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The fourth edition of the InterClassics Brussels impressed with a variety demonstrated perfectly by the cover photo as well as a finesse and style of a larger show. Once again, it comes highly recommended from our Chief Editor, who walked away feeling rather inspired.

Sometimes I ask myself why I bother visiting yet another car show. Then I do – and hey presto, I return having had a brilliant time including having learnt something new, having met people (new contacts as well as old friends) and not least (ideally) feeling all fired up with regards to what the future should bring to my personal garage.

InterClassics Brussels is not huge – but it is airy, comfortable and friendly, and the cars much to my liking.

The InterClassics Brussels ticked every one of those boxes. Which is quite an achievement for a show which is only in its fourth year. With the last car show I attended being the second edition of the Hamburg Motor Classic only a few weeks ago, it’s very obvious how a newcomer exhibition can struggle finding its feet as well as simply reaching a critical mass which makes the trip feel worthwhile. Well, 400 exhibitors and 1,000 cars for sale (according to the organiser’s) saw to that in Brussels, and the more than 24,000 visitors were rather satisfied (according to a survey carried out amongst them) – and yours truly will happily back that up.

Does Sir prefer the super rare Iso Rivolta…

….or the even rarer Monteverdi High Speed?

It no doubt helps that the InterClassics Brussels is organised by the same team as the InterClassics Maastricht, which draws upon more than 25 years of experience and calls themselves “the premier car show of the Benelux”. With a January date for the latter and the Brussels spin off usually taking place in November, it seems they have found a comfortable cooperation between them, and I actually plan for visiting the Maastricht show as well – the theme will be “La Grandezza della Lancia”. Well, we simply must, mustn’t we?

British or Italian fare?

Back to Brussels: I’ve already written a short story from there, as our previous week’s Prime Find (the charming little Ogle 1000 SX, remember?) was actually spotted at the Brussels show. And there’ll almost certainly be a few separate stories coming up as well, as I did learn something new. But besides that, I’ll let the photos (and the odd caption) do most of the talking as the many lovely cars really don’t require the company of my words.

Or a rather mundane Peugeot 505 in a truly splendid colour?

The main theme for this show was the World Expo of 1958 – taking place in Brussels, of course. The collected cars were all from 1958  and served to teach me something about myself. I once thought of myself as a Fifties/Sixties kind of car guy, as my all-time favourite (Maserati A6G 2000 Zagato, just for the record) stems from that age as does many of my other favourite cars from the Sixties.

Or a rather less mundane but still surprisingly affordable super cruiser from Bavaria? Again please note the fabulous colour.

In the World Expo-special display, I learnt that cars of that age need to have been pretty special back then to still arouse me. Not necessarily like the outlandishly rare and expensive Maserati, mind – but nonetheless, very special: Like the Lancia Aurelia Convertible, for example – which was accompanied by cars as diverse as huge Americana and VW Bus’s that, charming as they are, in no way are candidates for joining my garage.

The World Expo-show of cars from 1958.

A special display was reserved for another Fifties car, the Porsche 356 – the original Porsche, so to speak. It seemed fitting, as the marque is of course celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. We were treated to a wonderful display showcasing the full story of the 356 right from the earliest, to the racing spin-offs, and on to the latest which were made to look dated by that upcoming new great: 911. Surely, a beautiful car in every one of its incarnations and yes, the display was inspiring enough to make me think of a (any?) 356 as a welcome addition in my personal garage. So maybe my soul is still not entirely lost to modernity?

The very nicely presented Porsche 356 display was behind rope, so there was no way of getting up close with the cars.

Or indeed maybe it is, for in quite the opposite direction was at least three other candidates of a much younger vintage which really made my right foot ache – take a look at the these two:

I want this.

And this.

See? I can’t really explain why, but I would really enjoy giving each of these two a place of honour in my garage, and not least a serious roadtrip along beautiful winding roads. Although I am pretty sure my Alpine A310 is at least as much fun for half the price – as well as being a “properly aged” classic car, instead of merely an upcoming youngtimer. Sure I know both the BMW and the Alfa Romeo are faster, but that has never been a major factor for me. In fact, I think it’s much more down to engine sound, where both of these obviously deliver in spades.

Speaking of Alpine A310 there was only one – this. So I’d rather keep mine own.

In some ways I’ve already presented the extremes there, but then again – I am just a lost soul trying to figure out what I really like. This is a slow but delightful process currently in its thirtieth year and far from finished, so there might still be more out there which I don’t even know of yet. Like this Qvale Mangusta:

The Mangusta that should have been a new De Tomaso but ended up as a Qvale Mangusta. Great story, great rarity, great value at 42.000 Euro – it’s the seller Arno in the background.

