fired up recently at the National Motor Museum in England in a video posted on the ClassicCars.com Blog by clicking on: Blue Bird Flies. The engine is expected to be started again during Retromobile.
Even if you’re not traipsing around Paris this week, Retromobile and its three associated auctions offer some great articles and eye candy that are available online. Check out Retromobile’s enjoyable and extensive website at www.en.retromobile.com, which includes photos and information about the current exhibitors as well as a number of photo galleries from past shows.
Websites for the three collector-car auctions are loaded with high-quality photos and descriptions of the cars, motorcycles and automobilia that are coming up for sale. Click on each auction’s name to be taken to its website:
RM Auctions, which holds its inaugural Paris auction today.
Bonhams, which holds its high-end sale Thursday.
Artcurial, which has expanded its event to Friday for its regular auction and Saturday for an all Alfa-Romeo sale.