Category Archives: CAR SHOWS

GENEVA REVIEW – PART 1

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A personal touch

Press days in Geneva. Once again I have the opportunity to visit the start of the motoring season in Switzerland. We are stuck in the early commuter traffic and miss the first unveilings on tuesday. It is 8:30 AM when we hit the floor and stumble into the ongoing circus. We have come here to look at what is new, meet friends and partners in crime. Two days of buzz.

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This year Geneva has a personal touch. For months we have been working hard in a closed studio on a car that is being presented here. The Audi A3 Concept. After hours of fine tuning it feels good to see the final product in its natural habitat, the show. Camera teams swirl around the compact sedan, doors being opened, details explained. Happy faces and good reactions. Time to take a photo with part of the team that worked on the car. It is time to enjoy and take a long zig zag walk around Geneva's candy store.

- Mattijs.

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GOODWOOD SUNDAY

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Sunday, the final day of the festival. Inspired we will return to Germany with stacks of pictures. Should I take off the itching green wrist band or go back one more time for a final bite? "Just a couple of hours, let's take it easy today". Sniffing petrol is addictive. As junkies we stand behind a Mercedes W196 that is being warmed up in full glory. A fantastic and impressive ceremony. A team of mechanics does a final check while the driver pushes the pedal deeper and deeper into the foot well. The sound is deafening, the air vibrates. With every push the needle of the rev counter climbs closer to the red limit. I try to point out a detail to Steve, but he doesn't understand a word of it. Finally the car leaves the paddock in full vroaarr and the scene turns back to peace.

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GOODWOOD SATURDAY

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Saturday at the festival. Many British visitors have come to sniff some petrol. The place is packed. A full day lays ahead of us, filled with new perspectives and unexpected impressions. In the end it turns out to be our longest day at the compound, but at this early morning we hit the scene one more time with fresh energy.

Let's start where we left off the night before. Martini anyone? Hell yes! We stroll through the Formula 1 paddock and stumble on a wide, bright racing car. Silently we move around the Lancia Beta Monte Carlo, trying to get a grip on the legendary livery. Powerful blue and red paint, accompanied by reduced decals. In the details one finds the uncompromised racing attitude. Stripes follow function.

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GOODWOOD FRIDAY

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Friday morning. After a hearty breakfast we hit the road. Our navigation guides us through narrow and twisty roads. The flowing landscape reveals itself through a blur of green hedges. We get a taste of what is coming as we tune in to 87.7 AM. A dry cockney voice splutters through the speakers. "This is radio Goodwood, bringing you all the latest news of the Festival. We expect a bright and sunny day, filled with fantastic events".

Half an hour later we park our cars, get our tickets and walk up to the entrance, full of excitement. The lot is filled with exotic sport cars and campers. Gear heads united. For the next couple of days Goodwood is our garden and the Festival of Speed our walhalla. A feast for the eye and the ear.

Finally we are here. At this early morning the place is already crowded. Masses of people slowly move through the commercial section. Magazines, t-shirts, energy drinks, formula one displays. Things have changed here since my last visit. We quickly take a short cut to the heart of the festival, aiming for the Goodwood house.

Emotionally it turns out to be the hard way. We feel like kids in a candy store. Distraction everywhere. Shiny metal and revving engines. Before I realize it I have lost the others. Steve is taking his first pictures, Stevie dries his hair behind the fuming exhaust of a classic racer and Nathalie thinks she has seen the Stig. This zig-zagging through a wonderful cocktail of automobile culture won't change the following days. We have time to consume every sweet bit.

The Goodwood House is the pivot point of the festival. We will return here many times, be it for lunch or to stare at the impressive quadrifoglio sculpture. Alfa Romeo celebrates its centennial and has brought most of its master pieces to the UK. The italians are omnipresent. On the circuit, in the paddocks and many displays, this years color is definitely red.

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Schloss Dyck

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Mark your agendas and mark them now: in slightly over 1 week there seems to be an impressive petrolheads event not far across the German border (from Dutchland that is, of course). 

Check the website of the Schloss Dyck Classic Days and let me know who's in for a trip across… it's just a stone's throw from Eindhoven! We would need to sort out tickets online and in advance, as these appear to be limited.

Special thanks to Tom of formfreu.de for tipping us!

- G.

GENEVA REVIEW

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The location feels like holiday. Surrounded by the decorum of the Alps, this is the place to touch base with the automotive circus at the beginning of the season. The Geneva auto salon is still my favorite show to visit. Compact and complete. A kaleidoscopic view on the industry. The Germans, Italians and French meet at neutral ground. This year I teamed up with a group of colleagues from Ingolstadt. After a long drive we hit the floor at 3 P.M. It is thursday and busy. Hell yes do I miss the press days ambiance where one can run into Eddie Jordan talking to Briatore, dolls included.


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We have four, five intensive hours ahead of us to work the floor. Of course we start at the Audi stand where the next big thing is small. The A1 looks great in the flesh. Good stance and proportions combined with well executed details. After a couple of cars the group of designers thins down. Too much to see and too many details to be photographed. Johannes and I are on a trip, diving from one interior into the next, fiddling around with knobs, discussing grains and finishings. Eyes focused onto details and at the same time trying to grasp the big picture.


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There is definitely a return to color. Cool and neutral tints still work, but there is more at the horizon. Even more then last year cars are colored in bronze and orange tones and pink-ish shades are on the rise. One of my highlights is turning around at the Citroen stand. The French have reworked their last years Revolte into a sleek sportster. It might be overloaded with funky details and coloring, but one can see the joy of surfacing. Many agree, this could be a small Bugatti. Very Veryonesque indeed.


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Another well executed prototype is being displayed at Pininfarina. The red Alfa Duetto Something returns to simplicity in shape, but in a very dynamic way. The front to back bonelines remind me of the famous Disco Volante. Personally I think this is the answer to the over the top emotionalized sketch to metal approach we have seen lately.


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The fair is about to be shut down for today. My camera still has some space left for more impressions, but my head starts to tickle. After check in we head down town for some genuine fondue. I probably have missed one or more things, but I rely on the fact that my CFX buddies were here at prime time. Next time we will hit as a pack, once again. 


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