Posted (12/07/2007) -
Essen, Germany, is celebrating the 40th Edition of it's Motor Show this year. In 1968 Jochen Rindt started the First Racing and Sportscar Show at the Gruga Messecenter at Essen. For the first edition 57.000 paying visitors went through the gates. Nowadays the Show has expanded to more than 400.000 visitors annually. Though it is still one of the greatest Racing Shows in the World, manufacturer's interest has been dropped dramatically in the past few years for budgettarry reasons. This year the V.A.G. Group and Ford contributed to the main platform in fact. The majority of the stands has been filled with local tuning companies like Brabus, Elia, Lexmaul etc.
Audi confirmed at a pressconference last Friday that they intend to do a monster programme in 2008. Their main priority will be DTM and the ALMS and LMES series. Though Dr. Ulrich warned that their interest for the ALMS and LMES depended on the TV- and rule packages. Lucas Luhr will return to the ALMS-series at his own request Audi stated. "After Laguna Seca last year, my heart still lies more at the sportscars." Lucas added
Special attention was being paid to 40 years of Motorsports. Alongside the Lotus 49 Cosworth DFV from Jim Clark, you could find an original Lotus 72 in original condition from the early 70''s with which Jochen Rindt raced. Also the fabulous Capri and BMW 3,5 CSL Batmobile were on display. Not to mention Al Unser's Indy-winning Penske-Mercedes from 1994.
There were some small novelties like the Nürburgring Astra Opel OPC edition from 835 examples will be built in the forthcoming months. Zakspeed revealed teh Superstars Chrysler 300C. This car could be entered in the Italian Superstars series. There will also be a 772 SLR-series for members of the 722 Club. But details about this project have been very sparse in recent weeks in fact.
Though a visit to Essen is always worthwhile, then as fan you have also the opportunity to buy books, scale models and memorablia.