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Mercedes-Benz W 25


in Paris,
February 9-18th, 2001
Retromobile 2001

The 26th RÉTROMOBILE honoured Mercedes, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the marque. Many rare automobiles, some one-of-a-kind and rarely seen before, have been on display. Many booths have been created by the different clubs and friends of the marques commemorated. The RÉTROMOBILE 2001 had well over 200 exhibitors, offering cars and parts, books and literature as well as miniatures and services.

(please click on the images for larger versions)

1927 Mercedes 630 K
1927 Mercedes 630 K (Kompressor)
with a 6-cylinder supercharged engine.

1907 Mercedes Simplex 37/70
1907 Mercedes Simplex 37/70 with a 6-cylinder engine.

Although Karl Benz built his first 'automobile' the Patent-Motorwagen in 1886 and Gottlieb Daimler produced vehicles since 1889 - the marque of Mercedes has not been introduced before 1901. Named after Mercédès Jellinek, daughter of Emil Jellinek, the Austro-Hungarian Consul-General at Nice and agent for Daimler automobiles, it became a synonym of prestige, power, quality and elegance.

1908 Benz Grand Prix Racing Car
This is one of three produced 1908 Benz Grand Prix Racing Cars with a 4-cylinder engine.
1939 Mercedes-Benz 320 Streamline
1939 Mercedes-Benz 320 Streamline,
featuring a 6-cylinder engine .

In 1926, after the merger of Benz und Cie and Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft into the Daimler-Benz Aktiengesellschaft, the marque evolved into Mercedes-Benz. At that point the company build already the first K (Kompressor)-models with supercharged engines. Chief designer since 1923 was Ferdinand Porsche, who succeeded Paul Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in this position.

1934 Mercedes-Benz W25
1934 Mercedes-Benz W25 Grand Prix Racecar,
with an 8-cylinder engine supercharged by 2 Roots-compressor.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS
A recreation of the
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS Prototype,
which would later lead to the 300 SL Roadster.

In the thirties, Mercedes-Benz saw the probably most successful decade in racing. The Grand Prix racecars W25 and later the W125 won most of the major races during the years of 1934-39. Drivers like Rudolf Caracciola and Manfred von Brauchitsch took Mercedes from victory to victory.

The booth of the Alfa Romeo Club

displayed two extremely rare examples of the marque

1952 Alfa Romeo Disco Volante 1900 Spider
This is one of two
1952 Alfa Romeo Disco Volante 1900 Spider.
1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B Aerodinamica
This is the only 1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B Aerodinamica,
and the winner of the '34 Grand Prix at the Avus in Berlin
with driver Guy Moll.

Porsche Abarth Carrera
1961 Porsche Abarth Carrera

Carlo Abarth's variation of the Porsche 356 Carrera, with another increase in horsepower of up to 135 hp. Approximately 18 Abarth Carrera have been produced in '60/61, sometimes showing tremendous differences in the bodywork.

Since the RÉTROMOBILE is a French institution, the majority of the cars shown are naturally of French origin...

(please click on the images for larger versions)

1922 Bugatti Type 29/30
1922 Bugatti Type 29/30 1922 Bugatti Type 29/30

This is the only remaining example of the Bugatti 'Grand Prix de Strasbourg'. It had the first Bugatti production 8-cylinder engine, Type 30, and was also the first Bugatti Grand Prix racecar. Out of 1991 ccm volume, the inline engine generated 100 hp - for a top speed of 170 Km/h (100 mph).

Hispano-Suiza Type Alphonse XIII
1910 Hispano-Suiza Type Alphonse XIII
4-cylinder, 45 hp out of 3.6 litre.

Named after the spanish King Alfonso XIII, who was a big supporter of this spanish-french marque. He would later call 30 Hispano-Suiza his own and help build the prestige of the marque among the european royalty.

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Bucciali TAV 12 Saoutchik
Bucciali TAV 12 Saoutchik Bucciali TAV 12 Saoutchik

The brothers Bucciali produced several remarkable and advanced automobiles between 1922 and 1933. Creating sensations with a front wheel drive eight-cylinder automobile with automatic gearbox in 1928 and a 16-cylinder (two eight-cylinder inline engines mounted side by side) with front wheel drive in 1930, just a very small number of cars have been produced and sold. The Bucialli pictured is a model TAV 12, featuring a 12-cylinder Voison engine and front wheel drive. The body was ceated by Saoutchik.

The booth of the Dynamic CL Panhard
commemorating the successes of the Panhard PL 17 during the endurances of the Rallye Monte Carlo.
Panhard PL 17

Deutsch Bonnet Deutsch Bonnet

D B - does not stand for Daimler-Benz, but for Charles Deutsch and René Bonnet, who produced race- and sportscars from 1938 to 1961.

Berliet 11 CV Type Dauphine
1936 Berliet 11 CV Type Dauphine
4-cylinder with overhead cam, 2.0 litre, 4 speed transmission, independent front suspension

Marius Berliet build automobiles since 1895. Today, Berliet is owned by Citroën and produces solely commercial vehicles. The model pictured - the Dauphine - was the last automobile introduced by Berliet. After the war, the production of passenger cars has not been continued.

Matra MS 670 C Sport Prototype
V12 engine, 3.0 litre, Weight 660 kg, max speed 320 Km/h (200 mph)

This is one of the two racecars, which participated in the last race of the Matra-stable. It also won most of the competitions in 1974, earning Matra the title of 'World Champion of Constructors'.

Matra 670 C Sport Prototype

 1935 Renault Viva Grand Sport
The Renault booth

Pictured on the left is a 1935 Renault Viva Grand Sport with a 6-cylinder engine. The Viva was also available as a saloon and a coupé.

Pictured on the bottom is the 1959 Prototype Renault 900. Placing the front passengers above the axle did not increase their feeling of security. Limited trunk space and a difficult access to the rear mounted engine added to the problems, preventing this study from becoming a reality.

1959 Renault Type 900 1959 Renault Type 900

1935 Peugeot 401 D Eclipse Electrique
1935 Peugeot 401 D Eclipse Electrique 1935 Peugeot 401 D Eclipse Electrique

This Peugeot featured a electrically powered, retractable hardtop - similar to the Ford Skyliner of the fifties. 79 Eclipse have been produced.

Year after year, the RÉTROMOBILE proves, it is among the premier classic car events in the world. Thanks to the engagement of many French car clubs, every show has it's surprises, and one can see automobiles rarely found anywhere else. We are looking forward to the next show, which will be held in February of 2002.

You can find our reports of other RÉTROMOBILE shows here:






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