After a hiatus of over two years, Salon Retromobile was back to wow the French capital. Here are some of our early highlights

This week sees the return of one of Europe’s biggest classic car events, with Salon Retromobile returning to Paris Expo for the first time in over two years. It’s been worth the wait too, with the 46th edition delighting visitors to the French capital with an incredible mix of classics to suit all enthusiasts.

Set amongst two large floors, the event is where the cream of Europe’s exotica is gathered alongside quirky curiosities and everyman classics. Very much in the exotica category was a display of no fewer than seven examples of the mythical McLaren F1 curated by leading blue-chip dealer Simon Kidston. The stunning exhibition was organised in tribute to the model’s 30th birthday, with the dark purple F1 once owned by Beatle George Harrison as its centerpiece.

But that was far from all. Displayed on the Lamborghini Polo Storico was a reconstruction of the first Countach (the LP 500 prototype from 1971), plus the body of a Miura P400 SV that is being restored by the team in Sant’Agata Bolognese. And over on the Artcurial auction, it was a case of spot the six-figure lot – and there were plenty of them. A Porsche 907 was perhaps the main headliner, but a line-up of Ferraris including an example of the legendary F40 also impressed. For those preferring a rally flavour, there were several Renault 5 Turbos, a Lancia Delta Intergrale, a Metro 6R4, a Ford RS200 and even a Talbot Samba Groupe B.

Elsewhere, The Musée de la Gendarmerie Nationale staged a great display of French police vehicles, while a large section of the lower floor was given over to vintage classics including two curious propeller cars and several milestone vehicles from French motoring history.

Perhaps most impressive though, was the selection of everyman cars. The number of British classics in amongst the clubs stands and cars for sale was impressive, albeit with the steering wheel on the left and a slight struggle with the language – we’ve been out of practice for a couple of years.

Summing up the everyman content best of all was our favourite display of the event. In tribute to the golden anniversary of its legendary 5, Renault curated a fine display of 13 cars. These include its 1972 electric R5 alongside the prototype Renault 5 EV expected for 2024, plus examples of the early R5 TL, R5L, R5 Alpine, a rare ‘Le Car’ van, a wide-bodied R5 Turbo and a police version. The later Supercinq was also represented by an early GT Turbo and a rang-topping Baccara.

We’ll bring you more content from the show in the near future, but in the meantime, there’s still time to see if all for yourself. The show runs until Sunday March 20 – see the show’s website here.