Events : Report – 27th InterClassics Maastricht 2020

The European show season got off to its traditional start with the InterClassics Maastricht event just two weeks into the new year. AROnline had a look around.

Words: Alexander Boucke, Photography: Christina Lukaszewicz, Alexander Boucke

The best of the best in Maastricht

Completely unrestored 1930 Voisin C14

While some voices can be heard predicting a drop in interest in classic cars, the 27th InterClassics Maastricht proved otherwise: a record number of 34,473 visitors over four days was proudly reported by the show’s Manager, Eric Panis. More than 800 cars were on show – most of them offered for sale – and, in addition, there were more than 300 displays from classic car-related businesses and clubs.

The well-lit and heated halls of the convention centre, also known for housing one of the world’s best art fairs, are welcoming on these cool, mostly wet and dark winter days. Immediately after entering the show, the large variety of cars on display strikes you. From ordinary, but nearly extinct, family cars of the 1970s to supercars and one-offs, everything is present. Most cars on offer are in good or even exceptional condition, offering a wide range of usable or collectible classics from low five-figure to mid seven-figure prices. Gone are the days when a few hyped sports cars seemed to dominate the halls.

DAF ready to rally in the club’s area

At the heart of this year’s show was a special exhibition dedicated to ‘Forgotten Classics’. It featured a selection of 24 styling or engineering masterpieces from long-gone brands such as Studebaker, Veritas, Spijker, Duesenberg or Minerva. The iconic 1950 Studebaker Champion Regal Deluxe Starlight Coupé designed by Raymond Loewy was rightly chosen as the eye-catcher for the show’s poster. We also found the 1930 Voisin C14 fascinating. The 90-year old car is all original, down to the delicate Art-Deco floral pattern interior cloths, just as it was found in the 1950s by the racing driver Giovanni ‘Johnny’ Lurani near Lake Como. The whole display was a brilliant time-line through automotive design trends from the 1920s to the late 1950s.

Unlike other car shows, the adjacent car parks are not a good place for classic car spotting – but, considering the season, the fact that they are very close to the entrance is nice. There is also a nearby train station, with connections to Amsterdam and Brussels. All in, the show is easy to reach and well worth the visit – as is the old town of Maastricht. Next year the InterClassics will open its doors again from 14-17 January.

4 Comments

  1. I accidentally put my comments on last year’s event. Anyone interested in checking out the comments, click on the 2019 event. Classic cars are a fantastic pastime!

    • Laurence, here is your original comment:

      Good article, Alexander. Classics are a wonderful hobby, especially if you like doing a little work yourself to improve the condition. If you buy the right car at the right price, and at the right time, you can even make some money at it. In 1985 I bought here in Canada an AC Ace-Bristol with its D-2 motor upgraded to S specification, for the equivalent of around seven thousand quid. Over the years I did some work and put into it roughly thirty thousand pounds, and sold it for over four times that much in 2014. Yes, there had been inflation during those years, but it still was a decent investment. Given how much more AC Ace-Bristols have been going up since I sold mine, I regret the sale. The buyer thus got a good deal too.

      I bought an E Type OTS in mid 2017 and have been doing some tinkering with it as well. My extensive hours of labour have turned it now into a veritable close-to-new unrestored car. Most people find it hard to believe that the paint is original (with five per-cent invisible retouching), and has never had a speck of rust or as much as a parking lot ding. I have brought the mildly faded but tear-free original leather interior back to its supple and elegant erstwhile glory. The E Type is now worth a good 30 per-cent more than what I paid for it. I have only spent a bit of money on small things such as Lucas PL-700 tri-pod headlamps and a new old stock quarter tonneau. I recommend the hobby if you are passionate about particular cars. Just make sure you know what you are doing and not poking about in the dark.

      There is a trend – very much appreciated by me personally, to value original, un-restored cars. Many restorations are actually a rebuild leaving not many traces of the history of the car – comparable to completely tearing down an old building and re-building it from scratch, but only re-using the stones that seem pretty enough.

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