With the year less than a month old and most New Year resolutions still on track, AROnline visited one of the first classic car shows of the year. Does it set the trend for 2014?
Words and photography: Alexander Boucke
Maastricht is always worth a visit – a beautiful old town, full of culture, history, excellent shopping and restaurants. And for the past 21 years, there has been one more reason to travel to Maastricht late in January: the InterClassics & TopMobiel classic car show.
It’s held in the local conference centre, probably better known for hosting TEFAF, one of the world’s most important art fairs. Compared with other classic car shows, the location is limited in size, so the event is not a huge affair, like the Techno-Classica at Essen.
InterClassics & TopMobiel in Maastricht majors on high quality cars of all ages, classics for sale and quite exquisite special displays. This year, 100 years of Maserati was the main attraction, with a central gathering of 30 cars.
Due to the small amount of local car production, the classic car scene in the Netherlands usually shows a very wide range – unlike in the UK or Germany, where local products always dominate the scene. This year, possibly due to the Maserati-themed special exhibition, Italian cars seemed to dominate the dealer displays – although the traditional British sports car was represented as strongly as ever at any European show.
The display of the local clubs made the best of the small hall they were given, by showing a selection of rare and interesting cars. ‘I have never seen one of these,’ was an often-heard comment. An American-market Opel Kadett B Coupé, Matra Rancho décapotable, or a Singer Gazelle Cabriolet (surely more common in the UK, mostly unknown here) were highlights.
The locally-produced 1959 Mini, recently restored by MINI, also made an appearance – anticipating the future assembly of new MINIs in the NEDcar factory about 20 miles from Maastricht.
AROnline visited the show only a few hours after opening on the Friday but a significant number of the more interesting cars on offer had already been sold. Among them, an unrestored, top-condition Alfa Romeo Alfetta Saloon and a factory-fresh Citroën 2CV.
Asking prices were strong and reflected the trend of previous years. How about a Mini Cooper 1071S? Apparently, the car was originally a road car changed to look like a works rally car using original equipment from a crashed rally car – the asking price was well over £40,000. Don’t be fooled by the empty looking halls in our pictures – during the weekend, the show was very well visited, continuing another trend from recent years: after a record-breaking 2013, with 21,000 visitors, 27,000 visited the show this year.