Category Archives: Shows and Exhibitions

Geneva Motorshow 2019

By Fabrizio Panico

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

{Editor’s comment Fabrizio’s photographs of cars at the Geneva show not only show us some of the prototypes we can expect to be modelled in the near future, it also shows us the direction of travel of the car industry and the contradictions between governmental policies and the reality of achieving change in our complex modern society].

For many years, more than I dare remember, I have visited the Geneva International Motor Show. This year is the 89th show and was as usual a showcase for many concept cars as well as a few new production cars. Of course any Motor Show is nowadays not really a place to compare production cars and decide which to buy next. Manufacturers prefer to show their strength and vitality with concepts and prototypes designed to attract media attention.

Motor Shows are undergoing major changes: many manufacturers are deciding to give them a miss and this means that shows are starting to lose their meaning. Last year we missed General Motors, Infiniti and Opel, to them this year we could add Alpine, DS, Ford, Land Rover, Jaguar, Hyundai, RAM and Dodge, whilst Abarth was blended within FCA. There were some new names like Aurus, dr, Piech, Arcfox as well as some returning names from the past like Ginetta and Hispano Suiza.

The result was that there were many empty spaces: they tried to fill them with almost unknown names, who will probably be gone by next year’s show, and with refreshment and relaxation areas. However to avoid overcrowding near popular stands like Porsche, Bugatti or Ferrari spaces had to be left clear. A bit disappointing for visitors and one questions whether it can still be regarded as an International Motor Show? On balance the answer is ‘yes’, not least because Motor Shows round the world are all changing and are no longer the same as they used to be. On the positive side the presence of some “old” cars from Citroen and Bentley, plus the special Abarth expo (the Engelbert Möll’s collection, already seen at Retromobile 2018) and the Golden Sahara II, a 1956 ‘dream car’ recently restored with the help of Goodyear. A less positive introduction is the presence of classic car dealers: a introduction which doesn’t fit with the conventional image of what should be at a Motor Show.

We’ll leave the fine details of all the cars to the technical reviews. The accent was obviously on electric cars, with a focus on the fact that the charging infrastructure needed is totally lacking almost everywhere. Will Hybrid cars become the norm in future to overcome the lack of infrastructure for pure electric cars? It is possible, even if they do not meet all the targets set. It is clear that the internal combustion engines will live on for a long time, as it will not be possible to entirely replace them for many, many years.

Styling is, alas, still heavily sculpted, in a useless “manga” way. Who really likes the aggressive fronts of Lexus or Toyota ? Thankfully Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and in part BMW, are reverting to more flowing lines. Renault concepts are becoming more frenzied every year: what’s the use? Are they are only there to impress the media? This used to be rule for Sbarro or Rinspeed, but is it appropriate for a 120 year old brand?

In my view the show was a bit disappointing, but perhaps it is only a period of change while they are looking for a new format for future Motor Shows. Let’s hope they find the right one soon.

Photographs from the Show

A general view of the show hall


Abarth expo


Arcfox GT


Audi e-tron gt concept


Aurus Senat


Bentley 3 litre Red Label Speed 1927


Bugatti La Voiture Noire – Front View

Bugatti La Voiture Noire – Rear View


Citroen AmiOne


e.Go Life


Fiat Centoventi – Front View

Fiat Centoventi – Internal View


Ginetta G10/G11 1965


Golden Sahara II 1956 – Front View

Golden Sahara II 1956 – interior


Hispano Suiza Carmen


Honda e-prototype


Kia Imagine


Nobe 100


Peugeot e-legend


Piech Mark Zero


Pininfarina Battista


Porsche 917 K


Puritalia berlinetta


Renault EZ-ultimo


Sbarro GTC


Smart forease+


Volkswagen id.buggy


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Retromobile 2019

By Fabrizio Panico

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Once again February brings us back to Paris, both for Retromobile, and for the traditional auctions of Artcurial, RM Sotheby’s and Bonhams, a visual overdose enriched by a certain elegance, even if you start to perceive some slight fogging due to the changing tastes of the public. On the other hand it is for the market to dictate the show and not our personal interests.

This year Paris greeted us with windy days, but fortunately without the snow of last year. Alas the defections of the big automakers continue from their previous showcase of the Champs Elysées. First Citroen, Mercedes and Toyota left, now Peugeot has left its showroom too, leaving only Renault in the place that was a symbol of French motoring. How much longer before there are no showrooms on the Champs Elysées?

