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Motor Show City

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Frankfurt Motor Show

Motor Show City

Geoff Maxted
August 24, 2013

Frankfurt Motor Show
After the automotive Summer doldrums, next month sees the start of the long motor show season. Around the globe crusty, dusty auto journalists will drag themselves in, bearded and bleary-eyed, from bars and beaches and get stuck into their chosen vocation and the white heat of auto technology.

Globalisation has meant that the various worldwide automotive events try to outgun each other in an orgy of flashing metal and the totally gratuitous use of the female form. All to persuade us out of last year ’s model. It works too. No sooner have we picked our jaws up off the floor and wiped the drool from our chops than the next automotive gem appears in our midst. Sadly, for most people, the really desirable stuff is out of reach but thanks to the organisers of motor shows everywhere we can still look and dream. We may also get the chance to perhaps visit the cities that host these great events.

In September the whole shebang kick off in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Now, when it comes to exciting destinations to visit, Frankfurt is perhaps not the first name that springs to the lips, yet it is a very underrated city. Small by the standards of other metropolises, it is still beautifully formed. It’s handy for the Rheingau wine region and smart, sexy Wiesbaden is just up the road. The Motor Show is allegedly the largest of the global events and has been held since 1951.

A lesser known fact is that Frankfurt is the birthplace of the very first Porsche Spyder. In the early 1950’s, a Porsche wholesaler called Wilhelm Glöckler produced what is essentially the forerunner of the 550 Spyder with his Glöckler-Porsche 1500 Super (pictured this page). Lucky visitors to the City can see one of these at Frankfurt’s Porsche Centre.

So Frankfurt hosts one of the largest and most vibrant motor shows in the world but it is also a major financial centre. It is home to the European Central Bank and the Deutsche Bundesbank as well as other major financial organisations but don’t let that put you off. When you are finished car-watching for the day, if fortunate enough to attend and are in need of refreshment, the Fressgass pedestrian zone (pictured Home page)is the place to head to for bars, cafés and good German food which is very much underrated although you‘d hardly call it a culinary delicacy. Small in size but big on culture, Frankfurt is truly a Motor City.

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