Market place Alastair Clements deals on wheels oddities dominate in Germany. Retro Classics in Stuttgart is fast establishing itself as a great place to find good-quality classics for sale and, with a major European auction house rumoured to be returning to the show next year, that reputation is only likely to grow.
This year’s event from 13-16 March was particularly notable for the number of automotive obscuri-ties with ‘for sale’ signs. Perhaps the most impressive was a rare ’64 Cheetah, with 350bhp and weighing just 720kg, on offer for € 135,000. Constructor Bill Thomas workshop burnt down after just 16 cars were built but there were lots of parts left over,” said vendor Peter Schleifer. “This ‘continuation’ car was built up 10 years ago using an original frame and was certified by Thomas. The frame dates from 1964 and the car was completed in 2005, using a new Chevy V8 engine and gearbox.”
Lovely 1300cc Moretti needed lots of work. Smart Alfa looked a good buy for €14,800. Near-500bhp/tonne Cheetah was €135k.
Among the other rarities was one of seven 1976 Lancia Beta Felber FFs by Michelotti, a completely original 1962 Moretti-Fiat in need of a full restoration, and a Porsche 356SC-based Dattwyler Poroto 1600 coupe. The latter featured a 904-style body and was priced at a heady €350,000.
Retro was further proof that the German Youngtimer passion is still growing. The figures being asked are getting ever higher, and the cars ever younger: this year we were amazed by the €9850 price- tag on a 1992 Saab 900 Turbo S that had already covered a fairly epic 211,700km, with other strong sums including just shy of €30k for an 11km Mini 40th Anniversary, €9990 for a 34,2 00km (albeit particularly clean) ’82 VW Golf L, and a bullish €26,500 for a tidy 1990 Mercedes 190E 2.5-16.
Bearing in mind this month’s cover story, we kept a lookout for Alfa Spiders and in general found them to be more reasonably priced than most: an apparently smart 2000 ‘Kammtail’ was unsurprisingly snapped up on the preview day for €14,800, while elsewhere a Giulia 101 (Giulietta-style) seemed cheap at a shade over €35,000 and we spied a couple of very tidy S4s for €12,900 and €17,900.