FIVA at Retro Classic motor show Stuttgart

FIVA’s VP for Trade and Skills, Jos Theuns, visited the Retro Classic motor show and was asked to speak a few words for the opening of the show during the Allianze evening on Thursday the 22nd of March. Having just been told the Retro Classic show would be renamed ‘Die Fahr Kultuur Messe’ from 2019 onwards, the link to FIVA’s UNESCO efforts, started in 2016, became immediately clear. Due to FIVA’s efforts, that go way beyond the vehicle itself, FIVA’s aspirations have been recognized by UNESCO, ensuring that vehicle preservation now has a broader basis and a recognition that is worldwide.

Historic vehicles and all that comes with them are seen more and more as not only a fulfilling hobby but also a major part of culture that has influenced and still influences people’s lives to a very great extent.

Individual motorized transport freed people from geographical boundaries and allowed people to venture further away from home. Think not only about vacations, but in some cases people meeting their life-partners further away from their own homes became possible, as much as food travelling further and spreading to wider markets than was ever possible with horse and wagon.

With motorized transport other things changed too, not only the obvious improvements in roads and bridges but also hotels, road side restaurants, garages and other constructions themed and/or based on individual motorized transport.

FIVA, having celebrated its 50th birthday on 2016, has three main objectives: Protecting, Preserving and Promoting the Historic Vehicle movement in the broadest sense of the word. The FIVA Preservation Award is already recognized as a prestigious award for vehicles that have been maintained in their original state and form, and have certainly not been restored to ‘better then new’ conditions.

Back to the Retro Classic motor show, it was noted that the number of unrestored but still functional vehicles on show is increasing, in line with FIVA’s Preservation Award. Remanufacturing of parts and components is now at a higher standard than ever before, while prices for these parts are stabilizing due to cheaper production processes such as 3D printing.

Are remanufactured parts against the grain of FIVA? Certainly not! Using the Charter of Turin as a guideline, remanufacturing in the right way (!) is always better than storing the vehicle until another similar vehicle is broken-up for parts. After all, an older motto of FIVA was ‘keeping yesterday’s vehicles, on tomorrow’s roads” something all owners and stakeholders still underline and live up to.

Retro Classic Messe, with clearly the largest floor space of all historic vehicle shows, is a statement that this hobby is still a major aspect in many people’s life. A nice thing to see is that we see more of the younger generation and families enjoying this show and the nice weather during this weekend, very well deserved after the cold and snowy first two days.

FIVA would like to extend its thanks to the organizers of the show, the many members we met, the FIVA Global Partners and Professional Members that relentlessly offer their support for FIVA’s goals of Protecting, Preserving and Promoting historic vehicles and all related material.


Opening by Karl-Ulrich Hermann, CEO of Retro Messe GmbH and Ms. Petra Klein (SWR1) who was the moderator.