2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Historical vehicles generate annual sales that move several billion euros. Over 9000 companies across the EU earn money with it.
The Techno-Classica (until March 30th) in Essen is an exception among the trade fairs: This is not about factual information about the latest products, rather rather old sheet metal is the focus. In spite of this, or perhaps because of this, visitors wander through the corridors with shining eyes, classic car bodies are almost tenderly touched. Because even if the classic car hobby has now developed into a real business, it is also associated with a good helping of passion. Experts, however, advise youngsters among classic car fans in particular to remain objective if they are interested in buying. “You should leave your emotions at home,” says Jochen Strauch, managing director of the market monitoring company Classic Data in Castrop-Rauxel.
The love of vintage cars is often associated with the thought that someone happens to find a vehicle that is as dusty as it is worth preserving in the neighbour's chicken coop, then painstakingly prepares it so that it can ultimately be cherished as a technical museum piece. In reality, however, old sheet metal in the form of automobiles has become so popular that it has developed into a significant industry. In connection with Techno-Classica, Messe Essen announces that in Germany alone, annual sales of 4.6 billion euros are made in the area of historic vehicles. There are also more than 9,000 companies in the EU today, most of which derive their income from products and services related to classic cars.
More than 2500 classic cars
So it's no wonder that the “World Fair for Oldtimers, Youngtimers and Prestige Automobiles” is also reporting new record figures. According to the trade fair, more than 1000 suppliers from 26 countries will take part in the event in 2008. 2500 classic automobiles from all over the world can be seen. Then there are the suppliers of spare parts for the classics. In addition, 200 classic car clubs present their work and vehicles. More than 150,000 visitors are expected. According to the exhibitors, these visitors should not just look and be amazed. You should buy too. Because many of the vehicles and spare parts are not in the halls to win beauty prizes. They should profitably change hands. "The problem for interested parties is that they are literally inundated with purchase opportunities and information," says Jochen Strauch.
Experts therefore advise you to prepare for your visit to the trade fair in advance: This applies not only to dealing with your own emotions, but also to collecting information. "Especially for newcomers to the classic car scene, it is certainly a good tip to get in touch with a club in advance whose members are currently dealing with the desired vehicle type," advises Johann König, classic car specialist at the ADAC in Munich. In this way, it is possible to clarify which typical defects occur in vehicles of this type before visiting the trade fair. In addition, contact can be made - so that, for example, a club member helps at the trade fair to appraise a vehicle on offer. Jochen Strauch, on the other hand, advises freeing oneself from the type, brand and model thinking of the classic car scene. Because if you absolutely want a red Mercedes with a sunroof and whitewall tires, like the one your grandfather once drove, you will quickly become weak even with overpriced offers. It can be more advisable to set yourself a certain financial framework and then see what you can actually get for this money.
Some prior knowledge is required
Your own knowledge should not be overestimated either: "With a youngtimer, with a certain technical understanding, it may still be possible to recognize the condition of the car on offer," explains Bastian Schonauer, classic car expert at the Automobile Club of Germany (AvD) in Frankfurt / Main. With the “real” classics, it's not just a matter of condition. Their history is also important - it is about known previous owners as well as racing successes. And of course about originality: Experts know that there are now more vehicles of certain models in circulation than were actually built in the past - because counterfeiters also understand their craft. (dpa / gms)