Where better to conduct a duel between automobile opponents than on a racetrack? Mercedes-Benz vs. BMW is one of a number of classic pairings in the Deutsche Tourenwagen-Meisterschaft (DTM). The championship is a favourite with spectators and regularly rekindles old rivalries between fans. Two of the dominant cars in the DTM were the evolution models Mercedes-Benz 190 E and BMW M3. “For lots of motor sports enthusiasts, these are the superheroes only rarely seen today. At the Bremen Classic Motorshow 2020, from Friday, 31 January to Sunday, 2 February, two of the original race cars will face off against each other once again,” says Frank Ruge, Project Manager at Messe Bremen.
Currently, 17 of the 150 members of the Klut-Blech-Szene club are busy building an appropriate arena for this meeting of rivals. The group has fitted out a temporary workshop in a former car dealership in Emsland. “We’re putting together a supersize Carrera track for the two racing cars, which will cover almost 100 square metres in Hall 4. That’s why we need a really big space,” says Bernd Ramler. Ramler, the club’s Vice Chairman, was responsible until the mid-1990s for drive development in the racing segment, first at Mercedes-Benz, then at AMG. “While the series engines came with 230 hp, the racing cars in the 1992/93 season packed a punch of 370 hp. Depending on the track and rear axle, speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour were possible – both for Mercedes-Benz and for BMW”, says the engineer.
The models in the Young Generation sales mart in Hall 6 also impress with plenty of power under the bonnet. Ten in some cases high-performance cars from the 1980s and 1990s will be on sale there. In contrast, the Young Classics in the adjacent area are largely in original condition and have a low mileage on the clock. A leasing company from Essen is supporting the trade fair organisers with the design of the area. “We see a lot of potential in this format. First-time buyers today are looking for cars like the BMW M3, Audi RS2 or a rally Golf”, says Marcus Keller, Head of the Classic Cars Division. “In other words, models they idolised as kids and youngsters.”
One owner who has loaned a vehicle to the two-wheeler special show reports that one thing was most important to him when he shopped for a scooter after passing his driving test in 2011: speed. “The advantage of the Simson models was that you could roar away from all the others at a top speed of 60 km/h. That’s what made me buy a 1976 matt-black Swallow”, says Martin Klein. Countless breakdowns fired the repair ambition of Martin Klein, who was then a schoolkid. Now his YouTube tutorials show his followers how to carry out their own repairs. The channel generates hundreds of thousands of clicks.
Today, fans from all over the world write to him, which inspired him to travel to Vietnam on his Swallow. Klein took six months in 2019 for the trip on his 1986 KR 51/2. “In Georgia, we disassembled the Swallow and packed it in boxes on two hand trucks for transport on the Trans-Siberian Railway”, says the former Geography student. Together with members of the Hanoi Simson Club, he reassembled the scooter and later took it apart again for the return flight. His “Vietnam Swallow” is one of more than 20 exhibits in Hall 1 that reflect 70 years of scooter culture in Germany.
More rarities on two wheels are on show in the foyer of Hall 1. The special show “Collectors’ Dream Racing Bikes from the 70s and 80s” presents eight racing bikes. The exhibits include a 1986 Cinelli Laser and a 1987/88 titanium racer from Passoni. They come from the collection of the bike enthusiast Wolfgang Hagemann. “Each of the 300 Cinellis was hand made, so no two Lasers are the same.” This is how Hagemann sums up the special attraction of the design icons from the 80s and the exclusivity of the show.
The Bremen Classic Motorshow will take place from Friday, 31 January to Sunday, 2 February 2020 in all Halls of the Messe Bremen exhibition grounds as well as the mobile Hall 8. The halls are open from 9 am to 6 pm. The regular ticket price is EUR 16.
For more details: www.classicmotorshow.de
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