If you happen to be in Paris in early February and you want to satisfy your craving for some proper car shopping, Retromobile is the perfect place for you. Allow me an hyperbole: the feeling you get while attending this event is no different than walking into a warehouse stuffed with almost all the cars you always have dreamed about. In addition, the relaxed and refined atmoshpere as well as the great people you can meet make it a great motoring living room for gentlemen drivers too.
Retromobile is perhaps the most important static exhibition for the classic automotive market: it's where top collectors go for shopping and where high-end vendors offer the very best available on the market today. By simply taking a walk through the stands you can gaze at everything from tanks of the famous Tank Museums to the cars of Carlo Abarth and the pre-war masterpieces of the French coachbuilders. No matter what you find, you'll always see a fine selection of everything, including the stand of luxury watchmaker Richard Mille hosting some of the greatest McLarens of all time, such as the famous 1995 Le Mans winning F1 GTR.
Europe's top vendors enlightened the show with their best possible cars for sale, all ideal for nostalgic gentlemen drivers. It was not unusual to walk between 10 Ferrari 250 SWB's at the Lukas Huni stand and meet a highly original Alfa Romeo Giulietta SV Zagato Codatronca and a Porsche 906 at Gael Regent, while gazing at a ex works Maserati 250F Formula 1 and at a Jaguar Lightweight E Type on display at Fiskens.
Even the world's top manufacturers put on exhibition the very best of their history: Porsche was celebrating 70 years by displaying one of the original 356 Gmunds, while Alpine brought four A442 and Renault an impressive array of vehicles dating from its famed Type D of 1901 to the iconic Espace van and the FCA group putting for sale one of the prototypes of the Alfa Romeo SZ ES-30 of the early nineties.
During the Retromobile week, Paris also hosts three great auctions by Bonhams, RM and Artcurial, all offering an additional dose of perdition and temptation for fine car collectors.
If there's a place in the world where you can see 2 Maserati A6G 2000 by Zagato next to a rare Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza and all the great Le Mans prototypes of a bygone era, that is definitely Retromobile. With cars ranging from the beginnings of the automobile passing through the finest motor vehicles of recent years, this show is perhaps the best way to kick off your 2018 motoring season.
Jacopo Villa, contributor
Photo credits: Federico Bajetti for The Outlierman © 2018