Techno Classica: Forbidden to super-flatify

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The XNUMXth edition of Techno Classica took place on the grounds of the international fair in Essen from March 26 to 30, 2014.

Visiting the European, and possibly world, most important of those organized in the field of classic cars is impressive, not only for neophytes, but also for veterans who already have more than twenty editions behind them and do not stop contemplating with reverential admiration.

The danger of giving an account of the successive editions of Techno Classica consists of falling into the error of using all kinds of superlatives that, although justified, would place us in a too idyllic environment. Our exercise of discipline will consist, therefore, in not being so superlative in the descriptions, in describing the event as it is in reality.

Perfect restoration of a Maserati Frua spider
Perfect restoration of a Maserati Frua Spider

Techno Classica is invented and renewed over and over again, like a Phoenix reborn from its ashes or, without going so far into mythology, like the Fallas of Valencia that shine for a few days, in a way as ephemeral as dazzling for the regulars. or sporadic visitors. At the end of each edition of the German show, observers wonder what surprises could be left for the following year that had not been seen and repeated before.

Those responsible for SIHA, the organizing company, they must have the recipe for success since they seem to overcome from one time to another with no apparent effort. Like a high jump champion whose pole had no limit to launch higher and higher with each attempt. It is true that there have been some notable failures at Techno Classica -such as the well-remembered Pegaso exhibition-, but they are only the exception that confirms the rule.

SIHA guarantees its success by having the unconditional participation of the greats of motorsport, such as Mercedes-Benz, whose only Pavilion No. 1 would be enough by itself to entertain the public for a whole day.

They have had to spend 120 years of history in competition to allow to admire such a panorama
They have had to spend 120 years of history in competition to allow to admire such a panorama

Techno Classica star

Only the Mercedez-Benz pavilion extended over an area of ​​4.800 m2, an area in which an entire car show could be organized and not one of the smallest ones. A festivity worthy of remembrance since it commemorated the 120 years of the brand in competition and that was its motto.

The available space was not less luxurious because it was large. Perfectly conditioned and decorated, the stand exhibited 36 racing cars, including 13 Grand Prix, starting with the oldest from 1914 and 115 CV that participated in the Lyon Grand Prix of the same year. Eight cars in the category sport They helped enhance the space, which included SSK models and the Le Mans 300 Hours winning 24 SL, a truly historic and out-of-the-box car.

Silver arrows W25 from 1934 and W154 from 1939 left not the slightest gap unused. Other more modern cars completed the exhibition of the three-pointed star, recalling that the brand continues to be active in innovation and competition.

The Mercedes-Benz shed, attractive from every perspective
The Mercedes-Benz shed, attractive from every perspective

The complete list of the official Mercedes-Benz cars on display, from the Stuttgart museum, is as follows:

[su_spoiler title = 'List of cars exhibited by Mercedes-Benz at Techno Classica Essen 2014 ′ show =' false '] - Mercedes 115 CV Grand Prix

• Mercedes-Benz W25

• Mercedes-Benz W125

• Mercedes-Benz W154

• Mercedes-Benz W165

• Mercedes-Benz W196 R single-seater

• Mercedes-Benz W 196 R aerodynamic

• Penske Mercedes PC 23

• McLaren Mercedes MP4 / 12

• McLaren Mercedes MP4 / 13

• McLaren Mercedes MP4 / 23

• Mercedes AMG F1 W03

• Mercedes AMG F1 W04

• Mercedes Simplex

• Mercedes-Benz SSK

• Mercedes-Benz 300 SL W194

• Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR

• Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8

• Sauber Mercedes C9

• Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR

• Mercedes-Benz SLS GT3

• Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3 -16V Group A - 1988 (Roland Asch)

• AMG Mercedes-Benz C - 1994 (Klaus Ludwig)

• Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM - 2001 (Bernd Schneider)

• AMG Mercedes-Benz C Class - 2005 (Gary Paffett)

• AMG Mercedes-Benz C Class - 2010 (Paul di Resta)

• AMG Mercedes-Benz C Class - 2014

• Mercedes-Benz 300 SE

• Mercedes-Benz 280 E

• Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC

• Mercedes-Benz 280 GE Paris-Dakar

• Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 400 Paris-Dakar

• Mercedes-Benz racing truck

• Mercedes-Benz racing transport «Blue Miracle» (replica, as the original has disappeared)

• Mercedes-Benz W 25 record car

• Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG - official F1 safety car [/ su_spoiler]

The presentation of the Mercedes-Benz stand would be indescribable, a true reflection of the historical importance of the brand and its current industrial and economic strength.

