"For Drivers and Dreams"- that is the slogan for the Essen Motorshow, going on it's 44th year in Essen, Germany. While the saying may not translate perfectly on paper, it definitely makes sense as soon as you set foot in any of the 12 massive exhibit halls. For the drivers, there is an entire wing dedicated to German motorsport history, with the likes of past and present DTM combatants , as well as infamous Audi rally cars - right down to ex formula one chassis that have been taken off the circuits so recently that the tires are still warm. It's as much a museum experience as it is a motorshow.
The experience was made all the more surreal given the fact our first exposure to Essen came after 14 hours of travel across the Atlantic when we were immediately thrown into the mix without a chance for our clocks to shift. Couple the jet-lag with the more than friendly owners from JOM.de who were very insistent that we sample at least two of their special cherry vodka slushies at 8:30 A.M. their time and the whole thing seemed oddly like a German Can Cun. The only thing missing was the referee whistle and violent head shaking. And to be honest JOM's air horn display which customers tested frequently wasn't far from that.
Alcohol aside, for the dreamers in attendance there is an endless variety of vehicles with show stopping appeal no matter what your preference is. Along side the wild stereo demo rides you can find a sea of tuning parts - from headlights and tail lights, to exhausts and suspension, wheels, seats, right down to gold plated hood latches. Amongst them all JOM.de filled out an entire exhibit hall to themselves with a massive display complete with an 18 wheeler mobile office, kitchen, and dining room all-in-one. The unit was furnished with not only the aforementioned slushy machine, but also a steamer for wurste and sausages, something no self respecting German can go without, and something that goes great with the beer and slushies.
There is even something for those too young to get behind the wheel, or for those of us who still hang onto our youthful side. Booth after booth of the favorite cars from the exhibit halls, only on a much smaller scale. We couldn't help but pick up a couple models to bring home with us as a souvenir- A Carrera RS , and E30 DTM BMW replica which now sit as happy reminders on our desks. And if the non moving cars weren't your cup of tea there were several brands of slot cars set up for head to head action.
And for those dreamers who were more interested in design, there were plenty of one off creations showcasing the potential of what the future could have looked like, not just in terms of motorsport but general transportation as well.
Essen Motorshow is many things to many people people but no matter what your tastes are it is definitely the stuff dreams are made of.