Retromobile 2023 Runs Feb. 1-5 in Paris, Preparez-Vous!

Just once in your life you have to attend Retromobile, now in its 47th year in Paris. Retromobile is une grande assemblage of everything you love about cars, car parts, collectibles, and car models. There are even a couple tanks.

Retromobile features, in alphabetical order: automotive artists, classic car dealers, classic car collectors, coachbuilders, model cars, restorers, slot cars, and vendors. There’s even an auction, ArtCuriel Motorcars. The auction is Feb. 3 but the whole of Retromobile is spread out over five days from Feb. 1-5. It’s held at the conveniently located Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles, just un court trajet on the Metro in Paris’ fashionable15e Arrondissement.

“Europe’s oldest and most prestigious classic car exhibition is coming back in 2023 to celebrate the most beautiful vehicles in history,” show management says with just a hint of the joie de vivre you’ll enjoy. “Retromobile offers attendees the promise of meetings and dialogue around shared passions: artists, car makers, clubs, federations, spare parts and scale models vendors, restorers, auto traders, and all the related services will be out in force, to everyone’s satisfaction.”

It’s kind of like Auto y Moto d’Epoca held in the springtime in Padua, Italy, another favorite for Italian car lovers, except Retromobile is, obviously, French. Or, consider it something like SEMA, Hershey, Barrett-Jackson, and the LA Auto Show all rolled into one big crepe Suzette.

This year there are themes guaranteed to appeal to many an Autoweek reader.

2023 is the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Working together with race organizers Automobile Club de l’Oest, Retromobile has gathered “an unprecedented display dedicated to French craftsmen and manufacturers who have shone at Le Mans.” In the 100 years of Le Circuit de la Sarthe, French teams have won 14 times. Think of pre-war marques like Bugatti, Delahaye, Talbot, and Delage, and post-war winners like Matra, Renault, and Peugeot. Many if not all will be represented in the Porte de Versailles’ Pavilion 1. It’s possible Henri Pescarolo may also show.

Official poster shows a Porsche 907 from Le Mans.


French lubricants maker Motul, which brought a splendidly restored post-war Renault AHS3 commercial van at the last Retromobile, will join in the commemoration of the 24 Hours of Le Mans by recreating a Le Mans garage of 1954 on its stand. “A replica of the pit lane and grandstand will also plunge visitors into the very heart of the 24 Hours racetrack,” Motul promises.

There will be a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Porsche 911.

The Tank Museum of Saumur will display two “flagship tanks” of the French military, the AMX 30 and the Panhard Armored Reconnaisance Engine, shown here.

The Tank Museum of Saumur

The Musee des blindes de Saumur—Tank Museum of Saumur—will display two “flagship tanks” of the French military, the AMX 30, powered by an Hispano-Suiza flat 12, and the Panhard Armored Reconnaissance Engine, the latter to be shown in a “dynamic demonstration,” starting up its air-cooled flat 12 for all to hear.

In the Obscure Marques section, look for French motorcycle manufacturer Dollar, for which there will be a celebration of the brand’s 100th anniversary. Dollar was inspired by the American motorcycles Indian and Harley-Davidson that roared across France in WWI.

Motul will bring its restored Renault AHS3 truck.


The complete production of the Dollar brand will be presented, from the first motorbikes of 1926 to those of 1935-1936, all belonging to the members of the society Amicale Dollar, one of many car and motorcycle clubs that will be in attendance at the show. Among the 20 or so bikes on display will be an R3 cardan drive, one of the rarest Dollars ever made.

There will be a special section about the new trend toward mobile lifestyles in a display called “Van Life.” This section of the show will feature refitted vans such as the VW Combi T1 and Westfalia T2 of the 1970s, Chrysler cabriolet 1933 with its caravan, a Renault Estafette, a Simca 1100 camper van, a Fiat 850 Familiare minibus fitted with its original roof tent, a Citroën 2 CV “Tour du Monde,” a Peugeot D4B, and a Commer camper van.

Devotees of the Bohemian lifestyle Eva and Matthias will have an area devoted to their 1979 Peugeot J7 in which they toured Europe. The Coflocs, Laurent and Florian, true ambassadors of this movement in France, will present their 1986 Combi T3 Synchro and tell visitors about their projects, their everyday lives, and their job as Vanlifers. Their film “Vanlife, Les Nouveaux Nomades” will be screened, followed by a question and answer session.

There is a lot more every year, but that’s all we know at this point.

“After two years of cancellation or postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be the first ‘back to normal’ edition (of Retromobile) since 2020,” said the show’s new director, Romain Grabowski. “This means back to normal both in terms of the Pavilions (1, 2.2, and 3) at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center, and its dates (February 1 to 5) without forgetting the traditional preview evening which will be held on Tuesday, January 31—save the date!”

This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Listen to famous American car collector Bruce Meyer, who has actually been to Retromobile:

“It is the only true international exposition that draws a global crowd of automotive enthusiasts into a truly unique arena, sharing historical vehicles not commonly seen in the US,” Bruce said. “In addition to historic displays, dealers, mainly from Europe and the UK, bring an awesome selection of cars on offer. I’ve purchased cars, books, and handcrafted car models over the years—there’s something for everyone, certain to exceed your expectations.”

Flights to Europe are cheap right now. You can do it!

See all the exhibitors here.

Mark Vaughn grew up in a Ford family and spent many hours holding a trouble light over a straight-six miraculously fed by a single-barrel carburetor while his father cursed Ford, all its products and everyone who ever worked there.