Mercedes-Benz has taught the rest of its competitors a lesson in how the wealth of historical heritage should be treated and presented with dignity in public.

The extraordinary Mercedes-Benz shed
A simply imposing display

The presentation of the cars in order of seniority in a three-story facility, with the oldest on the ground level and the most modern on the top floor was complex, luxurious and, at the same time, rationally executed, clear, practical, of appreciable technological ingenuity.

To allow visitors to admire the cars in their entirety and from every possible angle, an inclined plane had been arranged parallel to the installation, that facilitated an incomparable journey through the history of the brand. All this settled on a carpet of excellent quality and a thickness in which the feet sank; a detail that was appreciated after having walked for hours in the rest of the pavilions with harder floors.

Some photos of the atmosphere that reigned in this stand are included to give an approximate idea of ​​the caliber of the celebration of the 120 years of the Mercedes-Benz presence in competition. It would be desirable if the brand did not make us wait so long to organize another similar exhibition.

Striking lines the Porsche 356 bodied by Beutler
Striking lines of the Porsche 356 bodied by Beutler

More official participations

Since talking about Porsche would be to reduce things, speaking more properly we have to refer to the Volkswagen - Porsche - Audi - Bentley - Skoda - SEAT group (and I don't know if I'm forgetting any other satellite), which fully occupied Hall No. 7 , one of the most varied and best organized in the room as a whole.

Without overshadowing Mercedes-Benz, the Porsche Museum was moving to Essen three interesting vehicles: one of the first 911 Turbo, a 356 Speedster - which supported the spectacular price increase registered by a model that was originally intended precisely for the opposite. to lower the price of the cabriolet - and a 917 CAN-AM that Porsche boasts of having been so successful that the championship organizers had to change the regulations to exclude it and thus avoid the monotony of so many repeated victories.

Of the VW-Porsche-etcetera group, it should be noted that, while Skoda has for many years presented one of the largest, most beautiful stands with cars that highlight the rich history of the brand, SEAT loses ground by participating with a couple of insignificant and worse presented cars. SEAT has not understood the importance of an important presence in an international show with the characteristics of Techno Classica.

SEAT did not overshadow its competitors with the 30th anniversary of the Ibiza
Messe Essen GmbH, Norbertstraße, 45001 Essen, Germanyhttps: //
1- SEAT did not overshadow its competitors with the 30th anniversary of the Ibiza
2- Skoda stand in previous editions of Techno Classica (Courtesy of TC)

The results translate into Skoda taking over SEAT's ground in the sale of practically equivalent passenger cars. Skoda has become a very profitable and competitive brand, while SEAT is the only deficit brand in the group and did not overshadow anyone with a modest celebration of the Ibiza's XNUMXth anniversary.

Compared to the previous brands mentioned, BMW, which also traditionally occupies the entire Hall 12, is lagging somewhat behind when it comes to presenting its many interesting cars and motorcycles. BMW makes a significant effort to recreate the historical vehicles that have disappeared and, even if they are replicas, they allow you to admire a three-dimensional reproduction of models that would otherwise only be known by photos and plans.

Replica of a BMW 328 Touring tolerated by the factory
Replica of a BMW 328 Touring tolerated by the factory

Not only the big manufacturers have a prominent role in Techno Classica. The clubs of the different brands they participate by displaying means and imagination. Club associations Porsche, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and many others are present either alone or supported by the respective factories.


The Alfa Romeo museum is another one that travels with numerous vehicles from its heritage reserves. In 2014 it was the turn of the different evolutions of the Giulietta, in its coupé or spider versions, through the four-door saloons, which commemorated the 60th anniversary of a model that was very successful and relaunched the commercial production of the Italian brand.

Among all the group's vehicles displaced by Alfa Romeo, the Giulietta prototype was highly admired.

