The Andalusian coast has almost everything a motor lover could wish for. From the devilish roads of the Montes de Málaga to highways made to enjoy and give full gas. In the morning you can be driving with the hood removed next to the sea ... and in less than three hours to cross the Sierra Nevada surrounded by walls of snow. Thus, it is normal that the love of the classic motor is something common in the south of Spain. A hobby that, as we have just seen in Retro Malaga 2018, is still in good health.
The benchmark classic car event in Andalusia opened its doors on January 26 with an estimated audience of 20.000 people. Of course, already on the opening afternoon itself, the Palace of Fairs and Congresses of Malaga registered a lively attendance. Assistance that responded to the call of this Fifth edition by Retro Málaga, an appointment that with the management of Motor events it is increasingly settling on the national calendar. National ... but also with an international point, since the large foreign community residing on the Costa del Sol makes this enclave a place where you listen to English or German with the same normality as Spanish.
Arrived very early on Friday, we were able to observe the awakening of some of the spaces. In fact, models like a spectacular Lincoln Continental were only hinted at under their tarps. And others like the powerful 911 prepared by Betolaza were waiting to be placed. To start the day, it was not bad to enjoy a moment of intimacy with these wonders ...
A VARIED MENU IN RETRO MÁLAGA
With two fully occupied pavilions, Retro Málaga 2018 has offered us a interesting variety. In the exhibitors area we could find from the typical high-end sports cars -especially Porsche, with a long-awaited collection of Targa models and the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the 356- to very few European utility vehicles. And not only Europeans, since we also contemplate the presence of American classics. To put one downside, we could only see one Ferrari -except for the concentration of the Club Ferrari Andalucía on Sunday-. Although the Alfa Romeo installed in the Malaga Automotive Museum space delighted more than one Italian lover ...
The national presence was guaranteed in several places, especially in the space dedicated to the Seat 124. The popular 600 occupied two adjoining spaces, located next to the parking area. In it we could also see some other very interesting units, as well as in the exhibition for the sale of individuals.
Lovers of two wheels also enjoyed their own spaces, where we could find a splendid monograph on the Spanish dirt bike. And also a huge selection of Vespas! Between all these beauties was the typical multitude of stalls with spare parts, documentation, miniatures, collecting ... In short, a fairly varied set in which it is not difficult to find what you are looking for. Let's dive deep ...
HUGE AND LOVELY: PRE-WAR CLASSICS
If we have to start with something, we are going to do it in chronological order. Because also, the oldest ones in Retro Malaga were some of the most delicious. Delicious as the precious 1931 Ford Montier that we find little highlighted in a small stand. An authentic endurance racing car with 3.620 cc and a beautiful silver color, typical of the models that this French manufacturer and driver made from Ford parts. By the way, we have found on the internet your auction token. If you dare ...
Those that are not up for auction are the three specimens exhibited in the space of the Automobile Museum of Malaga. A selection with which the city museum is claimed as one of the most interesting motoring spaces in the whole of southern Spain, partly thanks to models such as the spectacular Bugatti 57 Galibier of 1936. A true «rolling sculpture»Full of charming technical solutions, such as the cover that covers the wheel inserted in one of the front spoilers or the curious retractable tabs that act as rear indicators.
Together with Alberto Pedraza we were able to talk about how these vehicles are preserved, agreeing on how successful it is to maintain them so that they do not lose that charming patina that time gives them. Time that, although it has passed for decades, has not yet withered the resounding feeling of quality that the way in which the doors of this Bugatti are closed transmits you. Bugatti that is complemented by a BMW 328 from 1938, the dominating six-cylinder from Le Mans and the Mille Miglia in the late 30s.
And although it is almost not prewar ... we could not fail to mention the Alfa Romeo 6c 2500 with Superleggera bodywork. A 2 + 2 from 1946 in which style and elegance go hand in hand with a marching potential that makes it one of the «grandparents»Of some four seater GTs like the Ferrari 456. Really lovely.
PORSCHE, THE MOST REPRESENTED BRAND
Porsche enthusiasts who have visited this edition of Retromóvil Málaga will have been especially satisfied. And it is that the presence of models of the German house has been very wide. Wide and striking, because they are not seen every day four 356 together and one porsche targa collection representative of almost all generations of the 911.
