The second episode of our trade show tour this year takes us to Techno Classica in Essen. Every year since 1989, the who is who of the classic car world meets here. Techno Classica thus marks the traditional start of the season in Germany. At this year’s edition, surprisingly, not a single manufacturer was represented with its own stand. But – I can spoiler this here – that wasn’t really a bad thing.
Contrary to the often proclaimed swan song of car shows, Techno Classica was well attended, sometimes even crowded. Sure, in the past it was also sometimes even more populated, but also 2022’s edition attracted young and old without a doubt. Instead of pompous manufacturer appearances, there were large stands of Mercedes specialists, the design studio Zagato or the auction house RM Sotheby’s. In addition, many clubs held up the flags of their favorite manufacturers. More than 150,000 visitors from 46 nations were counted by the organizer. They were able to admire a total of 2,700 cars, 1,800 of which were for sale.
But we Porsche fans also got our money’s worth in Essen. Our partners Early 911S & Dr. Georg Konradsheim did not let themselves down by any means and exhibited so many top-class vehicles that one soon became dizzy. From 356 Speedster to 911 Carrera RS 2.7, 964 Carrera RS or 993 Turbo and 996.2 GT3 no wishes remained open. The color variety alone was phenomenal. “Blue and green are currently most in demand,” knows Manfred Hering from Early 911S. There were three Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7s alone on Dr. Georg Konradsheim’s stand, but the Gulf Orange RS 2.7 stood out from them once again. “This car was in one hand for over 45 years,” reported Tobias Schwarz.
We may well be spoiled by other trade shows, such as the Salon Retromobile. But even at the Techno Classica there have been more racing cars. There were Porsche 917s, 956s, and 935s in the halls, as well as a retired Cup Porsche here and there, but that was it – at least for Porsche fans. Of course, we won’t hide the fact that three retired Formula 1 racers and a few touring cars also found their way to Essen, but we had hoped for a little more.
To be honest, however, Techno Classica has always been more of a sales fair for classic cars. And in the course of the day, more and more “already sold” signs could be found in the windshields. Reading material and spare parts were also available in great quantities. For example, if you want to buy the lost manual of your Porsche 928 S, or add a Blaupunkt Radio Hamburg manual to your documentation, you are in good hands here.
From the circle of restomodders/backdaters, only Das Triebwerk showed up at Techno Classica. On the other hand, interest in the vehicles and parts from Schwelm was high. The visitors were particularly taken with the exhaust and individual throttle valve systems developed in-house. Christian Wilms was struggling a bit with his voice after three days at the show. In addition to the beautiful dtw F350 Backdate based on the Porsche 964, Stephan Rohleder’s team had a special treat in store. There was a Porsche 906 in restoration to admire at the booth.
From this point of view, there was little news for the absolute insiders at the 2022 edition of Techno Classica in Essen. What is very interesting, however, is the difference in cultures. This is expressed not so much in the conversations with the exhibitors, but rather in the condition of the vehicles. At the German car show, the (visual) condition of the vehicles on display was much more polished than at the French counterpart.
The number of vehicles on display across the entire show was almost identical to that of the last edition in 2019. Despite covid, an average of 30,000 visitors per day flocked to Techno Classica 2022, with demand for classic Porsche sports cars continuing unabated despite the political climate. Exciting colors are particularly in demand. Blue, red, yellow, orange, the flashier the better. This trend is also seen in new vehicles. That’s why Porsche is offering a lot more color choice with its Paint to Sample program today.
The next fixed point in the car show calendar is Retro Classics in Stuttgart. The who “for driving culture” opens on 21.04.2022 and goes until 24.04.2022. Who would rather come to the next edition of the Techno Classica, can also pull out calendars. Unusually late, from 12 to 16.04.2023, the classic car fair will take place in Essen.