The Alfa Romeo museum showed the pattern of all Giulietta spiders
The Maserati bodied by Zagato from the poster
1- The Alfa Romeo museum showed the pattern of all Giulietta Spiders
2- The Maserati A6 G2000 bodied by Zagato from the poster

As it could not be otherwise, the most prestigious dealers and intermediaries try to make profitable at Techno Classica Essen the massive influx of an international public and they are certainly satisfied with the results, placing numerous posters with the mention "sold" on the cars exhibited .

Despite the high prices, many cars are sold within hours of the show opening.

Of the Spanish merchants, the most faithful and assiduous of Techno Classica is Pueche, from Madrid, which always installs its merchandise in the prestigious area next to the headquarters of the organizer SIHA in the central Pavilion No 6, sharing land with La Galerie des Damiers (F), The Gallery (GB) or Movendi (D).

Axel Schuette elegantly presented his 1928 Bentley and 1935 Mercedes-Benz
Axel Schuette elegantly presented his 1928 Bentley and 1935 Mercedes-Benz

On this occasion, Pueche's star vehicle was a Bugatti 57 cabriolet, in which many visitors and potential buyers had taken an interest. The area was also enlivened by a musical trio that recalls the sinking of the Titanic with their somewhat decadent melodies, especially on Sunday afternoon, when the show comes to an end and the farewells begin until the next edition.

Also from the Pueche family, but in another specialty, I had a pleasant chat with the photographer José María Pueche, a living legend in the world of motor graphic journalism who has been visiting circuits and exhibitions since his youth with the photo machine on his shoulder . Being from the same fifth we can share situations and references in time that allow us to follow the changes and evolutions that we witness in the different modalities of historical motorsport.

Among the countless international dealers, each with a more interesting stand than the others, Axel Schuette stood out with the impeccable, understated and elegant presentation of a 1928 Bentley Baker Torpedo and a 500 Mercedes-Benz 1935K cabriolet A.

The Porsche 917 forced to change the CAN-AM regulation to prevent its participation
The Porsche 917 forced to change the CAN-AM regulation to prevent its participation

Porsche on the rise

It has been said and repeated that whoever is thinking of acquiring a Mercedes-Benz or a Porsche should take a walk through Techno Classica, as well as by Retro Classics Stuttgart. 2014 has not been an exception to the rule since the quantity and quality of vehicles of these brands was omnipresent. The market continues to show signs of stability, rather with an upward trend and It is not possible to find a good pre-911 1974 below 100.000,00 euros.

The round figure, so far only surpassed by the 911 S, extends to the entire range, even the most modest 911 T. That amount is far exceeded by special models, such as the Targa or the competition versions, RS and the like.

The rise in prices in classic Porsche equally affects more recent generations, such as the 964, which takes off dangerously to approach the prices of the 993. Whoever is interested in a 964 must decide without major hesitation or risk that it will be reproduced in that vintage the situation observed in the older models.

Thus, a 964 Speedster with 64.000 km was sold on the spot for 120.000,00 euros and, what is more striking, from dealer to dealer, with the second having approved resale in another country with a substantial profit.

It is still possible to buy a Porsche 356 Speedster, provided that you pay € 300.000,00
It is still possible to buy a Porsche 356 Speedster, provided that you pay € 300.000,00

The 356 Speedster can still be purchased by paying 300.000,00 euros, an amount that equals what is paid for the 246 GT / GTS Dino, another brand that is still fully affected by the climbs.

The announced celebration of the Maserati centenary was very blurred and not very concrete. Its space in the central area of ​​the living room was swallowed up by an interesting tribute to the 95th anniversary of Zagato, with different vehicles, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Fiat, bodied with their ultralight realizations.

Giving a more detailed account of Techno Classica would be an impossible mission in a current chronicle, therefore we will highlight below some of the cars we meet less frequently:

[su_quote] → You cannot say that a Porsche 356 is a rare car, but if it is built by Beutler in 1957 it does not look anything like its Stuttgart brothers.

