It’s a German car show and you’re in it. You want to wow the crowd. What do you take?
Actually not an easy question. We love German cars as much as anybody – look no further than this website for ample evidence of that – but by dint of their relative ubiquity and lack of ‘exoticness’ (compared to British or Italian cars, as an example), we think it takes something exceptionally special or unusual (but at the same time not too esoteric— so no Glases or Bitters or NSUs here) to wow the average classic car show goer.
Assume cost is no object. However, it needs to be a road-going street car (i.e., not a race car), and preferably one that is driven as opposed to trailered— cars are just way cooler that way! It’s a lot more impressive pulling up to the show in the very car you’re entering than having hired men in white gloves unloading a trailer queen, pushing it out onto the lawn, and blocking it off with velvet rope.
Some on our short list (in no particular order):
Audi Sport Quattro
Because those box-flared arches. Because those white wheels. Because that short wheelbase. Because the inimitable turbocharged five-cylinder noise. Because it’s still probably the coolest road car Audi ever made (yes, including the R8).
Because Giorgetto Giugiaro. Because M88. Because Campagnolo wheels. Because it was (and continues to be) BMW’s only mid-engined supercar.
Because it is probably one of the most beautiful cars BMW ever made.
BMW 3.0 CSL
Because without it there’d probably be no E30 M3 Sport Evolution, E46 M3 CSL, and all the other hairy-chested racing cars thinly disguised as street cars that we’ve all come to know and love.
Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing
Because even over 60 years later, no pair of doors on any car is more singularly impressive and awe-inspiring than this one’s. Because the 300SL Gullwing is to German cars what the Jaguar E-Type is to British cars and what the Ferrari 250 GTO is to Italian cars: the icon. The torchbearer. The yardstick by which all others are measured.
Because it was the (then) pinnacle of Porsche engineering.
Because it’s not a 911 (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Honorable mention: Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3
No doubt the 6.3 – the original Q-ship – is a special car (and one of our absolute favorites), but we suspect coupes tend to go over better with crowds— sedans won’t win any popularity contests. They are for shuttling the family to the show; coupes are for entering into the show— or so the thinking goes. We think.
So what would you take? Don’t feel limited to one of the above selections.
(Image credit: carstalker.com)