As was done in the Retromóvil Madrid, we find a space dedicated to 70th anniversary of the Porsche 356. The mythical model that gave a definitive character to the sports cars of the German house was represented by four units, two coupe and two other convertibles. Of the coupe -both 356 C- we were particularly struck by the one painted in an electric blue color, which further highlights the smooth and fun shapes of a body that you can look at from dozens of angles and always get a new detail. Now, if we had to choose one ... the 356 A 'Speedester' in beige it was undoubtedly, apart from the oldest, the most special.
But ... if there is anyone in southern Spain who knows how to take a Porsche further, it is Francisco Espinosa. 8 were the models presented in the Betolaza space, his workshop located in the Granada town of Atarfe. A workshop specialized in the restoration and modification of classic Porsche, such as those that Francisco himself was showing us with great passion.
Although he strove to emphasize the character «only one in the world" of the Targa preparation of your 911 (993) -since the German house did not manufacture units of that generation of the 911 in Targa-, we ... were absorbed by the «restmod»Silver from 911 '73. A true 700 hp beast that, according to its designer, «leave behind any preparation by Singer«.
Heart attack benefits aside, the truth is that something really unique happened in the Betolaza space: a 911 Targa meeting representative of the history of this model, with a total of 6 units. Something that delighted the public, and not only on a visual level ... since in the afternoon the pavilion vibrated several times with the roar of its engines. Engines such as the hand-made atmospheric that equips the 911 E Targa from 1970 modified by this workshop.
In addition, walking through the rest of the enclosure we could see more models of the Stuttgart house located in the space of «Friends of Volkswagen and Porsche Classics«. There we discovered a brand new 911 Carrera RS 2.7, having the luck to hear him as he entered the enclosure crossing the pavilion with loud screams of escape. However, what most caught our attention was a Karmann Ghia. That mixture of Volkswagen engineering, Porsche engine, body designed by the Italian Ghia and assembled by the German Karmann ... One of the most imported European cars for the American market.
Closing the Porsche festival we ran into a 911 (930) Flachbau or «Duck beak«. A unit that due to its low production -there were less than 1000- is not easily seen.
HUGE AND CHROME. AMERICAN CLASSICS
Even if it is because of its size, it is impossible not to come across the American classics. However, in the last edition of Retro Málaga it has been easy to locate them: you just had to go to the Alessandro Ramirez. This collector from Malaga, who defines his love of the classics almost as «a need", started with a '78 Beetle and now it's owner of a large American garage. In his space there are several of the cars that he admires for their aesthetics.huge and full of chrome«, As well as the«easy and pleasant to drive«. In fact, even your Corvette has an automatic transmission.
Although it is difficult to stay with one, the truth is that most of the photos and looks were for his 1962 Lincoln Continental. A "transatlantic« 5 meters and 60 centimeters equipped with a 7.000 cc engine. In addition, this is the only convertible with four doors, which open to the «suicidal«. A monument to the grandiose American aesthetics, which was the car of national icons such as Sinatra or Kennedy.
Continuing along this line, Alessandro showed us a car that captivates only with the name: Thunderbird, "The thunder bird." A motorized model with a 8 cc V5.600 and equipped with the Continental kit. A kit that was only assembled on 1956 units, which are recognized by a characteristic «bull's-eye»On the sides of the hood. In addition, your sample is completed with a '3 Corvette C68 Stingray, a '66 Volkswagen Beetle that doesn't stop having a strong Californian beach flavor ... and a spectacular Harley. It was undoubtedly one of the most photographed spaces of the weekend.
Beyond this booth, we discover two huge Buick. A fifties full of chrome details from when the USA lived fascinated by the space race ... And a gigantic 675 Club Sedan from 1934 at the stand of Catawiki, the auction website that you should know if you are a reader of 'The Escudería'.
NATIONAL CLASSIC IN THE SPACE OF 124
This 2018 is a special year for fans of the Spanish motor. One of our most iconic cars, The 124, celebrates 50 years since the manufacture of its first series in 1968. A car that, beyond the pure technical characteristics, has become a key piece in the sentimental imaginary of millions of Spaniards because ... even if someone did not like cars, who does not have a memory linked to a 124? Even if it's for the movies!