As usual, the Parisian show has attracted fans from all over the world. It is rich in novelties, celebrations of anniversaries, and exhibitions dedicated to specific brands. Even here there were alternate presences and absences: FCA is back, the absence of Mercedes-Benz is alas confirmed. Brand and/or model clubs attend in abundance, although their grouping together in Hall 3 reduces their presence a little.

Big celebrations took place of the centenary of Citroen with a great review of cars and prototypes, unfortunately narrow corridors meant the exhibits were difficult to walk around. Peugeot was a little poorly represented , maybe we had become used to better shows in previous years, whilst Renault chose to devote itself entirely to the ‘Turbo Years’, with the result of a series of cars of relative ‘aesthetic’ interest.

The general impression was of a reduced presence of real “vintage” cars in flavor of newer ‘classics’, which are evidently the most requested by the public today. This is the market! Fortunately the Teuf Teuf Club and the Compiègne Museum exhibited a rich collection of De Dion Bouton vehicles, while a specific exhibition was dedicated to the Bédélia, a classic of French cyclecars.

Another ‘gem’ on show was the monstrous Berliet T100, a giant destined for the African deserts and whose journey from Lyon to Paris constituted an adventure, considering its dimensions are ‘out of the norm’.

A rich collection of motorcycles from Gnome & Rhone was on show, as well as a display of the Citroen DS Chapron, in all their variants. Honda was celebrating the twenty years of the S2000 (too new in the Author’s opinion to be at such a show). The long suspension bridge between Hall 1 and 2 housed the Mini exhibition, celebrating their 60 years. There was an interesting cutaway Mini, but perhaps they could have included more variants : the Moke and the Mini Marcos appeared a bit lonely. As usual, the Saumur museum presented two tanks, a Sherman and a Panzer IV.

After lookinmg at all the displays there were plenty of opportunities to spend your money. There were many Dealers with their “jewels” and of course scale models, spare parts, books, and accessories. Add to that the wide range of goods from the many artists and artisans.

Again a show not to be missed where there is so much on offer that everyone can find lots of interest. The photographs below show some of the highlights of the show.

Citroën – 100 Years Display


Citroen GS Camargue Bertone 1972


Renault 1000kg Voltigeur 1956


Delahaye 135 M Figoni Falaschi 1946


BMW 320 Group 5 Junior Team 1977


Alfa Romeo 750 Competizione 1955


Lancia Rally 037 1982


Abarth 1000 monoposto record 1960


Jensen CV8 Mark III 1965


Classic early Léon Bollée advertising material


Wolseley Hornet Mark III 1969


Gnome Rhone motorcycle and side car outfit


Bédélia BD2 1912


Tiffany Golden Spirit 1986


Alfa Romeo 8c 2900 B Berlinetta Touring 1939


Scale Models Club display on the theme – Peugeot


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Trip Report – 1/43 and Others in Italy, Part II

By Karl Schnelle

Continuing my car journey across northern Italy started in Part I

After being inundated with Ferraris in Modena and Maranello, we moved out into the Italian countryside. The Maserati museum collection was sold in the 1990s when they went through a restructuring, but a private collector saved it with the help of the local government.  It is open to the public at his dairy farm.  Cows and cars – what a combination!  A side benefit is that you can also taste and buy their cheese!   Inside the museum, I could not get close enough to his 1/43 display cabinet, but he had a few Masers in there!

The original highlight of this trip, the reason I signed up, was a visit to the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo.   Ever since I had my 1976 Alfetta, I have wanted to visit.  Then in 2011, it closed down and I was bummed out.  Re-opened in 2015, it was back on my bucket list!

A funny story – I walked over to the Carabinieri in the Subaru and asked if they had any Alfas in their fleet.  One of the four said they have one in Milano, but he never got to drive it!  I guess they were parked there in the back to be on call if needed.  It was a big day at the museum because the 400 classic cars of the Mille Miglia were passing by out front!

After the overload at the museum, we headed to Lake Como for a little non-car downtime. That meant time for me to search out any model shops.  Just 5 minutes from the hotel was this jam-packed store.   Previously, the one in Bologna was already closed, the one in Maranello was at 3-hour lunch, and the two in Milano were closed on Sunday like every store, so I was happy to get to at least one store during business hours.  Many 1/43 Alfas were examined, but none that I needed…  Prices were about the same as the internet in the US, but it’s always nice to see them in-person and up-close.

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Up next was the second private collection:  really amazing ‘Pebble Beach’ quality Alfas and Lancias in a nondescript warehouse outside Milan.

For some reason, the owner had a case of 1/43 Gulp handbuilt Alfas there.  Perhaps, they are there because they made his rare Alfa Romeo 6C1750 Carrozzeria Aprile!

