The 47th edition of the Retromobile show was held at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center (75015), from February 1 to 5, 2023.
Each year, the show brings together enthusiasts, vintage car enthusiasts and the curious to discover collector vehicles, youngtimers and an unprecedented Artcurial auction. Some visitors left behind the wheel of an old one with the selection of used vehicles for less than €25,000.
The 2023 edition brought together 125,000 visitors, i.e. 3,000 more than in 2020; It brings together 300 exhibitors, more than 1,000 vehicles and 350 clubs over 73,000 m², not to mention the spare parts, miniatures and derivative products so popular with bargain hunters. The big names were at the meeting with the manufacturers with Renault, Peugeot, Citroën, Volkswagen, Porsche or even Alpha Roméo. Atypical vehicles including the Citroën “concept-tank” present in the film “Asterix and Obelix, the Middle Kingdom” and the usual great classics such as the Porsche 356 and the icons of the 50s and 60s…
This year, since the fair was launched in 1976, 17% of visitors have come from abroad. The exhibitions devoted to converted vans and the centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as the presence of 12 manufacturers provided visitors. Retromobile will be present at the 100th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with 4 cars in its colors at the drivers’ parade on June 9th.
Peugeot has promoted the “series 4” with the 401 Saloon of the 1930s and its independent front wheels or the coupé-cabriolet version, the Eclipse. The 402 relies on aerodynamics with its headlights hidden behind the grilles of the creek and the 403 Cabriolet, designed by Pininfarina and star of the “Inspector Colombo” series or the 405 Mi 16 Le Mans, the 408 plug-in hybrid sedan but the star was the 205 which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. We also noted the presence of a 205 GTi Griffe from 1991.
Volkswagen presented the combi, icon of globetrotters, which celebrated its 70th anniversary. The combi models T1 from 1967 and a T2 from 1972 were present on the stand as was the ID. Buzz, 100% electric successor with a 100% nostalgic design.
Renault grouped together the various models from the R5 to the R5 Turbo 3rd, a zero-emission version electric car for 2024 and at a reasonable price. It was also the occasion to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Twingo by presenting several models including the version of the famous coachbuilder. Lecoq from 1995, a Twingo Coupé or a Twingo Benetton from 1996 with a multicolored and pop interior.
Citroën was presenting a collection of prestige vehicles and had chosen the color white: a CX Prestige, a 2 CV, a Méhari, a Traction avant cabriolet and the 1956 C10 prototype. Known to be the most collected vehicles throughout the world, Citroëns are also the cars of the future with a new concept car, a small 4-seater family SUV, 100% electric with a new angular design, with square lines and a new material. This model will be on the market within 4 to 5 years. In addition, an R-Fit kit which replaces the combustion engine with electric has been authorized in France since 2020, and has been approved on a 2 CV from the Méhari Club de Cassis. Since then, a partnership has been established with Renault on 3 models: the 4L, the R5 and the Twingo (in September 2023).
DS was present with its concept cars: the DS9 E-Tense 4×4, already present last year and the E-Tense performance.
Alpha Roméo with the Zagato SZ presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 1989
FCA Héritage and Stellantis with the 1964 Abarth 850 TC and the 1982 Lancia Rallye 037, the last world rally champion with 2 wheel drive.
Return of the British brand to the show after 10 years of absence. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the brand, 3 models were on display including the Catheram 340, supplied a few months ago.
The German brand from Stuttgart celebrates the 60s of the 911; On its stand, we discovered the 911 Dakar, a legacy of the 959 which won the Dakar in 1986; the modified 911 GTS (suspensions raised by 50mm, rack on the roof and Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain tires.
24 hours of Le Mans
The 24 Hours of Le Mans celebrated its centenary at the Rétromobile show with 2 exhibitions of vehicles from all eras/ Chenard and Walcker which enabled André Lagache and René Léonard to win their first victory; The great representatives were present like the Peugeot 905, winner in 1992; its descendant, the 9X8 but also Steeve McQueen’s Porsche 917 K for the filming of the film “Le Mans”, just like the Delahaye, Bugatti, Bentley, Talbot, Pescarolo, Toyota…
The Artcurial auction
The highlight of the show, the Artcurial sale presented 250 vehicles over 4,700 m² and a catalog presented at nearly 80 million euros. The price of the vehicles presented ranged from €2,000 to more than €8,000,000.
A trio marks the sale:
– The Lamborghini Countach, first delivered in France in 1975;
– the Mercédès SLR Stirling Moss produced in 75 units and estimated at more than 3 million euros;
– Mr. Schumacher’s Benetton B195 with which he became F1 world champion in 1995 (9 wins and 11 podiums).
You could also see other stars: the 1980 Mercedez-Benz AMG collection; but above all the Ferrari 250 estimated at more than 25 million euros and the LM Berlinetta, the last Ferrari to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1965. The Scuderia brand made its return to racing this year with the 499P.
In Richard Mille’s Ferrari collection, the F1s of Prost and Gilles Villeneuve rubbed shoulders with the 250 GTO NART.
The other stars of Retromobile
French motorcycles celebrated 100 years of their birth. They were famous during the inter-war period Among them were the “Dollar”, the most American of French motorcycles.
At Porsche, the 356 from the Valkyrie Racing team is presented near the Artcurial stand. In 2017, driver Renée Brinkerhoff took part with her team in the most demanding rallies in the world across 7 continents, in order to protest against child trafficking. She ended this journey by Antarctica. Not far from there, “the Obedient”, considered the first “touring” vehicle, built by Amédée Bollée in 1873.
As for military vehicles, the Armored Museum of Saumur came with the first AMX 30 tank, commissioned in 1957, but also the 13-ton EBR Panhard and its 8-wheel drive.
Finally the Teuf Teuf club we were taking a trip back in time. Created in 1935, it brings together a hundred members and more than 200 cars across France but also abroad (Great Britain, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and the USA). It is composed of 2 sections: the Ancestors and the Veterans (from the origins to 1918) and the 18-32 (period preceding the birth of the modern automobile).
See you in 2024!
Unsurprisingly, a 48th edition is already scheduled. It will be held from January 31 to February 4, 2024, still at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center.