A Look Back at Rètromobile


Now that this year’s Rètromobile extravaganza is over, it’s time to look back at what makes the show truly amazing. 2019 was a record year for Rètromobile in both grandeur and attendance. With gorgeous classic cars everywhere, it seems to be just a classic car show. But lo and behold, it’s actually a trade show, and eager classic car dealers from around the globe flock to get in on the action. Rètromobile is a goodbye to winter — with eager drivers envisioning themselves cruising in warm weather.

Collectors at this trade show sported cars from every era and style. From modern exotic cars to antique luxury cruisers, Rètromobile has it all. Let’s take a look at what made this year’s show truly memorable.

  1. Records at Rètromobile

This year featured a number of all-time highs — making it the most successful exhibition in its history. The event confirmed that the collectible car market is doing well and that collectors are still attending traditional auctions despite the digital transition.

Let’s look at some of the key statistics of the show:

  • The audience reached an all-time high of 132,000 over the five-day exhibition — beating the previous record of 121,884 set in 2015.
  • There were total auction sales of US$90 million.
  • Artcurial, the world’s largest collectible car auctioneer, recorded $47.9 million in revenues.
  • Extravagant and Eccentric at the Rètromobile

The show paid respect to Ayrton Senna, the late Brazilian racing driver. He won the Formula One world championships in 1988, 1990 and 1991. In case you missed it, here are a few pieces of his memorabilia that were auctioned.

  • Cool and Unusual Vehicles

This year’s Rètromobile also featured some quirky and unique pieces of car history.

This World War II era machine is a rare piece of history sold for $135,024. According to New Atlas, the record price for one is $230,724, which was set when one sold at auction in 2008 — so this one could have sold for a lot more. This amphibious “Schwimmwagen” is rare because so few survived the war.

The most expensive car to sell at this year’s Rètromobile was the 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 B Touring Berlinetta by Touring. It sold by Artcurial for $18,968,675. It was the third most expensive pre-war car to ever sell at auction. The car has appreciated significantly in value since it was acquired by a family in 1976.

  • Historical Vehicles at Rètromobile

The 1908 Mercedes-Simplex 35 / 45HP Recreation is history on wheels! Artcurial auctioned this replica Mercedes for $197,136. New Atlas claims that it’s the world’s first sports car, though the one sold was a replica that was made by Pursang. The price is actually a fraction of what an original would sell for — about $2,805,000.

  • 1994 Ayrton Senna Bicycle and Other Gear

This 1994 Ayrton Senna bicycle sold for $3,123 and was announced in April 1994, just before his tragic race at the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1, 1994. The bike features his country’s colors. It wasn’t the only bike there. A Bugatti three-wheeler was there as well. Made in 1899, it had an engine attached that could get it to 56 mph. Little did they know that Bugattis would eventually go over 225 mph, but 56 mph was still extremely fast for a bike in those days.

Other items that were sold in the Ayrton Senna collection include the McLaren Rheos Helmet, which sold for $184,340, and an F1 Race Suit from 1984 that sold for $110,372. This suit is the most expensive one ever sold. The auction showed that Ayrton Senna memorabilia is continuing to rise in value.

  • Diverse Experience at Rètromobile

This year’s exhibits made us wonder how we’d spend our imaginary millions. Dealers from all over the world blow us away with quality displays, and this year carried the tradition.

The Cultivated Collector made his way from the U.S. to attend the show, and he presented some fantastic driving machines. He brought the following:

  • Jaguar XJR-15
  • Mercedes Benz CLK GTR AM
  • Menacing Schuppan 962CR, one of six built by Australian racing driver Vern Schuppan

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone disappointed with the automobile extravaganza at Rètromobile this year. Legendary manufacturers like Jaguar, Land Rover, Renault and Lamborghini continued to defend their renowned heritage. It doesn’t matter if you favor German, English, French or Italian cars — the Rètromobile had it all.

Make sure to get your checkbooks ready for next year!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.