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From collectors, for hunters – V8 survivors, classic off-roaders and rare bicycles pull into Bremen

Stefan Ahlgrimm’s Dodge Coronet has stood in a back yard in Los Angeles since 1993. For 20 years, its paintwork was scorched by California’s permanent sunshine, and the car was exposed to smog, Pacific and desert winds, and the subtropical climate. In 2013, when Alhgrimm bought the car in an online auction, the original Dark Copper Metallic color had turned a washed-out brown and blue, the tires were flat and the seat covers were in tatters. “Even so, it was love at first sight,” says Ahlgrimm. His find is one of the eight roadworthy classics from the 1950s to the 1970s with their original paintwork and eight-cylinder V-engines. You can see these “V8 survivors” from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 February 2018, at the Bremen Classic Motorshow.

And although they might look from the outside as if they’re on their way to the scrapyard, the Pontiac Chieftain from 1958 and a Pontiac GTO from 1969 are heading into Bremen. These eight survivors all have one thing in common: patina. Ahlgrimm renovated the interior of his 1967 Dodge Coronet to the original design, but left the bodywork untouched. “The term ‘survivor’ is used to describe classic US cars when the original look is preserved as far as possible. Technical modifications are as well-hidden as they can be and contemporary accessories are used for the original partial restoration,” says car expert Helge Thomsen, who is co-curating the special exhibition. Unlike complete restorations, every ‘survivor’ is an true one-off.

The look and the simple, original technology of these cars is what appeals to Stefan Ahlgrimm. It’s quite possible to carry out repairs yourself. The same applies to historical off-road vehicles. “That’s provided the base is sound,” says Marc Ziegler, Editor of “Off Road”. The history of off-road vehicles is presented in a joint exhibition by the Bremen Classic Mo-torshow and the Munich magazine. One of the exhibits is a Willys-Overland MB from 1946, a predecessor of the Jeep. There’s also a Suzuki LJ80, built in 1978, and restored in a living room. “It depends on the make, but spare parts are easy to find. For models like the Mer-cedes G 460, which was used by the military, manufacturers were bound by contract to guarantee that there would be enough correct spare parts,” explains the car journalist.

Equally interesting for collectors and newcomers alike is the new special “Blade Racer” exhibition and trading platform in the foyer of Hall 1. Around 40 rare bicycles reflect the development of design and technology in the 20th century. These include a Bianchi Folgore from 1932, which was used in the Tour de France and the Giro d‘Italia. It comes from the collec-tion of bicycle enthusiast Wolfgang Hagemann, as does the brand new, never ridden
Kalkhoff Professional from 1975/76. He is lending the Bremen show a total of 16 time trial and racing bikes made by firms like Stollenwerk, Rigi, Mécacycle, MKM, Colnago and Cinelli – including prototypes and factory team bikes. Complete factory team bikes like the Bianchi Folgore are rare these days. “Normally, free riders chose the frame, assembled the remain-ing components according to their individual needs, and built the bike,” says Hagemann. The 55-year-old is also hanging a price tag on two or three of his rare bicycles.

The Bremen Classic Motorshow runs from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 February 2018 in all halls at Bremen Messe, plus the Hall 8 modular unit. The halls are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. A day pass costs 16 Euros. More info at:

Fotos: MESSE BREMEN/ Studio Seekamp, Stefan Ahlgrimm, Karsten Arndt, Helge Thomsen

3 additional images. Click to enlarge.

5 responses to From collectors, for hunters – V8 survivors, classic off-roaders and rare bicycles pull into Bremen

  1. Car and style work very well together, Nina.
    I guess despite of all the shabby looks, technically they are flawless?

  2. Nothing pushed like a V8.
    I really contemplate about showing up in Bremen.

  3. There’s a huge amount of beauty in this worn style. I wonder how you keep the rust from continuing.

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