Sunday, January 22, 2017

Classic Gala Schwetzingen Concours d'elegance 2016

"CLASSIC-GALA SCHWETZINGEN is a social event presenting more than 180 distinguished international and classic cars in the unique baroque garden of the Schwetzingen Castle. Stroll through an atmosphere of incomparable ambience in architecture, garden design, music, fashion, art and nostalgia."

"Slightly impacted by rain on Sunday morning, 18,500 spectators witness the triumph of an unrestored Bentley from 1929 as the best of show and winner of his class ahead of a Mercedes 500 Nürburg cabriolet at the twelfth official German Concours d'Elegance d'Automobile "AvD-Classic-Gala Schwetzingen 2016." Among the more than 150 historical vehicles ranging from 1885 to 1990, which were presented by a 22-man international expert jury, were many unique items from the history of the automobile, many of which were exhibited to public for the first time. The oldest vehicles on display were two Benz Velo and Victoria of the ASC museum in Mannheim."

Shelly and I were in Heidelberg over the weekend of 3-4 September 2016 and we saw a flyer for the Schwetzingen Classic Gala. Schwetzingen was half an hour from Heidelberg so we decided to visit the show on the Sunday, the last day of the show. Schwetzingen Schloss is a 17th century baroque palace and garden complex and a fabulous location for an international car show.

To celebrate BMW's centenary, a display of classic and new BMWs lined the entrance way.

One of the two oldest cars in the show was this 1893 Benz Victoria. Schwetzingen is actually on the  Bertha Benz Memorial route which celebrates Bertha Benz' drive from Manneheim to Pforzheim in 1888. Two years after her husband Carl had constructed and patented his first motor car, he had failed to sell a single vehicle. It wasn't simply the novelty of the new invention, but Carl's stubborn refusal to promote or demonstrate his 'patentwagen.' Bertha decided to remedy this and without Carl's knowledge took patentwagen 3 and their two young sons and drove to her home town of Pforzheim to visit her mother. The journey caused a sensation, not least by demonstrating that the new motor car was a reliable form of transport, but also that it could be driven by a woman!  

The 1896 Benz Velo. The Velo was a smaller, budget motor vehicle than the more carriage-like Victoria. It looks very fragile and precious under its awning, but this little machine puttered around the Schwetzingen grounds several times - even in the rain! This was quite an extraordinary feat given that here in Perth the slightest hint of inclement weather tends to send classic owners running for the hills.

1896 De Dietrich Tonneau F

1898 Curved Dash Oldsmobile. These American high wheelers were effectively the first mass produced car in the world.

1903 De Dietrich Bugatti Type 5 Paris-Madrid racer

1905 Mercedes Simplex. The first 'Mercedes'

1908 Opel 'doctorwagen'

The parade of microcars

Kroboth followed by a Vignale Gamine

Replica of the Messerschmit speed record car.

BMW 600 with a micro-caravan

BMW 600 was an expanded Isetta on a small car floorplan. It was powered by a two-cylinder 600cc motorcycle engine.

For their next model, BMW replaced the Isetta styled bodywork with a conventional sedan body. The new car received an upgraded 700cc engine but otherwise the new BMW 700 shared the same running gear as its predecessor.

2006 Isdera autobahnkurier. This exceptional and unique modern car features classic 1930s sportscar styling.

Citroen DS23

Gutbrod Superior

1959 Volkswagen Beetle and its more illustrious cousin, Porsche 356 B coupe.

Fiat-NSU row. In the 1930s the German NSU company was looking to get into automobile production. They engaged Ferdinand Porsche to develop a radical new rear-engined car design, which is known to history as the Porsche Type 32. Unfortunately for Porsche when NSU costed out the retooling and development costs they realized the project was not viable for such a small company. Instead NSU formed a joint venture with the Italian Fiat company to build Fiats under license. NSU would build Fiats until the late 1950s when they came out with their own car, the NSU Prinz.

Fiat-NSU Topolino serving coffee

Fuldamobil 'Silverfish.' The original Fuldamobil's were a very simple affair with pressed aluminium panels that were also used for caravan and kitchen panels. The car was substantially restyled in the late 50s and the slab-sided panels were replaced with streamlined fibreglass. Fulda licensed dozens of companies, such as Nobel in England, King Fram in Sweden and Attica in Greece, to build the car. Performance-wise the Fuldamobil was pretty dismal.


The Champion 400 was powered by a 400cc two-cylinder two-stroke Heinkel engine.Mic

The microcar craze of the 1950s witnessed some amazing automotive developments - and some absolute disasters. The Brutsch 'egg' falls into the latter category. These ridiculous little vehicles were little better than a powered go-kart and utterly impractical.

Gutbrod Superior sedan and kombi. Like the Champion, the Gutbrod was powered by 400 or 500cc Heinkel two-stroke engine.

An incredibly rare 1950 Gutbrod Atlas truck. Only 20 of these little trucks were ever built and only 2 have survived. They also shared the Heinkel 400cc engine.

The Gutbrod Altas is a handsome little vehicle.

BMW Isettas

Lloyd Alexander

1958 Zundapp Janus

Goggo scooter

Brutsch egg and Goggo scooter

Vespa low-lights

BMW 700 and Isetta.

BMW 600

1956 Kroboth D

Wartburg 313 coupe

Porsche 356A

1953 DKW F91 sunroof model


Mercedes-Benz display. There was an extensive display commemorating the introduction of the ponton model.

VW Hebmuller

1968 Moretti Sportiva SS

1970 Melkus RS1000. The East German Ferrari.

Mercedes-Benz 300

Mercedes-Benz O319

Citroen Traction-Avant

Borgward Isabella coupe

Mercedes-Benz 170

Fiat 500 and Triumph TR2

Bugatti Type 57. This is apparently the last Type 57 ever built.

The show winning 1929 Bentley Speed Six

Tornax. The Tornax rebodied DKW F2s into a luxury roadster.

Tornax were a small volume German motorcycle manufacturer.

Jhre was another DKW customizer. Their styling closely resembles that of contemporary BMW roadsters.

1931 Mercedes-Benz 500 Nurburg limousine

1926 Morris light van

Phanomen drierad

Phanomen drierad

Bugatti 143 cabrio

1929 Bentley

1937 Alvis 25/36 sportster

1937 Opel Super Six cabrio with Glaser body

1937 Opel Kadett K38

Mercedes-Benz 170

Borgward-Hansa 1500. Borgward was the first German car company to introduce the ponton body style.

1952 Allard K2 roadster. These unusual British cars were powered by Ford V8 engines.

1950 Opel Olympia

Citroen H van

Volkswagen T2

Porsche 356 and a Borgward diesel kombi

Porsche 356

The excellent display by the Adler club of Germany - Adler Trumpf and Adler 2-litre

Adler Trumpf

Czech Aero

Mercedes-Benz diesel

1937 BMW Roadster D

Mercedes-Benz 170 V

Porsche 356A speedster

1955 Mercedes-Benz 190SL

1955 Connaught B-type streamline racer

1959 BMW 501 baroque angel

1973 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV with custom Frua bodywork.

Two Pierce-Arrows had pride of place at the rear of the palace