Made in Spain under Italian license thanks to the business acumen of the legendary «Lawyer»Agnelli, el 124 It is the second most manufactured car of all time! A patent that spread the acronym of this utility vehicle throughout Europe and that in this Retro Mobile Malaga is represented by both street and competition units. Units wrapped in the stage that the 124 Club has set up for this occasion, recreating part of a mechanical workshop of the time.
Beyond the standard touring cars or the various units adapted for racing, we were struck by a beautiful 1800 Sport Coupe the color blue. A last series unit restored by its current owner: Jose Tello. We chatted with him about how he has restored this unit that he acquired in Valladolid, where «the lower humidity compared to what we have here in Malaga means that this type of car does not develop as much rust«.
The truth is that the work done with the red velvet upholstery is magnificent, amplifying the charm of this Sport Coupé with 118 hp, 5-speed, double camshaft and many vintage extras. A precious national classic in which it amazes «the enormous difference that existed between the base versions of the 124 and its sportier variants«.
In addition, the national production -also carried out under Italian patent- was also represented in two spaces dedicated to the popular 600. Together with them we find the Renault Andalucía Classics Club, which, despite being a meeting of French cars, had a clear national charge by exhibiting a precious Alpine A108 made at the FASA in Valladolid. We are looking forward to talking to the owner about your restoration process, which we see has culminated wonderfully in that radiant yellow color. Sure there will be more occasions.
VERY ORIGINAL POPULAR CLASSICS
We continue touring the pavilions in search of more unique cars and searching… we find them. Obviously we stop calm when we meet a precious '66 Mustang or with the numerous Triumph y MG Convertibles that were in this edition of Retro Móvil Málaga. We also had a good time in the space of the Club South of Europe, in which 14 copies were kept ... All of them red! A beautiful selection of sports cars, including several FIAT and Alfa Romeo convertibles, a Mercedes Pagoda and, obviously all being red ... The only Ferrari in the entire show! A 348 with an imposing rear.
However, when we set out to list the popular classics beyond 124 or 600 ... we came across two hidden surprises in this 2018 edition. The first came to us in the Club Sur Andalucía space, an association with a significant foreign presence based in Mijas . It's about a Ford Consul 315, a very rare car in Spain since they were hardly imported into our country. It is one of the models manufactured in the United Kingdom by the American company, this being a unit manufactured in 1961 and registered in Barcelona.
Its owner, the Danish Knud Jespersen, tells us that this is «one of the few specimens in all of Spain«. He also showed us the catalog of the restoration, a 2-year process that almost collapsed due to a flood in the workshop. Happily, the restoration came to fruition, having passed the ITV the same week that it was exhibited at Retro Málaga!
The second came to us in the Club 2CV Málaga space. There we were surprised by a very special convertible version, which was approved in Germany in 2005, making it impossible to do it today in Spain due to ITV restrictions. Preparation is a Hoffman Cabriolet with polyester body. We have never seen a 2CV like this ...
Regarding motorcycles, the monograph that the Malagueña Association of Veteran Motorcycles dedicated to the field motorcycle in Spain. A set with 50 of the most representative motorcycles in this segment in which the Spanish industry was at the forefront, illustrated with models such as the Bultaco Matador, a spectacular Ranchera with the protection of the tubes in yellow or several Bones, Montessa o Puch of national manufacture.
In addition, they exposed two beautiful Moto Guzzi from 1955-58 which are in full swing: they have just done the Camino de Santiago. We could see the arrival of one of them to the enclosure, oozing a sensational and characteristic smell of gasoline.
Finally, and when we put a point and our farewell to this RetroMálaga ... we ran into several Pontiacs in the parking area for classics and a car that fascinates us: the Citroën SM. One of those vehicles that cannot leave you indifferent, the result of the unexpected union between Citroën and Maserati to make a GT that is as futuristic as it is ambitious. Aerodynamic, comfortable, huge… but with a 2.7 V6 signed by Maserati under the hood. It was not bad at all as a farewell to everything we had seen ...
A REFERENCE THAT SETTLED
With 5 editions already, Retro Malaga It is establishing itself as the benchmark for classics fairs in southern Spain. It is a fair in which the fans who speak in several languages and where a multitude of tastes intersect but a single passion: the passion for the classic motor. We hope to see you next year.