→ A 1900 Zagato is not the Alfa Romeo that is most often seen parked on any corner, and less so if it is a cabriolet. [/ su_quote]

Rarer than an Alfa Romeo 1900 Zagato (if it is a cabriolet)
It would be practical to have your own tank truck like the Borgward Isabella coupe
1- Rarer than an Alfa Romeo 1900 Zagato, if it is a cabriolet
2- It would be practical to have your own tank truck, like the Borgward Isabella Coupé

[su_quote] → The firm Classic Car Restoration, specialized in Touring Superleggera, presented an immaculate Maserati A6 G2000 Frua spider from 1956, of which only 60 copies were made.

→ The Citroën DS has seen numerous versions, one of the less frequent is Le Dandy from 1965.

→ The Borgward Club stood out with a magnificent stand in which an Isabella Coupé stopped in front of an authentic Aral service station refueled by a tanker truck also Borgward

→ Rare Fiat 125S Samantha Vignale from 1969, one of a hundred made.

→ The Speyer Museum traveled with a 2 Star Gordon Bennet 1905, a car with 10.000 cc (ten thousand cubic centimeters) and 70 hp of power. [/ su_quote]

The Fiat Samantha is somewhat reminiscent of the Fiat Dino, although with a more modest 4-cylinder engine
A heavy gauge from the Speyer Museum
1- The Fiat Samantha is somewhat reminiscent of the Fiat Dino, although with a more modest 4-cylinder engine
2- A heavy caliber from the Speyer Museum: Star Rennwagen Gordon Bennet 2

[su_quote] → An aerodynamic DB-Renault single-seater from 1954 with participations in the 24 hours of Le Mans and in the 12 hours of Reims of the same year; and in the Thousand Miles of 1955.

→ Recreation of a 328 BMW 1939 Touring Superleggera coupe [/ su_quote]

Techno Classica was aiming to get 200.000 visitors, when the 2013 record of 190.000 seemed very difficult to beat. Indeed, in the final figures communicated by the organizer for 2014, for the first time in the history of the show there has been a decrease in the number of visitors, that did not equal the number of the previous year. SIHA blames good weather (!) For the decrease in results.

The sunny weather and the relatively high temperatures for the month of March prevailing over the weekend discouraged many visitors from confining themselves indoors, preferring walks in the fresh air. However, in a calculation of 180.000 visitors, at 25 euros the price of the tickets yields the figure of 4.500.000,00 euros of collection at the box office, to which is added the sale of the catalog at 10,00 euros per copy - the catalog is free in other rooms.

Techno Classica will undoubtedly continue to present a positive economic balance, but we do not know how far they will continue to push prices, especially if the weather is good.

Le Dandy, another variation on the Citroën DS theme
DB-Renault single-seater with important participations in competition
1- Le Dandy, another variation on the Citroën DS theme
2- DB-Renault single-seater with important participations in competition



of the historic automobile: + 10 / 10
market of parts and accessories: + 10 / 10
of modeling: 10/10
Comfort of the facilities: 10/10
Communications, accesses, hotel facilities: 10/10
Public attention: 9/10
Presentation, setting, access to the stands: 10/10

Techhno Classica also has its art gallery
Sympathy is not lacking in the club area on the loft of Halls Nos 7, 8 and 9
1- Techhno Classica also has its art gallery
2- Sympathy is not lacking in the club area


1- Price of the exhibition catalog-guide at 10,00 euros.

2- The prices are very expensive, already reaching the height of those found in Rétromobile, which happens to be one of the most expensive salons in the world for shoppers. While some time ago the prices in Techno Classica and, in general, in Germany, were much cheaper than in Paris, now the cost of renting and fitting out the stands is high and sellers have to pass it on to their merchandise.

It is useless to tire yourself traveling miles from one stand to another in search of a bargain. Bargains no longer exist. Any object, however modest it was in another era, is sold at a museum price. A piece of plastic, even a tiny piece, with the logo of any brand inscribed does not go below 6,00 euros. The "everything at 100 (pesetas)" has become "everything at 6,00 (euros)": The inflation caused by the euro has also reached the small merchandise.

3- Reproductions and imitations are mixed with authentic products. It is necessary to take extreme precautions not to be hoaxed.

Full-size images (1.280 px. Approx.)


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Mario Laguna

Written by Mario Laguna

Mario Laguna, author of the book "The Pegaso Adventure", scholar and observer of the history of motor racing, brands and characters. Regular visitor to automobile competitions, whether of current or historical categories, international contests of elegance, lecturer ... View all


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