After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, the great French classic car gathering Retromobile returned to the Parc de Versailles in Paris for another terrific show.
“Finally, we can celebrate together this 46th edition of Retromobile and the opening after two years of absence of one of the most beautiful car shows in the world,” said exhibition director Jean-Sebastian Guichaoua. “The passion has never disappeared, far from it. We are happy to see again the car dealers, the car restorers (saddlers, mechanics, manufacturers), the auctions, the miniatures, the components, the car event organisers… Retromobile is an invitation to travel back in time, to the heart of our rolling heritage.”
The show was down to two halls instead of the last show’s three, while the Parc des expositions de Versailles, the same place that hosts the Paris motor show, has eight halls total.
But both halls were packed, with everything from a celebration of French police cars to the race cars of Amedee Gordini, to the 50th anniversaire of the Renault 5, known to us as Le Car. Click through the gallerie—it’s just like you were there in person!
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Gordini is now a division of Renault Sport Technologies, but was started in 1946 by Amedee Gordini and made some fast and interesting cars. He was so good that he became known as The Sorcerer. At left is a 1939 Gordini Barquette Simca 8. With its 4-cylinder engine, the 1939 Simca 8 Gordini finished first in the 1939 Le Mans 24 Hours in the 1100cc class.
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This is a 1953 Gordini 37 S type 24 S. Powered by an 8-cylinder engine and equipped with disc brakes, chassis 37 was first used by the Gordini team in the 1000 kms of Buenos Aires. It was then sold to the Italian Franco Bordoni, who entered the car in the Mille Miglia. Later that year he won the Trullo d’Oro and the Grand Prix of Pergusa. The car made its last appearance in the 1955 Targa Florio.
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Collector car broker Kidston had a lovely exhibit of McLaren F1s.
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At Retromobile, they start ’em young.
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The show also paid tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Renault 5, known to us in the U.S. as the Renault Le Car. Note the headlights.
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Ten years after bringing out the 4L, the ‘diamond brand’ Renault evolved with the launch of the R5, “an elegant and versatile city car.”
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When it hit the streets early in 1972, the Renault 5 carried the automobile into the modern era, or so say its proponents…
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This R5 may have been inspired by Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album.
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Wikipedia says the Renault 5 became the best-selling car in France from 1972 to 1986, with a total production exceeding 5.5 million over a 14-year period, making it France’s most popular car.
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The Renault 5 Alpine version was raced in Group 2, Wikipedia says. In the 1978 Rally Monte Carlo, Renault 5 Alpines came second and third overall, despite a powerful team entry from Fiat and Lancia.
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There were two generations: 1972–1985 (also called R5) and 1984–1996 (also called Super 5 or Supercinq). The R5 was marketed in the US and Canada as the Le Car, from 1976 to 1983.
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This Renault 5 EV concept debuted at IAA Mobility 2021
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It says, “I am the electric R5.”
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On the far opposite end of curb weight, the Musée des Blindés de Saumur has one of the world’s largest collections of armoured vehicles from the First World War to the present day. It brought several of them to Retromobile.
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Another tank from the Musée des Blindés de Saumur. The 1979 AMX 10 PAC 90 tank gave a live driving demonstration. In its era, this high-performance French armoured vehicle was equipped with a formidable high-speed anti-tank gun that fired hollow charge projectiles at a speed of 1,000 meters per second. Visitors to Retromobile were invited to watch this tank start up and maneuver, but it did not fire any shells.
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The Berliet Foundation, which brought a huge truck to Retromobile several years ago, celebrated its 40th anniversary by honouring the Lyon automobile industry with a rare Rochet-Schneider 18400 series.
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They have “Wheeler Dealers” in France!
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The shirt says, “I Love Old Cars.” Or maybe it’s “I Love Old Things.” Hey, I got a D in French.
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Since you missed Retromobile this year, consider Automedon, Oct. 8-9 at the same location.
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Retromobile 2022 by Artcurial Motorcars was a big deal, with almost 400 lots, any one of which you would have wanted to buy.
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The Artcurial auction did not feature this Bugatti Type 35… nor this miniature Mercedes, but it did offer almost 400 cars you’d love to own.
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This 1968 Porsche 907 hammered for $4,872,971 at Artcurial’s Retromobile auction.
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Toyota showed off a TS 050 Hybrid that raced at Le Mans.
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Little slot cars were a big deal at Retromobile.
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