Retro live and in color

The IAA is not just a taste of things to come, it also looks back at how automobiles developed. At the special classic car show you can experience the tuning trends of the 1970s right up close.

Archiv bb Rainer Buchmann

Is car tuning art? It isn’t everyone’s taste, but the mechanics and engineers are certainly creative craftsmen. They are stylists and design engineers at the same time, and their goal is always the same: extreme individualization. The 1970s became the golden age of tuning, a time when motor racing grew into a mass phenomenon. Private drivers and enthusiasts everywhere were stepping on the gas. Germany developed a scene where young car fans in particular tweaked their engines, carburetors and exhausts to enhance performance and driving dynamics. Visual tuning with wide tires and spoilers also came into fashion. Legendary fan clubs adored the souped-up compact cars that not only competed in the passing lane but also showed Porsche & Co. just what they could do.

Back then tuning was carried out only beside arterial routes, in parking lots or at gas stations, but became a lucrative business. Specialists such as Frankfurt’s bb Auto Exklusiv and Hamburg’s Styling Garage made a name for themselves during this period. In their workshops the tuners turned mass-produced cars into real eye-catchers. For example, sports cars and luxury limousines were given front and rear spoilers, extra compressors, gullwing doors, custom paint jobs, exquisite interior fabrics and special electric equipment. Or else they were completely cut into pieces and welded together again to create a new style. Lower, faster, wider, more costly, more way-out, just cracy – there was no limit in the Seventies and Eighties following. The IAA 2017 will have some of these legends right here.

“The Wild Seventies” special classic car show put on by the AvD (Automobilclub von Deutschland) and the German Federation for Motor Trades and Repairs (ZDK) in Hall 6.0 will give visitors a chance to explore some of the most exclusive and eye-catching examples of tuning from this era. The exhibition is open every day from September 14 until September 24, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.