With this year’s edition of the Bremen Classic Motorshow, the classic car and youngtimer fans of Northern Germany started the 2020 season last weekend. And the exhibition halls in the Hanseatic city on the Weser were well filled as usual. As far as the number of exhibitors is concerned, it was even better than ever, at 738, which is significantly higher than last year. The same also applies to the number of visitors, which at 45,582 also rose by around ten percent to the highest figure in the history of this fair. Compared to the major new car shows, for example the IAA or the Geneva Motor Show, Bremen is therefore on a very good track despite an increasingly harsh climate for the automobile.
Our tour of the exhibition halls on Friday also showed why. The concept of the fair with a versatile mix of lovingly designed club stands, a large number of dealers for vehicles, parts or mobile accessories and the traditional special show offers something for every car enthusiast. Prospective buyers, parts hunters in the middle of restoration work or simple visitors will get their money’s worth here.
The special show under the motto ‘Rivals’ was outstanding this year. Competitors from times gone by faced each other. It was impressive to see what high-quality and interesting exhibits the organisers of the fair were able to bring together in Bremen. For example, the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ and the Lamborghini Miura P400 S stood opposite each other, as well as a Porsche 959 in an extremely rare red metallic paint scheme, which found a Ferrari F40 in traditional Rosso Corsa vis-a-vis. Not quite so Italian-oriented visitors were able to admire the 300 SL Roadster from Mercedes-Benz together with the BMW 507, which was drawn in style by Albrecht Graf Goertz. But not only supercars of past days were on display, one could also indulge in memories of the own automotive beginnings and admire everyday classics like a VW Beetle and DKW F12 or a Ford 17m and Opel Rekord. Anyone who dreamt of prancing horses or wild bulls in Germany at the end of the 1960s, which were financially probably far out of reach, often did so at the wheel of a young savage like the Ford Capri or Opel Manta. In Bremen, these dreams could be continued just like those of the generation ten years later. Only now the dreamers were often in the first generation VW Golf GTI or the Opel Kadett GT/E.
The further tour of the fair allowed the eye to wander over a wide range of products offered by the various dealers. From a Lloyd estate car in condition ‘barn find’ to a development prototype of the Porsche 959, everything was available. It was striking that the dominance of the Porsche brand was much less than in previous years, while the stars from Stuttgart were still offered in great numbers. Among the classic cars on offer, the visitor could also admire a considerable number of exotics of the most varied character, or in some case even laugh on them. Have you ever seen a Zimmer Golden Spirit? Or an Isetta from BMW with only one rear wheel, which a Danish dealer brought to Bremen? In general, the Bremen Classic Motorshow seems to be increasingly attracting the attention of dealers from abroad. In addition to Danes and Swedes, there were also some salesmen from the Netherlands.
At the presentation stand of youngtimers with low mileage, the eyes of the visitors usually first fell on a vehicle that was unknown to most viewers. The logo on the front still betrayed the manufacturer, it was clearly a Volkswagen, but what kind of model? If the front still had a certain resemblance to the 412 from the early 70s, the rest appeared completely unknown. A look at the sign standing next to the vehicle provided some clarification. It was a VW Brasilia, which also revealed its origin with its name. In addition, a rare, early Maserati Biturbo, a Peugeot 304 estate car or a Ford Gran Torino were offered as well.
One of the attractions of the Bremen Classic Motorshow every year is the fair car park, which serves as a sales exchange for mostly private vendors. And here, too, the tour was worthwhile, as the range of products on offer was extremely varied, usually at very reasonable prices. Many vehicles were also in very good condition with low mileage. An APAL Corsa Coupé was also found here, a vehicle of the Belgian manufacturer, which is actually better known for its buggies and replicas of the Porsche 356 Speedster. This one was completely unknown to the author so far.
The Bremen Classic Motorshow was the first highlight of the 2020 season. In our picture gallery you can enjoy the impressions from the show. You could almost be looking forward to the 2021 edition, which will take place from February 5-7, but we still have the whole 2020 season ahead of us.
Images: Hella Andresen, Carsten Tholen & Kay Andresen