The biggest in the Benelux
Traditionally held early in January, the Interclassics Maastricht is the largest show of its kind in the Benelux area (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg). Conveniently located near the border of both Belgium and Germany, the Dutch event boasts an international group of exhibitors ranging from dealers to specialist clubs and vendors of all sorts. The 24th edition of the show attracted a total of 280 exhibitors, covering the 35,000 m2 of floorspace available in the MECC Maastricht exhibition centre. Among them was auctioneer Coys, while there were also special displays to honour Facel Vega and celebrate Ferrari's 70th anniversary. The four-day event kicked off with an exclusive preview on Thursday that was open to the public but at a slightly high rate.
As always, we were on hand and have returned with a 100-shot gallery
that features all of this year's highlights.
At the 2017 Interclassics Maastricht a special display was reserved for the Amicale Facel Holland to fill. This remarkably large club has taken great care in preserving the legacy of the cars built by Jean Daninos from the early 1950s. For this year's show they brought together ten great examples of the French marque. Among them was an early FV1, which was similar to the original Facel Vega introduced at the 1954 Paris Auto Salon. Like all of the early models, it was powered by an American V8 engine but as sales dwindled, Daninos later fitted more frugal six- and four-cylinder engines in his cars. All of these different models were represented in Maastricht, including one of the rare four-door Excellence Facel Vegas.
70 Years of Ferrari
A set fixture at many events this year will undoubtedly be the celebration of Ferrari's 70th anniversary. The Interclassics show provided a fine kick-off with a stunning collection of Ferraris brought together by the Dutch Ferrari Club. One of the absolute stars was the early 250 GT SWB that took centre stage on one of the two displays. Built to competition specifications, it was actually never raced in period. The rare SWB has been Dutch hands since the late 1990s but has only been displayed at select events. Rarer still was the one-off 500 Superfast Speciale, brought by the fantastic Louwman Museum. This unique machine was built for the Dutch Prince Bernhard, who was a loyal customer and a friend of Enzo Ferrrari. It is fitted with a four-litre V12 instead of the five-litre fitted to the 'regular' production Superfasts. Elsewhere, one of the Prince's later Ferraris was also displayed. This was a 412 of the 1970s, finished in the same typical shade of green.
There were numerous other interesting machines on display at the MECC ranging from a Citroen DS Roadster with a cut-down windscreen to a Comet tank and a Lamborghini tractor. Our eye was caught in particular by the Alfa Romeo Tipo B displayed by Canadian/British auctioneer RM Sotheby's. One of the all-time great Grand Prix cars, this particular example will cross the block in Paris in February and as such offers a very rare opportunity to acquire an example of these iconic machines. Also on display was a Bizzarrini Europa 1900 GT. One of around a dozen built, it was exhibited on the same display as its bigger brother, the 5300 GT. It would have been even nicer to see the two machines side-by-side to really appreciate how nice the V8-engined machine had been scaled down to create the Europa.
During the four-day show, just over 25,000 visitors visited this year's Interclassics Maastricht show. This figure was down slightly compared to the previous years but this may well have been down to the weather conditions and more particularly the strong warnings to stay off the roads during the weekend. Those that did brave the weather were in for a treat, as can be seen in our 100-shot gallery