Last week members of The Classic Motor Hub team took a little trip across the channel to Paris to witness the Retromobile 2018 International Exhibition. After arriving in the driving snow on Tuesday evening, Richard, Hugh and Ben knew they were in for an interesting few days – and that’s before they even got to see any of the show.
Despite the snow, we wasted no time in getting straight into the action, starting with the show preview on Tuesday evening. This gave us a chance to take a closer look at the stands and cars on show, without the huge crowds that were expected later in the week. We caught up with old friends, made some new ones, and thoroughly enjoyed taking in the cars at a leisurely pace.
Wednesday came, and we decided to visit the Bonhams auction preview at the stunning setting of Le Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées. Under the steel and glass barrel-vaulted roof we saw some fantastic vehicles (and some, not so fantastic), but the variety could not be faulted. We saw everything from a 1906 Cadillac Model M Osceola Coupé to a 1995 Mercedes-Benz AMG E36 Estate via many Porsche, Aston Martin, Ferrari and much more besides.
Come the afternoon, it was time to head across the bridge towards ‘Les Invalides’ – the complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France. Located in the grounds in front of the incredible Chapel Dome, RM Sotheby’s auction was due to take place that evening.
The selection of cars on show that day included some truly incredible examples, including a flat-floor 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8-Litre Roadster from Cotswold Collectors Cars, that sold later in the night for €161.000.
On Thursday, it was time to once again hit the show floor, and this time take a closer look at the merchandise, art and other items offered by the numerous vendors, whilst catching up with other visitors to spread the word about The Hub.
We also stopped by the stand of F.Bazin to meet up with Julie, grandaughter of legendary sculptor François Bazin, whose bronze casts will be available to purchase in our new shop on April 1st. Julie was also keen to show her a new collection of jewellery, inspired by the famous hood ornament Femme Mangbetu (Croisière Noire de Citroën). The collection is made of sterling silver rings, earrings, pendants and bracelets cast individually using the “cire perdue” process, and finished by hand by French silversmiths. We hope to be stocking a range of this exclusive jewellery alongside the sculptures in our shop soon.
As always, the trip to Paris for Retromobile 2018 was well worth it, even if we did have to battle the heavy snow that was particularly remarkable in the centre of such a large city! Thanks to everyone who gave us their time and we look forward to visiting again very soon.