- Techno Classica 2003
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Techno Classica 2003 -

Techno Classica

in Essen,
April 10 - 13th, 2003
Techno Classica Essen Germany 2003

Since 1989, Essen, Germany is hosting the largest German classic car show - the annual Techno Classica. This year for the 15th time, it was the place to find the rarest of the German and European produced automobiles. The car clubs and friends of the marques as well as the manufacturers presented several unique and rarely seen examples of post war developments. Several of the - in the US - lesser known marques, brands and models, like OPEL, Skoda or Simca were among the close to 2000 automobiles on display.

Techno Classica 2003 - 1958 Opel Kapitän
1958 Opel Kapitän with 2.5 litre 6-cylinder engine and 80 hp.

After successfully producing sewing machines and bicycles in the mid 19th century, Opel manufactured the first automobile in 1899 - a 1-cylinder three-seater with 3 1/2 hp, a volume of 1.5 litre and a maximum speed of 20 K/mh. In the early 20th century, the company expanded the line of production to motorbikes as well as trucks and delivery vehicles. The Opel Doktorwagen from 1909 was one of the first mass-produced German automobiles - more than 2500 units were sold in the first 2 years alone. More bestselling and innovative models were to follow. A 1913 race car combined - as a first - 4-valve technic and a overhead camshaft. In 1914 Opel is the largest German automobile manufacturer with a yearly production of over 3,500 vehicles and more than 20 different models.

The necessities of WWI cause a expansion of the truck production and by 1918 Opel holds the number one position with a total of close to 4,500 produced. The years after the war saw the type 18/50, the first Opel six-cylinder of 4.7 litre volume. But reduced demand for automobiles requires the company to change the line of production again and focus on the more affordable motor bikes. In 1924, Opel adopts the assembly line and starts producing the Laubfrosch - or leap frog -, a mostly light green painted two-seater, which would become the first German automobile to be produced in more than 100,000 units. In 1928 - as the top-of-the-line model - the Regent with 8-cylinders and 110 hp is introduced - at a price of more than 20,000 Reichsmark, the equivalent of a Mercedes-Benz Nürburg 500! In 1929, General Motors purchased the majority of the shares and influenced the future appearance of Opel automobiles. The styling would became americanized and even engines of american origin would be used for some models. By 1936, Opel is the largest automobile manufacturer in Europe and produces it's 1-millionth vehicle in 1940.

Techno Classica 2003 - Opel Motorcycle
                1930 Opel " Stehermachine " or "upright" - a pace bike
                for indoor bicycle races with 4 cylinders, 2 litre engine
                volume and 35 hp.

Skoda Monte Carlo

In 1924 Skoda started the production of automobiles by building Hispano-Suiza designs under licence at Plzen in Czechoslovakia. During the Thirties, several bestselling models were created - like the Popular and the Rapid. In 1936, a Skoda Popular Sport accomplished a surprising second place at the Rallye Monte Carlo. The same year, a special model commemorating the success - the Monte Carlo - was built in a limited production of only 72 units.

Techno Classica 2003 - Skoda Monte Carlo Type 909
1936 Skoda Popular Sport ' Monte Carlo ' Type 909.
Techno Classica 2003 - Skoda Mont Carlo

Techno Classica 2003 - BMW 502 Cabriolet
The BMW 502 was the first German production V8 after the war.
1955 BMW 502 Cabriolet
with coachwork by Baur

BMW created one of the most unusual and stunningly beautiful designs in the Fifties - the BMW 501 / 502. But the attempt, to offer a model in the luxury segment brought the Bayerische Motoren Werke close to bankruptcy. A very limited number of 501 / 502 were converted into coupes or convertibles - mostly by coachbuilders like Autenrieth, Baur, Beutler or Wendler. The V8 light alloy engine of 2.6 litre volume was later used for the 507 Roadster in a refined version. In the final version - as 3200 S in 1961 - the Barockengel became Germany's fastest production sedan.

1929 Mercedes-Benz 630 K
with coachwork by Erdmann & Rossi

Originally owned by actor Emil Jannings - who played in movie classics like Der blaue Engel with Marlene Dietrich - this 630 K is a 50,000 Km automobile from new in original and un-restored condition.

Even so the denomination suggests more - the 630 Kompressor is only a 6-cylinder. Designed by Ferdinand Porsche during his years at Daimler-Benz, it delivered in the early version 100 hp un-blown and 140 hp with the Roots-type charger engaged. An improved version even delivered 110 hp and 160 hp respective - sufficient to accelerate the K models up to 90 or even 100 mph.

Techno Classica 2003 - Mercedes-Benz 630 K Erdmann & Rossi ex- Emil Jannings

You can find our reports of other Techno Classica shows here:

Techno Classica 2006

To be continued...

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