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Global warming has treated northern Europe with a both fabulous and long summer. But now winter is coming – soon our favourite twisty roads will be covered in salt, making them undriveable for our beloved classic cars, at least if you live in Denmark or northern Germany. The outdoor events are more or less donefor the year, and it is instead time for the indoor exhibitions to take over.

The most commonly known exhibitions are probably Techno Classica in Essen (I’ve only been there once, but what an experience) and not least Retro Classics in Stuttgart as well (equally, I have one visit under my belt). While Claus covered the inaugural Hamburg Motor Classics last year, this was my first time visiting the still new-to-the-scene event. To be honest, I didn´t know what to expect – other than it obviously being well organized; “Ordnung muss sein”…

Driving to the show along the excellent road, Elbchausse treated us with an array of classic cars out enjoying in the beautiful weather, British two-seater, Bavarian classics, and of course some early 911´s. But most extraordinary were man and wife on a newly restored Porsche Diesel tractor, driving behind a big modern SUV, what a sight, unfortunately though, no picture was taken – sorry.

Since it was a Sunday, we encountered no traffic issues and the same goes for the parking. Entrance was 16.50 Euros per person, and my camera assistant (my daughter) got in for free. All set, memory card empty, lens cover off, here we go… The first building was for the high rollers, generally the cars without a price tag, the second building was the club scene, and a third building was for private vendors who wanted to sell their cars.

We enter the first building, the main stage – on the left, a lot of British classics, the center was an average VW Bug, to the right various Italian classics and David Brown-era Aston’s in bare aluminum. So I turned right to look at these amazing masterpieces, and enjoy this rare opportunity to see the inside structure of these cars. There was no information next to the Aston Martin, which to my knowledge was it a DB2 – meaning a Bentley developed 2.6-litre straight-6, and coachwork bodies from assumedly Touring Superleggera? – I was looking for the famous small tubing which makes the structure of the bodywork. I really appreciate projects at this stage, where you can still see tales of the cars long history – if only cars could talk.

Standing next to the Aston, I realize that the “average” VW Bug in the background – is electric! That calls for some questions. First, some facts: 60kW engine, range 100km, topspeed 120km/h, price 26.000 Euro. This is something which truly separates the crowd into two distinct camps. Regardless, it’s just too expensive if you ask me. But on the flipside, it’s of course way cooler than driving a Nissan Leaf. But would you electrify your classic car? According to the founder of Ecap Mobility, they have several customers who drive an electric Porsche Boxster as their daily wheels, and the petrol burner for the weekend! Makes me wonder – are petrol cars going through the same phase as horses did at the beginning of the last century? This is the first time I’ve seen a company supplying a complete solution for your classic car, and it’s even fully approved by the German TÜV.

Since I’m a little off topic here anyway, we might as well go straight on to a new German car manufacturer from Hamburg. You might have seen the little Hot Rod driving around in the major cities of central Europe. Basically, it is not a car, but a quadricycle (L7E) – I had the pleasure to talk with the founder of the company, and apparently it takes a lot of time and money to do what he did.

Returning to something a bit more authentic and classic, I was drawn in by the Tempo, a thoroughly weird three-wheel truck. I have seen it a couple of times before at Hamburg Prototyp museum, but only now did I realise that the engine is mounted to the front fork.

In the center, AutoMuseum ProtoTyp had a large area to display some of their rare prototypes. My favorite was, what I assume to be a 718 RSK body, with a rich racing history, judging from all the dents, nicks and repairs done to it.

In the back half of the building they had established a proper “Man Cave” – with a barbershop, shoemaker etc. All really cool without being cheesy, and together with the live jazz band, there was a really good vibe here.

Moving along to the next building, you had to cross the “street” where all the local classic cars were on display. These cars are more within reach of average Joe. What caught my eye was a safari-style 911 with a roof rack – I’m not entirely sure I can explain why, but for some reason I really like this look.

When photographing another white 911, I noticed what looked like child’s writing on the fuelfiller cover – a closer look revealed it as the autograph of the selfmade Magnus Walker, from last years HOG (Hamburg Outlaw Gathering).

Entering the final building – meaning building number two – was all about the club scene, a swap meet and a few loose ends which the organisers seemingly didn’t know where else to place. Most impressive was the Audi Club with their Pikes Peak racer and all the Group B cars. Yet, I must admit that I fairly quickly returned to the first building and took some more closeup photos of the cars, and all their intrigueing small details. I’ve never previously noticed just how elegant the logo of an Aston Martin DBS is, nor how truly captivating the glass rear surrounding the tail lights of a Maserati Khamsin can be when viewed from the right angle.

All in all, this is a small show compared with the likes of Essen and Stuttgart. In the north of Germany, even Bremen is a fair bit bigger. But it still had a little of everything as I hope the gallery below will demonstrate – mostly German of course. I definitely enjoyed it and will happily visit again next year.

Hamburg Motor Classics – “Quadratisch, praktisch, gut”.


One Response

  1. Anders Bilidt

    And so the indoor season of classic car exhibitions begins…

    Great report – thx David! :-)
    It’ll be interesting to see whether they can keep this event going when they’re up against the bigger and well established exhibitions in Germany. I sincerely hope they can. Having previously lived in Hamburg for almost four years, I should really pencil in a visit in October next year.

    I absolutely adore the yellow and black Kadett C Coupé of Walter Rohrl. Such a fab looking race car…
    The red Alpina-tuned BMW 1800 NK is also a very famous car in the German classic BMW scene. I’m intrigued David, was that car really for sale? I believe it’s remained in the same ownership for donkey’s years…
    Mmmmm… different league of course, but that yellow Ghibli – just stunning!!


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