By happy coincidence, the private Vespa museum was nearby and the owner was around to open it up for us.  It pays to have a tour guide who speaks Italian. Of course, he had the requisite partworks in his display cabinets.  There must have been 100s of full scale mopeds on display above his Vespa parts business.

Next day, it was off to Turin to stay at the ex-Fiat factory at Lingotto.  Their 1923 test track is still on the roof!  Did you happen to see the original Italian Job?

A short walk from factory is perhaps the best automobile museum in Europe, the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile.  Redesigned in 2011, it is a fun place for any car guy or girl to visit.  But why do they have a boxed Dinky Toy BMW Isetta;  Dinky never made one!  I think they previously had ‘Dinky’ 24L Vespa 400 in there that must be out on a temporary exhibit somewhere!

The other 1/43 mystery was why they had a large Brooklin Model display.  After further investigation, the new silent partner (or owner) at Brooklin is Nicola Bulgari, and two of his newly-restored American cars are on display in this Turin museum now!

Another fun display is the new Fiat 500 covered with >500 500s!  I think they are 1/55 Majorettes…

And finally because our esteemed Editor has been writing a lot about Atlas and DeAgostini lately, we zipped by this place on the A4 Autostrada on the way back to Malpensa airport to end our long, glorious trip.

I hope that these two posts has not been too much for you.  However, if you would like more details or photos from anywhere we visited, please let me know via the contact info below. Arrivederci!


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Trip Report – 1/43 and Others in Italy, Part I

By Karl Schnelle

I have been home from Italy a couple weeks now and just got my 500 car photos organized.   It was a trip of a lifetime, I have said several times!  The Alfa Romeo Owners Club (USA) had organized a tour of Italy, and I happened to see their ad.  I immediately signed up and then asked my wife.  Not as bad a mistake as you may think, as she happily added on four extra days (with absolutely no car activities)!

The plan was to see the Alfa Romeo Museum (naturally), the Ferrari museum, the private Maserati museum, Lamborghini factory, Ducati factory, and 2 private collections.   In hindsight now, I don’t know which was more amazing.  Perhaps that we timed it just right to be at the start of the Mille Miglia was the highlight!  [Click to enlarge the photos,]

I did hunt out some model car stores and looked for any 1/43 Alfas to add to my collection, but that was really low priority compared to all the other sights to see!  What follows then is a photo travelogue of some of my model car sightings over the ten-day trip.

We started our tour with two factory tours near Bologna (‘no photos please’); both Ducati and Lamborghini had museums attached to their factories.  The Ducati gift shop had lots of nice motorcycle models for sale, but I am more of a car guy. Lambo strangely had no gift shop or models for sale.

Next stop was a private collection at a farm out in the countryside, truly amazing pre and post-war cars. mostly Italian.

We had time for an extra stop in Modena at the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari.  They had a nice 1/43 display of Enzo’s first workshop – when he worked for/on Alfa Romeos!  Is that a Brumm Bugatti out front???

In the display cases were two vintage, large scale models: a Ferrari liquor container and a Maserati wind tunnel model.

The next day we were off to Brescia for the start of the Mille Miglia.  While we were there, we also saw the Mille museum.  They had a few 1/43s for sale, but had 2 full cases of 1/43 Mille cars inside the museum: handbuilts on wooden bases as well as the Italian Hachette Mille partworks series!

Later we also went to the Ferrari museum in Maranello near the current factory.  A recreation of Enzo’s office had a few 1/43s on his cadenza.

My favorite full scale might have been this gorgeous 250 Europa.

In the F1 room, they had a whole wall of 1/43 Ferrraris.  Here is the middle section.

Their gift shop was stocked with high end, handbuilt 1/43s. At that price, they could be BBR, MR, or Looksmart, or even better!

Of course, just go across the street to an independent store if you want more reasonable prices for the same cars!

I’ll take a break now and post Part II later.  Hopefully this has not been too many photos all at once.   If you would like more details or photos from anywhere we visited, please let me know via the contact info below.  Ciao…


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Autoclassica 2017

By Fabrizio Panico

Photographs are by, and copyright of, the Author.

Editor: From time to time we have articles  with pictures from Motor Shows to inspire our appreciation of the cars our models are based on. Our regular writer Fabrizio visited the Autoclassica 2017 Car Show in Milan earlier this month and has shared some of the photographs he took. This is a prestigious event occupying several halls of a large exhibition centre. Some of the cars pictured have been modelled whilst others should be considered by manufacturers for future production.

