The Paris Rétromobile Salon is without a doubt one of the most important car events in Europe this 2017. One of the few events that would make me pause the launch of new products by The Outlierman (coming very soon by the way!) to fly to the Ville Lumière in search of new ideas. So here I am: backpack and trolley bag in hand, ready for this new journey of excellence ahead of me.
11:30 am, “Bonjour Paris!”. My flight has just landed at Charles De Gaulle airport and I start to feel the frenzy coming from the next three exceptional days that are awaiting me. Knowing fully it is inevitable: whatever happens in Paris can only be fantastic!
It was my first time at Rétromobile and all I needed to do was arrive at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center to understand that this is not your usual show. I immediately come across some stands displaying some of the rarest models and think to myself: "Ok, this is so much more than a huge car show".
The exhibition by JD Classics immediately catches my attention with a magnificent pre-war Alfa Romeo, a Ferrari and an extremely rare Aston Martin that all contributed to the exclusivity of the event.
The Aston Martin emblem was among the great icons of the event, especially the David Brown collection. This is where I could admire the legendary James Bond DB5, exactly equipped as it was in the unforgettable 1964 Goldfinger and in other movies of the series.
Jaguar was presenting the XKSS project, a perfect example of a classic that becomes modernized while still maintaining its iconic charm: a jewel for the lucky few.
In the two days I spent wandering around the stands of car manufacturers – Mercedes Benz Classic, Bugatti, FCA Heritage just to name a few – I contemplated these works of art inspired by the motoring world and how I’ve always found exceptional quality, refinement, style and elegance in these works.
Paris is among the world's capitals of art and Rétromobile, as regards to its field, is no different. It’s the biggest event in Europe in terms of number of artists and hosted works: masterpieces of paintings, sculptures and sometimes handmade products inspired either by some of the most beautiful cars or iconic Gentlemen in history. From Enzo Ferrari to Steve McQueen, from Carroll Shelby to legendary motor races: everything here is a source of inspiration.
My visit at Rétromobile gave me the opportunity to meet again with François Melcion, the Director of the Salon, whom I had met during the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. A truly interesting chat, during which François reiterated and emphasized how important the selection of brands on display is for the purpose of the prestige of such an event, that is now regarded as a must-see for fans and car collectors from all around the world.
My travel agenda for Paris also included some stops outside of the Rétromobile. Some meetings related to The Outlierman - which never leaves my thoughts - and some auctions that I consider a must-see because of the selection of rare and high-valued cars.
RM Sotheby's and Bonhams auctions are integral components of the beauty of this city. Both set up in exceptional locations – the first one overlooking the Eiffel Tower, the second one inside the Grand Palais – they host rare cars with sky-high starting prices like the 4 million euros requested for the Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3 at RM Sotheby's auction.
My Parisian weekend ended with a diary full of memories, new contacts, important thoughts and equally valuable insights for the future. Car shows are not necessarily my passion, but Paris Rétromobile Salon has been really something extraordinary: an event for which you can accept leaving your car in the garage for and taking a last-minute direct flight to excellence.
Andrea Mazzuca, founder
Photo credits: Federico Bajetti for The Outlierman © 2017