For the third time the Kromhouthallen in Amsterdam are the location for the Capital Cars and Classics. A special location for an exceptional venue. Martin Philippo was there.
The event is set up exactly like it was the last two years and there is nothing wrong with that. A beautiful, atmospheric hall, full of the scent of industrial past, filled with the high end pieces of the participating trade. A place to thoroughly enjoy yourself, the steadily growing audience will agree. We see a lot of tweed, bow ties and gold rimmed glasses. One doesn’t drink pop, one sips white wine. To remain in the mood, a DJ provides the suitable sound, accompanied by the performance of a live saxophone player. An air of nouveau riche that suits really well with the price tags on many of the cars and related lifestyle products. Crisis is no longer imminent amongst this crowd. A scale model of a Ferrari Testarossa sells for a staggering 26.500 euro. A vintage suitcase fetches thousands and the Cartier watches are beautiful but expensive.
International developments have their impact on the price levels in Amsterdam. It is no coincidence the a renowned auction house like Bonhams, where many of the extremely expensive high end pieces are auctioned, is one of the tradesman here. The classic car is seen as a fixed-value investment. In particular the rare and original vehicles, that had iconic status when new, but the lesser gods take advantage of the upward movement just as well. With the restriction that these cars simply have to be impeccable. Sloppy jobs aren’t sufficient in any way, not a spec of rust, not the tiniest of rattles is tolerated. Sparkling and bright, entirely original. To be honest, we do prefer cars that show a bit more of the hard life they lived. There is no need to wipe out or rewrite history. Nevertheless we are quite enjoying ourselves.
A bright red Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL attracts our attention. On its way to become a nut to bolt replica of the infamous ‘Rote Sau’, the origin of the just as famous AMG brand. For now it’s nothing more but a decorated body shell, but the promise of the completed race monster is already mouthwatering right now. Something completely different is the drab, brown 1943 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Turinga. Found recently in an American barn, it has now been shipped to The Netherlands. It’s a unique vehicle, the only one produced during the war years. In these days war industry was considered more important than luxury vehicles when dividing the rare resources. The Touring badge sounded to English as well, so it became a Turinga. Besides this completely original 6C, we find a completely restored example, giving the potential buyer an idea of what it can become. We can’t but hope that whoever buys this stunning Alfa, leaves it in the condition it is shown in here in Amsterdam.
It’s not strictly old stuff we find here. A Jaguar XK8 with just 113 kilometers on the clock, some modern day Porsches and to top it all of, a genuine Ford GT. Ford was heavily inspired by the GT40 from the sixties to build a supercar with classic looks. In the brightest of reds it just stands there. Bonnet wide open with that brute engine on display for everyone. A 21st century car with instant classic status. A worthy showstopper for this Capital Cars and Classics. A hall filled with great automobiles, happy visitors and contented tradesmen.