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2016 Interclassics Maastricht
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Staged for the 23rd time this year, the Interclassics Maastricht is the premier indoor classic car show in the Benelux area (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg). The Interclassics brand is so strong that an additional event was held in Brussels just two months earlier, which was also a big success. Despite the close scheduling of the two Interclassics events, the interest in either was not effected with the available floor space in the MECC Maastricht sold out well before the event. Among the special celebrations in 2016 were the 100th anniversary of BMW, while a display was also dedicated to Bentley and Rolls-Royce and British auctioneer Coys held a sale on Saturday afternoon. For us the Interclassics Maastricht is the traditional start of the season and our photographers dusted off their Canons to capture the highlights in this 120-shot gallery.

German manufacturer BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke) was established in 1916, originally as a constructor of airplanes. Immediately after the Great War, the fledgling company switched production to the motorcycles and cars, it still builds to this day. The 100th anniversary of BMW was the main feature at Interclassics Maastricht. A large portion of one of the halls was dedicated to the German company and filled with a fine selection of cars assembled by the BMW Klassieke Autoclub Nederland. In addition to a broad selection of road cars that ranged from early 315s to Isettas and an M1, the display also featured some very nice racing cars. Among them was a 328, which has been owned by the same German enthusiast since 1970 and campaigned by him in each edition of the Old Timer Grands Prix at the Nurburgring. Also brought from Germany was a very rare Group 5 version of the 320i. A Belgian collector wheeled out his BMW-engined Benetton as raced during the 1986 Formula 1 World Championship. Although not part of the actual BMW display, another highlight was the Heidegger 3.0 CSL Group 2 racer shown by Fine Automobiles.

The remainder of the show floor was filled by a colourful selection of car clubs, dealers, restorers and automobilia merchants. The displays featured a broad range of Ferraris and Porsches but also rarer machinery like an early Excelsior from Belgium and a Volkswagen SP1. Our attention was also grabbed by a Jaguar XJR-15 racer, which was lined up alongside an Abarth SE010 and a replica of the Mk IV Ford GT40, which reportedly did feature an original body. The displays were also judged and the BMW 507 shown on the 100th anniversary display was picked as the Best of Show. The Coys auction had around 60 lots that included anything from a Porsche 911 Turbo, a Langenthal bodied Lancia Aprillia and a Rolls-Royce Phantom I. Unfortunately, the results were not known at the time of writing.

The 2016 edition once again confirmed the status of Interclassics Maastricht as one of the leading shows of its kind. Attracting close to 30,000 spectators over four days, it was another record breaking edition. Considering the huge interest, the show represented a missed opportunity for BMW Classic to complement the fine 100th anniversary display with several stars from their collection. It was also unfortunate that during our visit, on the preview day, the hall that housed most of the clubs was not open yet.

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Report by Wouter Melissen and images by Wouter Melissen and Pieter Melissen for Ultimatecarpage.com