The famous Duden dictionary defines rivalry as „the struggle to take the lead, competition“. But what do innocent motor vehicles have to do with these very human efforts? They are much, much more than simple modes of transport! As the public face of contemporary competitors, they were made out to be acrimonious adversaries. „In other words, it was the rivalry between Ford Capri and Opel Manta fans that turned the Ford Capri and the Opel Manta into rivals themselves,“ says Frank Ruge, Project Manager at Messe Bremen. From Friday 31 January to Sunday 2 February 2020, these legendary coupés will be back, side by side, along with another six famous pairs of classic rivals from automobile history. Where? At the Bremen Classic Motorshow, the first classic car show of the year – as part of the traditional special exhibition of course, which this year is entitled „Rivals!“.
Manta versus Capri: the sparring between these two shaped the world of the 1970s automobile like no others. The rivalry between these brands was actually long-established, as the special exhibition shows through the Opel Rekord P2 and the Ford „bath tub“ Taunus 17 M. But the battle reached its peak between the family coupés, posing in fast and fashionable sportswear. „Because buyers were choosing with their hearts, not the their heads,“ explains Frank Ruge. It’s simple really: the more emotion a car model inspires, the greater its competitive potential. Emotion can be aroused in many ways, through ingenious technology or superior performance, for example. Or – just look at the Manta and the Capri – by exciting design.
And the people who turn these peaceable cars into rivals are even more diverse, from CEOs and engineers to copywriters, retailers and buyers. Above all, they are admirers of all ages, for whom that beloved bodywork remains an everlasting dream – from the nursery wall to the table in the old folks‘ club. During the era of the economic miracle, the luxury roadsters Mercedes-Benz 300 SL and BMW 507 were regarded as era-defining dream cars. A full decade later, around 1970, Italian super sports cars like the Ferrari Daytona and the Lamborghini Miura took pole position on the walls in the typical German basement party rooms. And in the late 1980s, the high-tech engineering marvels that were the Porsche 959 and the Spartan Ferrari F40 fought for first place as poster motifs. It’s an honour for the Bremen Classic Motorshow to showcase these historic duels.
At the other extreme, rivals include down-to-earth economy cars like the VW Beetle and the DKW Junior. Four-stroke, air-cooled, rear-wheel drive versus two-stroke, water-cooled, front-wheel drive: a design battle fought by the converts to these cars with almost religious zeal, some 60 years ago. Just like the devotees of the Opel Kadett GT/E and the VW Golf GTI did much later. These social battles boil down to another simple equation: the more enthusiastic the fans of one car type are, the more passionate its opponents become. Visitors to the 2020 Bremen Classic Motorshow can look forward to a rendezvous with their favourite classics, and even more to a reunion with their old rivals.
The Bremen Classic Motorshow runs from Friday 31 January to Sunday 2 February 2020 in all halls at Bremen Messe, plus the Hall 8 modular unit. The halls are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. A day pass costs 16 Euros.
More info at www.classicmotorshow.de
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