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2005 Interclassics and Topmobiel
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Click here to open the slideshowFor the 15th time the Maastricht Congress Center MECC organized its January classic car event Interclassics. This year's event also included the TopMobiel presentation, which has become a fully integrated part of the show. As a novelty the show now also featured an auction program, this time under the auspices of Coys of London, which is gradually making its way back to the forefront of classic car auctions.

In its set-up Interclassics resembles the Essen Techno-Classica, but on a much smaller scale. There is a mixture of clubs and car traders who present their collections and stock, and being only 100 km away from Essen, the Maastricht venue attracts a similar public as well. Of course there is a significant part of the exhibition space reserved for automobilia such as book and models, which can easily make you much poorer than intended before going in.

This year's presentation saw a large variety of cars. The Dutch car magazine Auto Visie brought together small collection of what they called “champions” which included a.o. the Donkervoort 270RS which recently broke the lap record on the grueling Nuerburgring Nordschleife, which earlier in 2004 had been set by a Porsche Carrera GT. Also the Rousch tuned MG-ZT-T Bonneville speed combi was on show.

Highlight of the Topmobiel presentation was Fangio’s Ferrari 860, the largest ever four pot built by Ferrari. It won the sports car championship of 1956. Also shown was a replica Bugatti 57SC Atlantic Coupe and a 1939 Alfa Romeo 2500 SS Coupe.,

The Coys collection comprised several interesting cars, such as an Alta Racing Sports from 1932, several Mini Cooper S’s, and a Lagonda Aston Martin, said to have been once part of the fleet of the Saudi royal family. The most controversial car on auction was no doubt a Maserati 350S, a model of which only three were made. The car presented here has chassis number 3503, around which two different stories are circulating. One says that the car was “rediscovered” in 1980 and fully restored, while according to other sources the car that now has chassis 3503 is replica, using the chassis and the engine of 3500GT streetcar. The fact that the car is now LHD while the original was RHD might support this story, but nevertheless, the car has full FIA papers, and participated already in 1992 in the historic Mille Miglia.

Clubs present showed a wide variety of cars, the Lotus club Nederland had a 27 and a BMW powered 23 on display, while the Peugeot club showed the 404 diesel record car, which broke 40 world records in one go during an extensive ride in 1965 on Peugeot’s test track.

Holland has a thriving car restoration industry, and a number of well known companies were presented. Among the exhibits were parts of a Fiat 8V Supersonic which, for the account of a well known Dutch collector is being prepared for the 2005 Pebble Beach concours. Scattered among the show were the body, which has been brought back to its original black paint (courtesy Martin Dijkhof) while on the other side of the venue the meticulously rebuilt engine was on display. (Courtesy M-OTO Classic). This car will most likely be a strong contender in Pebble Beach, after a restoration project which by then will have taken 5 years to accomplish.

We have prepared a 50-shot slideshow, which hopefully provides a good overview of the different type of cars on display. Some oddballs may appear here that you would not normally expect on Ultimatecarpage.com. It has however to be said that the lighting conditions for the Topmobiel collection were more geared to create an intimate atmosphere (in which they fully succeeded) than to help photographers. In combination with the fact that many cars presented there were painted black, it was extremely difficult to get acceptable pictures of some of the more interesting cars.

Report and images by Pieter Melissen.