The Salon Retromobile 2016 was held 3-7 February at the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Center in Paris, France. Speed and racing are always one of the main themes at the Retromobile exposition and the 41th edition of the Parisian classic car event put even more accent on these two areas.
One of main attraction was the display of three Pre-World War I monsters from the record books. The Napier Gordon Bennett from 1903 is the oldest surviving British racing car, while 110 years ago the Darracq V8 with 200 hp reached a new record of speed with 197 km/h. But literally the biggest hit was the Fiat S76, from 1911. Nicknamed the “Beast of Turin” this metal monument with a 28.5-liter, 300-hp engine was designed specifically to beat the land speed record held at the time by the Blitzen Benz. The car once reached more than 210 km/h, finally beating the Benz, but the achievement wasn’t officially acknowledged as new record.
Two other speed record cars were on display at the biggest manufacturer stand of the show. Renault celebrated 115 years of sporting passion at the Retromobile by exhibiting 17 vehicles illustrating the diversity of the brand’s commitment to motor racing. Among them the visitors could have admired the Renault Étoile Filante (Shooting Star), which 60 years ago reached the world record for turbine engine cars with 307.4 km/h, and the 40 CV, 90 years ago this brute looking vehicle smashed the 24-hour record by covering 4167.57 km at an average speed of 173.6 km/h. The French manufacturer presented heroes of the Formula 1 circuits as well, including Alain Prost’s car from 1983 and the World Champion from 2006.
Tthere were race cars of historical importance on other stands, such as Niki Lauda’s 1975 World Champion Ferrari, Nigel Mansell’s 1982 Lotus and the Benetton Michael Schumacher won his first race with in 1992. The 2016 Salon Retromobile was not short of Le Mans 24 hours race winners either, as there was there the 1973 Matra-Simca, the 1978 Alpine Renault, and the 1989 Jaguar champion.
Half of the cars featured at the special exhibition dedicated to a female collector were race cars too. The collection of the lady identified only as “Julia”, who also competes in historic racing, included a number of cars raced or owned by famous females in period, such as the ex-Patsy Burt McLaren M3A and the Frazer Nash Le Mans Coupe originally owned by Kitty Maurice.
Automobilism is not only about speed, but design too, and among others the exhibition featuring the works of the innovative industrial designer Philippe Charbonneaux reminded the visitors of this. A special exhibition featured the so-called rhomboid cars. Among the five vehicles — the only ones of their kind in the world with their wheels positioned in a lozenge configuration — maybe the 1960 Pinin Farina FPX captured most of the attention.
Similar to 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, Sports Car Digest also documented Salon Retromobile 2016, with photographer Csaba Kiss offering the following images from Paris. We split up Csaba’s pictures into two galleries. The first gallery starting below features our favorite images, all displayed in the full-width view of Sports Car Digest, while the second gallery can be found on the last page of the article and gives a comprehensive view of all the photographs.
Salon Retromobile 2016 – Featured Photo Gallery
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