Germany’s oldest art fair started on 31 October with a vernissage; Munich Art Fair in the beautiful, highly suitable building of the Postpalast.
The following nine days of the fair involved 38 exhibitors showing exquisite testimonies to days gone by on approx. 3,000 m2, the concept having been provided by the German art dealers associations. The event was held under the watchful eye of a highly-qualified jury of experts.
The fact that, in this 59th year, two classical automobiles were also shown for the first time shows one thing quite clearly: The international art scene has discovered the classical automobile as a work of art, and is now celebrating it as a spectacular new entry to the world of art.
With our beautiful red Mercedes Benz 320 Cabriolet A, built in 1938, and the Mercedes Benz 260 D, Pullmann-Landaulet, from 1937, we were able to do a lot more than merely awaken the interest of the audience – the attendees at the fair were enthusiastic about our two pre-war classics and admired their excellent condition.
As well as the press reporting, the evening news on Bavarian Television reported in detail on the presence of Arthur Bechtel Classic Motors within a report on the opening of Munich Art Fair (see link to film).
The company’s founder Arthur Bechtel was even given the opportunity to say a few words about the classic cars, and the moving images attracted large numbers of visitors to the Postpalast who had specifically come to admire these two beauties.
Many visitors stressed that our cars were the “highlight” of the Fair.
There has been a very marked trend for several years towards investing in physical assets. The international art scene has been witness to both purchases and sale by auction of works by famous artists going for astronomic prices. Quite a lot of these works of art then disappear into specially-built high-security warehouses, some of which are located in the world’s free trade zones. The same fate awaits other luxury goods. This development is the unmistakeable response to collapsing markets, insecure developments on the stock exchanges and inflation.
High-quality classic automobiles, either in an excellent restored state or in their 100% faithfully constructed condition, are no exception, constituting an ideal investment because of their rarity.
The foreword to the fair catalogue puts it like this: “... gold coins are still worth at least the price of gold. But paper money or bonds as a rule are only worth the paper they’re printed on. Art and antiques are different. They have survived all the fluctuations on the money market and are also useful... In times like this when the interest on cash investments is sometimes negative, tangible assets are coming up trumps!”
When it comes to classic cars, we can add one more advantage: As well as their cash value and usefulness, there is a fun factor which even the most cold-blooded investor feels when looking at the shining chrome of his or her automobile trophy.
Our début at the 59th Munich Art Fair was an unexpectedly great success, confirming that classic cars are indeed art!