I knew the car by name and recalled its history as a missed-out De Tomaso rescued by the entrepreneur Qvale, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in real life. Mind you, its finish told some stories about why it failed to gather a huge following, but now – many year later – it’s an emerging youngtimer with huge bonkers factor and rarity to boot – for some 40,000 Euros? My travel companion was truly tempted and I genuinely understand why: It really was a car to love – but clearly not for everyone. Great colour, roof, history and price, though.

I adore this car. I mean, if I didn’t already own a XJ12…

…and the interior too. Incredibly, it’s only a one owner car!

But then again: Why would you, when there was a real De Tomaso to have as well? No, I am not talking about the Pantera, but about a glorious Deauville with full history, one owner and a stunning colour combination. Sure it was double the price – but admittely it was also double as appealing as the Qvale Mangusta. Not to mention its ability to seat double the number of people.

Detail of the day: That’s rather discreet class, I think.

I could go on and on like that! Clearly, attending InterClassics worked its magic on my – as I said, I came away feeling really inspired. But instead of you relying on my written words including my own biased opinion, I’d prefer you browse through some unedited photos below showing to a larger degree what the exhibition had on offer.

As with any proper car show, there was also something for those DIY’ers who prefer to get dirty (on a Zagato body, who wouldn’t?)…

…such as this elegant reminder of just how much of a task a proper restoration really is, and also of how satisfying the end result can be once you reach it.

This could be yet another case speaking FOR the youngtimers: The 3200 GT is a proper Maserati…

…and a proper bargain compared to the great classic ones of the marque.

The 3200 GT interior isn’t bad either.

It truly was worth a visit, and I thought it was even placed perfectly in the calendar this year: The weekend coincided with what many Danes regard as the last driving day of the season, November 15. Proper preparation then for a long and grueling winter by starting with a classic car show, I’d say.

The dates for 2019 have not yet been released but the InterClassics Brussels comes highly recommended. Judge for yourself below.

 

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7 Responses

  1. Tony Wawryk
    Looks like a good show, Claus – the fabulous Iso and Monteverdi alone would make my day. I’m intrigued by the white Alfa Romeo Berlina 2000 (?), not seen one of those before, and the green-gold coupe with the slightly ungainly chrome extensions – maybe based on a Spitfire? – I can’t make out the logo or info card; what is it, please?
    Reply
  2. Anders Bilidt
    Does indeed look like an excellent exhibition! I must confess that I never attended either the InterClassics in Maastricht or Brussels, but that’s clearly something I need to change…

    Both the ISO Rivolta and the Monteverdi are obvious show-stealers – and rightly so too! But there are cheaper cars there which are awfully tempting too. That gorgeous Topaz Brown metallic early BMW 6-series is just waaaay too stylish. And I quite like the little FIAT Ritmo 125TC Abarth too. Everyone seems to focus on the later 130TC, but the earlier car is so much more interesting to look at with it’s simple headlamp design which protrudes into the bonnet and the rearlights which are integrated into the unusually shaped rear bumper.

    @tony-wawryk, that Alfa Romeo Berlina could in fact even be a 2600 in which case it’s truly a dream saloon! Oh, and the funny looking “green-gold coupé” is a Sabra GT – an Israeli built sixties sports car based heavily on the Reliant Sabre.

    Reply
  3. Tony Wawryk
    thanks for the explanation re the Sabra, a new one to me, and I think you’re right about the Alfa, too – found one that had been on BaT, the same colour, even!
    Reply
  4. Claus Ebberfeld
    Well done, : Indeed the interesting coupé is a Sabra and probably one of the most surprising finds in this show. Along with the finding that the wood on a Wagoneer is not actually wood. Well, you’d never know, would you?

    Unfortunately I can’t remember whether the white Alfa was a 2000 or 2600.

    Reply
  5. YrHmblHst
    Methinks I see an XJ Jeep…with the ‘oh so bogus’ “Wagoneer” package.
    Too much cool stuff to even begin to digest the first time thru, but was wondering…who’s that middle finger for? Me? ;)
    Reply
  6. Claus Ebberfeld
    Aaah, the finger! Well spotted, . Well, there’s an explanation – which I, at least, think is good. Maybe good enough for a separate article.
    Reply
  7. GTeglman

    Thanks a bunch for a great article. I’m gobsmacked how well that eggplant color suits the Porsche 356.

    Haven’t been to any car shows this year, but in connection with the Goodwood Rivival I visited National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. I didn’t live up to all my expectations, but it’s worth a visit should you be in the area.

    Cheers

    Reply

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