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Moscow Old-Timer Gallery 2014 – Report and Photos

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SLThe 22nd Old-Timer Gallery of Ilya Sorokin was held 7-10 March 2014 at the Sokolniki exhibition center in Moscow. Held twice a year since 2002, the event has become the most significant collector car show in Russia.

Old-Timer Gallery not only focuses on collector cars, but, along with the history of motoring, it celebrates the aesthetics of the past. This spring’s edition of the show turned out to be pretty humble comparing to previous events. However, it saw 190 exhibitors from as many as eight different countries, presenting dozens of unique cars, motorcycles, bicycles, tractors and automobilia on 5,800 square meters, and no fewer than 58,000 visitors, which had attended the show over four days.

Themed displays have always been a main feature of the event, and this time it featured the celebration of the 55th anniversary of the National American Exhibition in Moscow — the first glance through the Iron Curtain, which totally shocked Soviet people back in 1959. The show even moved from the Crocus City Exhibition Centre, where it had been traditionally held for several years, to the historic venue of the National American Exhibition — the Sokolniki Park. Unfortunately, the landmark of the original 1959 event — 30 meters high “Golden Dome”, designed by famous Richard Buckminster Fuller and built of anodized aluminum sheets, was destroyed in the 1980s, but the pavilion, which hosted the 2014 show, is still there.

The organizers managed to recreate the atmosphere of the historic event by displaying many of the sensational cars of 1959 model year, which visitors might have been able to see here 55 years ago, including a Cadillac De Ville, Chevrolet Impala and Corvette, Ford Thunderbird, Edsel Corsair — the luxurious automobiles that were referred to as “unthinkable wonders” and “latest technology” fifty-five years ago. Unfortunately, only one of them — Plymouth Belvedere — was an original exhibit: the whereabouts of the most of the cars shown in Moscow in 1959 are unknown today. Apart from the cars, visitors were able to see unique photographic and video documents, original leaflets and posters of the historic event.

Among other highlights of Old-Timer Gallery was a pretty humble 1949 Aero Minor, hand-built to become a gift to Joseph Stalin’s 70th birthday from Czechoslovak people, and recently rediscovered in Russia after having been abandoned for over 40 years. The car, now undergoing a comprehensive nut-and-bolt restoration at the Russian “Avtonasledie” company, was shown in bare metal with exposed woodwork to demonstrate its unique degree of preservation and the highest level of its restorers’ craftsmanship.

There were also some very special cars not really common for Russian market: a beautifully patinated 1936 Cord 810 Westchester Sedan, presented in the original factory dark brown paint; a rare 1938 Packard Series 1604 Super Eight 2-seater Coupe; a pair of Cadillac limousines and a Lincoln all from 1930 model year; and a stunning, though a bit over-restored, 1914 Locomobile Model 48 2-seater speedster made for racing and fitted with a huge 8.6-liter straight six.

Traditionally, there have been a lot of cars produced in the USSR and rather popular within local enthusiasts and collectors: GAZ-14 Tchaika, M21 Volga, M21 Pobeda, Zaporozhets, Moskvich and etc. including that very Pobeda Convertible which took part in the Sochi 2014 Olympics opening ceremony.

A separate hall was occupied by trade village and autojumble, where one could find virtually everything from parts, books and memorabilia to customized, restored or beautifully preserved cars offered for sale by private sellers.

The next edition of Old-Timer Gallery will be held 6-9 March, 2015 at the same location.

Moscow Old-Timer Gallery 2014 – Photo Gallery (click for larger picture and description)

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[Source: Pavel Novitski]