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MG, Montlhéry and Dakar take centre stage in Rétromobile 2024

WORDS: ELLIOTT HUGHES | PHOTOS: RÉTROMOBILE

Rétromobile, one of the largest classic car events in Europe, will be back in Paris on January 31-February 4, 2024, after a very successful 2023 edition that drew over 125,000 attendees. The 100th anniversaries of MG and the Linas-Montlhéry circuit, the Dakar Rally, a brand-new area devoted to collector motorcycles and Artcurial’s official auction will be the main attractions of this year’s event.

As the star of the 2024 event poster, there’s plenty on offer for MG fans at the 48th edition of Rétromobile. The organisers have collaborated with the MG Club de France and the British Motor Museum to assemble a special display of 12 vehicles from the Morris Garages marque. 

Highlights include the very first MG: the 1925 Old MG Number One, as well as the innovative 1938 MG EX135 Land Speed Record car. Another record-breaker, and the star of this year’s event poster, the 1957 EX181 (above), will also be present.

Another record-breaker, and the star of this year’s event poster, the 1957 EX181, will also be present

Another record-breaker, and the star of this year’s event poster, the 1957 EX181, will also be present

Driven in-period by Sir Stirling Moss and Phil Hill, EX181 is this year’s central exhibit and will be displayed under the glass roof of Pavilion 1. In addition, the SAIC-owned MG of today will be in attendance at Rétromobile to commemorate the brand’s centenary, featuring a retrospective stand devoted to its roadsters. 

The Linas-Montlhéry circuit is renowned as one of the most famous venues in French motor racing, and is located only 29km from the Parisian exhibition halls of Rétromobile. Organised in partnership with the circuit’s owner, UTAC, Montlhéry’s centenary will be marked with the display of 20 significant vehicles whose history is entwined with the track.

Montlhéry’s long motor sport history is reflected in the diversity of the cars on display, which includes pre-war racers such as a 1925 Bugatti Type 36/35A and a 1928 Amilcar MCO Grand Prix, as well as more modern machines including a McLaren F1 GTR and a Matra MS650.

Those who prefer the off-road variety of motor racing will undoubtedly be drawn to Rétromobile’s tribute to the Dakar Rally. First launched in 1978, this punishing 9000km event remains one of the most challenging competitions the automotive world has to offer.

The Dakar Rally exhibition incorporates some of the most famous cars in history. Highlights include Thierry Sabine’s Yamaha XT500 motorcycle, the Marreau brothers’ Renault 4L and Daniel Nollan’s Renault KZ ‘La Gazelle’. The jewel in the crown, however, is arguably the selection of Porsche 959s made famous by the great Jacky Ickx during the mid-1980s. 

Complementing the incredible array of Dakar machinery is the presence of many of the biggest names in Rally-Raid, such as Cyril Neveu, Claude Marreau and André Dessoude, who will be on hand to share their experiences in the desert with the public.

The Collector Motorcycle Zone is a welcome new addition for 2024. For its inaugural year, the spotlight will be on the Monneret family, commemorating their remarkable contributions to the world of two-wheeled motoring.

It’s a story that begins with the holder of 183 world speed records, Georges Monneret. The versatile Georges made headlines in the 1950s for two feats of endurance that saw him ride from Paris to Alpe d’Huez, and then from Paris to London on Vespa scooters. Both Vespas will be present at Rétromobile to honour these achievements.

The Monneret family’s legacy continues with Georges’ youngest son, Phillipe, who won the 1991 Le Mans 24 Hours, and also broke the motorcycle World Speed Record in 2015, reaching 357km/h at Paul Ricard. Philippe Monneret will be attending Rétromobile in person to retell some of the exciting stories that shaped his family history.

The Monneret Saga feature will be complemented by the presence of current manufacturers BMW Motorrad, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Indian, Triumph and Yamaha. There will also be a Sales Zone dedicated to bikes over 30 years old.

Artcurial’s auction of collector cars and motorcycles is an annual Rétromobile highlight, and this year looks to be no exception. The diverse catalogue includes five pre-war Bugattis, 15 Ferraris, ten Lamborghinis, a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupé and Roadster, as well as notable models from the likes of McLaren, Rolls-Royce and Porsche. You can find our full Paris auctions breakdown here.

For more tickets and more information, click here.