by Rosemarijn Atalante Veenenbos

Jetzt gehts los! Let’s get back in the German mood, because we need to finish the Essen tour. In Paris I found my ugliest car, but at Essen I had a second encounter with this Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR. Now that I know that it is carrying a super serious engine I kind of love it, and I had heard of its performance and other stories…

I can imagine that most ladies don’t care much about car facts and stories, but luckily there were enough Louis Vuitton bags, and for the more openminded even exquisite lamps for decoration in your house. A large vintage headlamp on a tripod, how cool is that? To stay a bit closer to Paris, I encountered two other lovely automobiles that I had seen before. Mark Hyman displayed a couple of car striking like… (I am not allowed to say this word anymore), the Pininfarina aerodynamic X Concept, and guess what I found out… You can soon admire this unique car in The Hague… do I need to say more? One car I fell in love with the first time I saw it was the magnificent 1949 Delahaye 135 MS Ghia coupé. Sold at the Artcurial auction at Retromobile, it appeared now on the Hyman stand. I understood it was sold at Essen to a buyer from Russia, so farewell my great dream car.

A stand next to Hyman was Movendi, the company with which my great friend Sandra Kowalski became an important name in the car dealing world. This stand had some striking cars as well, for instance the unique Porsche Glöckler Coupé and a super hot Lotus, a gorgeous lashy Miura and a cool Iso Grifo, to name a few. Of course Sandra from Classics2Drive had her own stand and she had brought some fine cars too, like the very special MGB Berlinetta which looks like a sweet little Ferrari, a canary yellow Maserati Bora, which never gets boring, and also a super fine looking Singer. I remember that not long ago I saw that Singer and it was still in bits, so the result she showed at Essen was super.

In Paris there is a good chance of finding the parts you are looking  for, especially at the stand of Bernard Ariztegui. He always has a fine selection of Bugatti parts, even GP crankshafts and many more. Bernard and his son Alex and his team always bring that exquisite French atmosphere where ever they setup their he stand with parts. Beside the Ariztegui stand Essen had much to offer in terms of great parts, especially a lot of Alfa-Romeo parts. What I thought was great was, a wall full with carburetors, of which many fine looking Solex carbs. Those are the moments you feel sad you don’t need one, because you already purchased one before. If you like to make a Christmas tree of your car, there were ‘plenty’ of fine badges on offer. If you look for your dream car, but you cannot really afford it, then Pigno Martelleria has the solution for you… a car made by craftsmen but on a different scale. If you want one on 1:1 scale, then a few steps away was a most interesting stand… PurSang Argentina. They exhibited their Bugatti T35 and Alfa 8C replicas. The Bugatti was an interesting lesson for me as my dad explained me how to tell a replica from a real one. But clever boys, who want to sell you a fake for a real one may change those minor details. So this is really stuff for the true Bugatti connoisseurs. The details on the PurSang at Essen which proved that that it was not a real one were the details around the front dumb irons and the neck of the steering box. And yes there are of course more differences, like the Ford magneto and the holes for the magneto wires in the dash… we can carry on talking about this very touchy subject for days.

In a next hall I was surprised to find a Ferrari GTO, probably a replica, although…? Possibly built on a Ferrari 250 GTE chassis, but not cheap with 2 million asking price. Nevertheless this is still far less than a true GTO, but still not a ‘poor man’s Ferrari’! The replica business, or recreation, or evocation, or whatever one calls, appears to be good business.

Real Bugatti DNA could be found at the stand of Fine Automobiles of Jack Braam Ruben, Philippe Mulders and Bruno Vendiesse. They always have great Bugattis on show, of which this time a superb T37 and a T44 tourer, but also, not to my surprise, an orange colored BMW 3.0 CSL Heidegger! I already knew quite a lot about this Batmobile rally beast, as I wrote about it for the new edition of Octane Magazine NL, and we took it to the epic race circuit at Zolder in Belgium earlier this year. So don’t forget to rush to the bookstores to get your copy of Octane NL when in stores, and to quickly learn a bit of Dutch.

Soon we will continue with the other icons in Halle 6, where the center piece is the replica palace with the best of Essen exhibited around it… and this time I promise it will be soon again…

Entschuldigung for my delay.

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