The Gran Turismo Culture of Touring Coupés

Bremen Classic Motorshow opens classic car season 2018

Under the title “Gran Turismo 2+2: Jet Set on the Road”, the Bremen Classic Motorshow kicks off the 2018 season from 2 to 4 February with a presentation of luxury, unbeatably fast touring coupés that embody the gran turismo culture. They were the dream cars of an entire generation from the 1950s right through to the 1970s.

Western Europe, ten years after the end of the Second World War. Everywhere, wide and still-empty motorways were being built that inspired a yearning for new horizons. This dream could become reality with a grand tour in your own car. The cars developed for this purpose evolved into their own genre: hard-topped, racy design, powerful engines, luxury features – and with meagre rear seats that made it clear these were cars designed primarily for two. As comfortable as a saloon, but faster than a hard, noisy racing car. That was the simple concept. The term gran turismo was coined in Italy – and the Aurelia coupé from Lancia was the grandfather of the new species. In 1953, the power of the elegant hatchback touring car, which was the first to have the abbreviation GT in its name, was boosted to 118 hp. That enabled it to achieve a speed of 185 km/h. In comparison, a Porsche 356/1500 Super, the fastest German series-produced model at that time, reached its limit at 175 km/h.

Yet the Aurelia GT was just the start. By around 1960, luxury gran turismo manufacturers were locked in a competition to produce the most prestigious, fastest GT car. 250, 270, 280 km/h – a continuous stream of new records defined the hierarchy of automotive dreams for car enthusiasts.
Now, the Bremen Classic Motorshow reawakens some of this fascination with its traditional special display. Visitors can admire at first hand ten classic gran turismo dream cars such as the Lancia Aurelia GT – and above all models some long-time admirers only know from the card game Autoquartett. Included here are a 7.2-litre Monteverdi High Speed 375 L from Switzerland, a Glas V8, a Facel Vega Facel II or a … But stop! We don’t want to reveal any more. So, once again the Bremen Classic Motorshow is not only the start of the new classic car season, but also its first highlight!

The Gran Turismo Culture of Touring Coupés