The small German town of Singen, 10 minutes from the Swiss border and around 20 km from the more well known German city of Constance, probably doesn’t mean much to most people. Given however you are a reader of this blog, chances are that you would experience a visit to Singen as finding heaven on earth. Because even if the town itself is about as exciting as a beige Volvo 240, for reasons no one can really explain, Singen has developed into something of a car Mecca in southern Germany.Along what is referred to the auto mile on the outskirts of Singen, more than 20 different brands from Skoda to Ferrari have showrooms. One dealer stands out form the crowd and is at the root of the relative fame of the city: the Auto Salon Singen, maybe the world’s leading dealership of used cars. Yep, you read that right, the Salon sells used, or rather pre-owned cars. There is a however a slight difference to the used car dealership around the corner, as the Salon specializes in very rare, pre-owned supercars and oldtimers. In a showroom that to the outer world doesn’t look like much is an exhibition including cars that you will very rarely have seen in real life, to a total value of which one can only speculate. What makes the Salon unique is on one hand the offer that is second to none, but also the combination of unique old-timers and supercars.
As with so many things, the beauty is on the inside…
This does not mean the Salon is full of millionaires with their pockets full of money. As confirmed by an extremely well polished salesman, very rarely do clients visit the salon other than possibly to pick up their cars. The client base is global with a fair part in Germany and Switzerland, but also with a significant number of clients in Russia, the Middle East and Asia. That has the nice side effect that if you do visit the Salon, you will have it pretty much to yourself and should you wish only to wander around and enjoy this feast for the senses, the well-trained sales force is very happy to let you do so. When asked how they find their truly unique vehicles, a polite reference is only made to their global network and also to their existing clients, of which they have about 35.000 in their database. Another database covers about 15.000 cars around the world, including pretty much every supercar or truly rare oldtimer still around. In other words the exhibition itself is only a drop in the ocean and a significant part of the Salon’s business is also finding specific cars on request.
Definitely more like it!
Unfortunately the (still very polite) salesman made clear that the Salon is not very hot on pictures being taken inside the premises, so any illustrations of the offer below are taken from the internet. If you visit the Salon this month, the first thing you will note is a car that really doesn’t fit, not being a supercar at least in the traditional sense. Parked in between a pale yellow Aventador and a Ferrari-red Enzo is a VERY white Maybach Landaulet that takes up about 6 metres of floor space. The semi-cabrios called Landaulets were built on specific request and each one is unique. This one, from 2010 and with very few km’s on the clock, is yours if you have EUR 1.4m to spare and REALLY can’t find anything better to do with it.
Turning right you will step into the Ferrari section, counting about 30 Ferrari’s, both “normal” and less so. if an Enzo is not exotic enough, the offer also includes notably a magnificent 599 GTO Cabriolet. the GTO was a limited series of the 599, presented in 2010 and of which 600 cars were built. The GTO Cabriolet that was shown the same year at the auto salon in Paris was an even more limited series of which only 80 cars were built. It is a truly beautiful vehicle that has all the style the white Maybach lacks. Priced at EUR 799.900, it will still leave you enough for a decent family car!
Looks even better in real life!
The Porsche section is even larger than the Ferrari section. Starting on the oldtimer side it includes not one, not two but three original Speedsters in mint condition. A 911 Speedster is also included, and at the top end is a fascinating 997 GT3 -08, tuned beyond mechanical recognition by the German tuning specialist 9ff. Still relatively anonymous on the outside except for the trained eye, about every mechanical details has been changed including every part of the engine. The 9ff in this version develops around 900 bhp and 1000 Nm of torque, (hopefully) transmitted to the ground by a sequential six-speed gearbox. With a top speed of 395 km/h, the 9ff does 0-200 km/h in 7.4 seconds and 0-300 km/h in a Veryon-like 15.9 seconds. With only 15.000 kms on the clock it is yours for EUR 134.900, which in relation actually sounds like a true bargain!
You want this. And a racetrack. And probably a good whisky to calm your nerves before you try it out…
Obviously all the wonderful things that could be told about the Auto Salon Singen are too lengthy for a post on this blog, but hopefully these short impressions are enough to make you seriously consider a detour to the Bodensee region when next on vacation in central Europe. It is after all truly beautiful, and no more than one hour from Zurich airport!