Art, design, architecture and automotive design. These are the pitch points of Grand Basel, a new trade show centred around masterpiece cars that are debuting in Basel this week.
Running from September 6 to 9 (with a media preview on September 4) the show is the brainchild of MCH Group, which organises Baselworld for watches and Art Basel art fairs in Switzerland, Miami and Hong Kong.
Many have already hailed Grand Basel as the Art Basel of the car world—and with good reason. The inaugural edition will display a top-of-the-range selection of vintage, current and future cars, in what MCH Group describes as a “cultural context.”
What that means, exactly, is a series of exhibitions that go beyond the mere trade show format—think curated presentations and lifestyle events throughout the event, each conceived by an independent advisory board of architects, designers and other creative figures such as Swiss artist Sylvie Fleury and Italian entrepreneur Lapo Elkann.
Some 100 cars are making this first show, including, as the official press release tells us “racing legends, movie icons, radical one-offs, culturally-significant classics, and the world premiere of a contemporary coachbuilt special.”
Some concrete examples? The 1994 Benetton-Ford B194, a favourite of racing driver Michael Schumacher. A 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta—Enzo Ferrari’s vision of the archetype road-legal racing car—that the man himself owned in 1961.
A 1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, the historical rival of the Berlinetta. Present cars are represented too, such as the 2018 Ferrari SP38., the first car attributed to Ferrari’s ‘Special Projects’ division.
After Basel, Grand Basel will debut in Miami in February 22-24, 2019 and, in May, Hong Kong. While some details have been announced for the American iteration—there will be about 200 cars, and the venue will be the Miami Convention Centre—little has been disclosed about the Asia edition.
Only invited dealers and brokers will be able to participate—no auction houses, interestingly—alongside serious collectors, manufacturers and restoration and conservation experts. Public attendees are expected in the 10,000 a day, upon purchasing a 75 Swiss francs (HKD607) ticket.
We'll be covering Grand Basel as it happens with our motors contributor Michael Wan, so stay tuned for more updates.