As autumn rolls in and the European classic car show season draws to a close, we look back at the shows we loved the best and pencil in the best for 2020. Goodwood is always fabulous of course and Essen an overload for the senses, yet there is one event that has crept onto our radar that we think is a must do for any well-rounded classic car enthusiast - 'MOTORWORLD Classics at Bodensee' on an idyllic site by Lake Constance in Germany. This early May event is well known in Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland. Constance bordering three of those countries. It attracts a wonderfully eclectic mixture of vehicles displayed both in the spacious central courtyard by their enthusiast owners and by local clubs, dealers and private sellers in the surrounding 12 exhibition halls. Its just the right size and blend for wandering around at leisure, not too vast that you feel you probably missed things and not to small that you feel unsatiated. The perfect sized bowl for petrolheads.
What really impressed was the enormous variety of unusual and rare vehicles on display. Everything from a one-off pre-war BMW 328 fastback, a gorgeous Moretti, an immaculately presented Swiss Datsun 2000 super-six (...no right? us neither!)... to the rare vintage aircraft in the Zeppelin hangar (the first Zeppelin flew from Constance)... You just don't know what to expect as you amble around, and that for us was a real pleasure after fine but fairly predictable UK show fare. We especially loved the untouched restoration project Riva Aquarama that one dealer had up for sale...and particularly the fact that it had a dock built next to it for all to climb on and inspect up close! Seeing one out of the water you really could appreciate the size, outstanding craftsmanship and detail - full marks to the organizers for the presentation. This year from the hundred or so clubs attending the LaFrance speedster club put on the most impressive driving display, so loud that we witnessed grown men bursting into giggles of joy. Highly infectious stuff.
The autojumble hall was another delight, if like us you own rather eclectic vehicles there are hours to be lost hunting. The amount of parts for British classics was a surprise as was the comprehensive display of British vehicles on display...we've said it before...there's something sexy about yellow lensed British marques on continental plates. We found the traders were welcoming, friendly and refreshingly open to haggling, something not always the case in the UK. If you are making the drive over for the 2020 show, make sure you leave some spare room in your boot when you pack. And let's face it, Classics at Bodensee makes a very sensible classic car road trip. Spend the night in France on the way down, one or two at a lakeside B&B on Constance and perhaps a night in Zurich on the way back - that makes it a pretty easy sell. And at 16 Euros for the 2020 day ticket, there's enough change for some petrol. Being in Germany, the whole fair was impeccably organized to boot.
So there you have it, our event pick for 2020. There is no way we can sum up the fun we had in this short column so take a look at their site and decide for yourself. Eclectic Eventing. Roll on 2020.