The Autoclassica 2017 seemed to be a smaller show than usual with more car dealers than clubs in evidence. The pictures below show some of the interesting cars on display.

AGIP Service Station

One of the set piece displays matching a nice race prepared Alfa Romeo with period AGIP Petrol displays.

 

Castrol Dispenser

A nice display of an oil dispenser from the earlier days of motoring.

 

BAKU Petrol

More transport ephemera. A nicely restored petrol pump from the vintage car era.

 

Buick Super Eight Coupe 1950

With custom detailing.

 

Ferrari 166 Inter Berlinetta 1950

Classic car beautifully prepared for the show.

 

Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta LWB 1957

A beautiful example of one of the most desirable Ferrari models.

 

Ferrari 250 GTO 1962

Another extremely scarce and expensive Ferrari.

 

Ferrari 512M 1970

The 512M was developed from the 512S and was used in Endurance racing in the early 1970s. Several found their way to the US for use in NART races and one famously ended up in Steve McQueen’s film Le Mans.

 

Ferrari Dino 246 Tasmania 1968

This V6 engined racing car was developed by Ferrari for racing at a time when most of the teams effort was being put into V12 cars.  It was aimed at Formula Tasman which was a big draw in Australia and New Zealand at that time.

 

Fiat 501 coupé 1923

The Fiat 501 was made between 1919 and 1926. The 501 was Fiat’s first model after World War and nearly 50,000 were made in several body styles.

 

Fiat 2800 Torpedo Special 1947

This open car was  derived from the pre-war cars widely used by the Italian State.

 

Fiat Campagnola Raid Alger LeCap 1951

In 1951 Fiat’s management decided to beat the speed record of Africa’s crossing from Cape Town to Algiers with a Campagnola AR 51. The journey was completed in 11 days, 4 hours and 54 minutes.

 

Ford USA Model A Tudor 1929

A classic standard sedan from Ford USA

 

Isotta-Fraschini 8b

Made with a keen eye on the US export market owners included 8B owners included the Aga Khan III, William Randolph Hearst, Rudolph Valentino and Pope Pius XI. Few now exist.

 

Lamborghini LM002

Based upon earlier military vehicles the LM002 was made between 1986 and 1993.

 

 

Land Rover 80 Stationwagon Tickford 1950

Rover developed a seven-seater Station Wagon variant of the Land Rover in October 1948 based on the 80-inch chassis and powered by a 1,595cc petrol engine. This had a body made by Tickford of Newport Pagnell, constructed in the traditional way with alloy panelling over a wooden frame. Due to the cost of the vehicle it sold in very small numbers.

 

Maserati A6GCS 53 Berlinetta Pininfarina 1953

The A6 was made between 1947 and 1956 and carried coachwork from the major Italian stylists of the time. This classic shape from Pininfarina being one of the prettiest.  Fitted with a two litre straight six engine it was fast as well as beautiful.

 

Maserati Bora

Produced from 1971 to 1978 the Bora was fitted with a V8 engine and had a top speed of over 170 MPH.  A classic car and looks good in the very period paint colour.

 

MG YA 1951

Proof that badge engineering started long before BMC was formed. A small MG saloon was formed by using the underpinnings of the Morris 8. Nicely fitted inside the car struggled with a small engine.

 

Minerva Land Rover 80

Belgian car maker Minerva found itself in dire straights after the Second World War. Unable to design and build their own vehicle for military contracts they approached Rover and made Land Rovers fro the Belgian forces from kits of parts under licence arrangements until 1958. Here the front wings seem to differ from the UK Land Rover’s – I wonder if this has been modelled?

 

Morris Eight Tourer 1935

Quite a pretty car in this form this was quite a basic vehicle aimed at the mass market opening up for family cars in this inter-war period. Fitted with a engine of 918cc performance was limited  but it was well equipped and aimed at people who wanted something a little bit better than the well established Austin 7.

 

Panhard 24 BT 1965

The final Panhard car produced as in 1967 Citroen ceased to produce Panhard cars. Powered by a boxer engine driving the front wheels its light body allowed quite a modest engine to produce very sporty performance.

 

Porsche 356A 1600 Coupe 1957

Classic 356A Coupe as modelled by many firms. A lovely example on show here.

 

Rolls Royce USA Phantom I Roadster York 1930

Rolls Royce had their own factory in Springfield Massachusetts from 1921 to 1931. These were then bodied by US Coachbuilders often featuring white wall tyres and more flamboyant styling than many UK Rolls Royces. This car is one of the later US produced vehicles.

 


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