Chronicle: 30th Auto Retro Barcelona

The 30 years indicate maturity, a maturity that undoubtedly to the Hall Retro car It has done him quite well. With the usual duration and dates (from Thursday to Sunday during the December bridge), the exhibited material was, as varied and rare to see, the best that has been remembered in national fairs for a few years.

As soon as you entered, you could admire, behind the typical Renault of the Barcelona City Council, a strange reddish vehicle that no one at first glance dared to identify. As we got closer we discovered quite a surprise: A Morgan bodied by Serra! Another unknown work by the Catalan master, recently restored after being lost for decades and having suddenly appeared in the province of Guadalajara.

But this was not the only work by Serra that was shown first at the event. At the stand of the magazine Racetrack there was the impressive Bentley MK VI “roadster”, a luxurious saloon that he radically transformed at the request of the Count of Caralt and presented as found, with no restoration whatsoever.

Presented for the first time at the show, the Bentley MK VI rebooted by Serra as a roadster for the Marqués de Caralt
Presented for the first time at the show, the Bentley MK VI rebooted by Serra as a roadster for the Marqués de Caralt

The originality of this work makes it seem incredible that under those lines there is an old Bentley chassis from the 40s, and such is its size that it almost overshadowed the Lancia Aurelia and Pegaso Z-102 Touring parked just behind.

The other Pegasus present was not very far from the previous one, and it was in the center of a stand entitled "Barn Find", since the protagonists were several cars recently taken from a garage located in the center of Barcelona where they had been collecting dust. about 30 years.

However, these curious sleeping beauties could not take away the prominence of the winged horse, in this case one of those known as Panoramic by the shape of your windshield. This precious unit (reference 74) has just been restored and had not been seen in public since the first Retromóvil in Madrid, held in 1996.

Pegaso Z-102 Panoramic, with its characteristic front window
De Dion Bouton Type IE from 1922 with torpedo bodywork
1- Pegaso Z-102 Panoramic, with its characteristic front window
2- De Dion Bouton Type IE from 1922 with torpedo body

Another of the stars of the show was the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS that the Spanish driver Juan Fernández premiered, and that - for a change - showed an exquisite recently executed restoration.

In the rest of the stands you could see variety and quality: the same seller had, on opposite corners, an impressive (and rare) Jaguar XJ220 from the 90s and a De Dion Bouton from the 20s.

Other professionals filled their space with English sports cars, and right next door with an exquisite line of pre-1940 models; while, in many others genres were mixed. See as an example one of them: in the center a magnificent Alfa Romeo RL from the 20s, bodied by the Barcelona house Farré, almost next to it a Jeep Willys from the 50s and, surrounding them, a pair of Aston Martin DBS from the beginning of the the 70s.

Jeep Willys
A pavilion for commercial vehicles, a great initiative
1- Jeep Willys, in its military version distinguishable by an elongated grill
2- A pavilion for industrial vehicles, a great initiative

Great diversity, in the absence of popular

In the adjacent pavilions there were also very different materials. One was dedicated to industrial vehicles, be it tractors, buses or trucks, an unprecedented initiative worthy of applause.

Another was reserved for "thematic" clubs, with special prominence from the club Friends of Volkswagen de Catalunya, that, celebrating its 30th anniversary, occupied the entire center of the venue with a very varied sample of models water cooled of all types and eras. The Classic Motor Club of Bagés he also came to the appointment with his customary selection of microcars. As the protagonist, the prototype of the Bi-Scooter Voisin that would later give rise to the famous Biscuter “shoe” of national production, to whose variety of versions the rest of the space was dedicated.

The rear canopy was intended for miscellaneous parts, although you could find here and there a loose car for sale: an Austin Healey Frogeye, a very rare Panhard Dyna Junior, an imposing Delage, or a Fiat 850 Coupé (yes, you read that correctly, a Fiat and not a Seat). In this area, French merchants never disappoint with the most exotic material, although sometimes it would be necessary to wonder if our country is really an attractive recipient of this type of product.

The Bi-Scooter prototype designed by Voisin in France, prior to those produced in Spain by Autonacional
Panhard Dyna, are you interested in Spain?
1- The Bi-Scooter prototype designed by Voisin in France
2- Panhard Dyna Junior, are you interested in Spain?

You will have noticed the absence of mentions about popular and typical models from other salons, because to see them you had to move outside, where the so-called Car Corral, a space dedicated to the sale of private vehicles. Also on the mobile ITV an incessant parade of varied models could be seen, many of them of national production.

As we all know, there is an important part of the Spanish love for classic cars that demands the presence of vehicles such as the Renault 8, Seat 850, Citroen 2 Cv or Simca 1000, and in this edition of AutoRetro their presence was almost testimonial, with what perhaps there were those who felt disappointed.

However, we must also think that the fans are enriched with models of all kinds, and the popular classics can be seen in any concentration of those that are organized every month in various parts of Spain. On the contrary, when was the last time we saw a Delage, a Lorraine Dietrich or a Hispano-Suiza in person?

Let us therefore hope that in future editions the good rhythm set by this 30th edition will continue, Although the future opening would be recommended to all types of fans, especially the so-called “popular classic”.


Access 120 images of Auto Retro Barcelona 2013 clicking here


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Written by Francisco Carrion

My name is Francisco Carrión and I was born in Ciudad Real in 1988, a place that was not at first akin to vintage cars. Fortunately my grandfather, dedicated to the automotive sector, had friends who owned veteran cars and participated in the annual rally that was held (and continues to be held) in my hometown ... See more

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