Two and two make four – so says the logic of maths. “But when it comes to cars, there’s a seating arrangement that means one thing alone: the fascinating Gran Turismo vehicle class – and the lifestyle that went with it,” explains Frank Ruge, Project Manager of the Bremen Clas-sic Motorshow, which opens the 2018 classic car season and runs from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 February at the Bremen Fair. The unrivalled speed and high-class style of the 2+2 seater of gran turismo culture – a dream car for an entire generation from the 1950s to the 1970s – is the focus of this year’s special exhibition, “Gran Turismo 2+2: Jet Set on the Road”.
Western Europe, ten years after the end of World War II. Everywhere you looked, new, wide highways that were still empty stretched into the distance, sparking a longing for new horizons. Only a long journey in your own car could satisfy that longing. This ambition gave rise to its own genre: designed to be solid but racy, with a powerful engine and tastefully fitted out – and featuring a makeshift back seat, which all pointed to togetherness. The concept was simple: to be as comfortable as a saloon car, but faster than a robust, roaring sports car. The generic term Gran Turismo originated in Italy – and Lancia’s Aurelia coupé was the first of its kind. 1953 saw the elegant hatchback tourer feature the letters GT in its name for the first time, and reach 118 hp. That resulted in speeds of 185 km/h. The Porsche 356/1500 Super, the fastest German production car at the time, ran out of steam at just 175.
But the Aurelia GT was just the start. Around 1960, manufacturers of high-class Gran Turismo cars began competing for the title of the fastest car. 250, 270, 280 kmph – ever faster top speeds had car-mad youngsters dreaming of the best models, and peering in at a car’s speedo became a popular sport. At the same time, debate was raging over whether the 350 to 400 hp they were now reaching should break out of the cast-iron capacity of the US eight cylinder – or the fantastic speeds of the sophisticated four-camshaft works of art from northern Italy.
But, no sooner had the Gran Turismo culture peaked than it began to die out. This was not due to the exorbitant, oil crisis-fuelled petrol prices after 1973. Rather, a change in society’s views condemned the once admired Dolce Vita as contemptible decadence. While Maserati and Ferrari drivers switched over to less prominent, high-performance four-door vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.9, which reflected this new modesty, the abbreviation GT be-came surprisingly democratic. It appeared first in the name of the VW Golf GTI, and ultimately in the name of countless small cars with rev counters instead of hubcaps. This sealed the fate of the once fascinating aura of the outrageously expensive, high-speed coupé. What remains is a romantic memory of an era when your best time between Hamburg and Munich still held genuine, guilt-free fascination.
The Bremen Classic Motorshow revives this fascination with its traditional special exhibition. Its live experience includes ten exhibits of classic Gran Turismo dream cars, like the Lancia Aurelia GT – plus some only known to a few life-long admirers from the card game ‘car top trumps’. For example, the 7.2 L Boliden Monteverdi High Speed 375 L from Switzerland. Or the … Stop! That would spoil the surprise… See you on 2 February 2018, when the next Bre-men Classic Motorshow opens its doors. This isn’t just the start of the new, 2018 classic car season. It is its first real highlight.
More info at: www.classicmotorshow.de
Please add us to your events calendar:
Bremen Classic Motorshow 2018
Friday 2 to Sunday 4 February 2018
Messe Bremen, Halls 1 to 8
Opening times: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Further information for editorial offices:
MESSE BREMEN/WFB Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH
Kristin Viezens, Phone 04 21 / 35 05 – 4 44, Fax 04 21 / 35 05 – 3 40
E-Mail: email@example.com Internet: www.messe-bremen.de