Blog & Talk
Shanghai - the Paris of the East - has always held a special place among the big cities of China. It has always been considered extremely western-orientated.
This vibrant city offers an ideal backdrop for the new and the exciting, for the realisation of visions.
One of these visions is the idea to popularise the classic automobile in the so-called Land of Smiles and to open a still largely untapped market with almost unlimited potential.
This process had already started, in 2013, when the first ever Concours d'Elégance to be held in China took place (a Concours d'Elgance is an official beauty contest for vintage cars).
The Arthur Bechtel Classic Motors team had the unique honour of being the first participants from Europe, bringing with them two very special vehicles.
The great success of this high-profile event was reason enough to return and there was no question that Arthur and Tim Bechtel would be back again this year with their classic cars.
In October 2014, Arthur Bechtel sent three classic dream cars over the water to Shanghai and a highly motivated team soon followed on.
The backdrop for this stylish event was once again the historic buildings of the former British Embassy, directly on the Bund, Shanghai's historic boulevard alongside the Huang Pu River.
This year, the elegant gala opening, with the “who's who” of the international classic car scene and VIPs invited from all over the country, had already outgrown the great hall of the embassy building. So, a larger location in the neighbouring luxury Peninsula Hotel was found. Exhibitors, Formula 1 test drivers, journalists and judges from around the world, led by the Grande Dame of the classic car scene, Mrs. Sandra Button, could all be found gathered together, to celebrate the prelude to the second Concours d'Elégance.
Arthur Bechtel, accompanied by his Chinese representative Michael Lo, shaped the conference through his presentation "The classic car as an investment", the second specialist topic event of the Concours d'Elégance. As a pioneer of the classic car scene, he impressed the experts, attending from all over the world.
A special highlight this year was a vintage car parade from the embassy grounds along the "Bund", flanked by beautiful old buildings on one side and the Huang Pu River on the other.
Here, the Arthur Bechtel Classic Motors team were able to demonstrate the roadworthiness of the 1959 silver Mercedes 190 SL, attracting huge media coverage.
In addition to this icon of the German economic miracle, two pre-war classics were in attendance: a Mercedes 320 Cabriolet D from 1939 and a 1940 Mercedes 320 Cabriolet A.
The jury awarded the latter the prize in the Pre-War Cars category, so Arthur and Tim Bechtel were once again proud to accept an award this year.
The expectations of last year were far exceeded. The great interest and enthusiasm of the audience, which originated from the entire Asia region, was led for the second year by the success of the Chinese market.
Encouraged by the positive response, Arthur and Tim Bechtel now plan to expand further their involvement in China. As soon as next year, they will be participating in several classic car events and their presence at the third in Concours d'Elégance in Shanghai is already a done deal.
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