The 1965 Ford Mustang notchback of ex-Formula 1 and Le Mans Belgian legend Jacky Ickx – victorious in the 1965 ETCC at Zolder, plus the Nürburgring 6 Hours – rubbed wings with the fabulous Jambon des Ardennes (Arden ham) sponsored 1985 BMW 635 CSi of Belgian grand prix driver Thierry Boutsen from the 1982 Spa 24 hour race.
Lesser-known Belgian drivers (in the UK at least) included celebrated lady racer Yvette Fontaine, represented by her famous Chevron-sponsored Ford Escort MkI that she drove in the Brands Hatch 6 hours, Spa 24 hours and ETCC Zandvoort during the 1969 season, followed by another podium in the 1970 Tourist Trophy.
Other local Belgian aces and their cars included the 1964 Mini Cooper of Julien Vernaeve, which raced with much success at Zolder, Mallory Park, Monza, Spa and the 'ring between 1963 and 1967, plus the Alpine-Renault A110 of Philip Verellen, who campaigned the distinctive yellow Berlinette to podium finishes at the 1973 GP Zolder, the 1975 NTK Zandvoort and the 1978 DRM at Zolder.
Worthy of note were also the tiny Autobianchi A112 Abarth, which won the 1977 24 hours of Zolder outright, shared by Rudy Frahm, Body Corbiau and Dirk Vermeersch, plus the 1972 Fiat 128 Coupe of Fernand Neri (wins at the Spa 24 hours in 1972 and 73, plus the 1974 GP Zolder), and the Semoulin brothers (Alain and Freedy) 1979 Ford Capri III, which achieved a hat rick of Spa 24 hour podiums from between 1979 and 1981.
Two four-door racers, the 1981 BMW 530i Juma of Eddy Joosen and Dirk Vermeersch, plus the 1991 Spa 24 hours class-winning Audi V8 quattro of Philip Verellen, also garnered much attention.
Away from the special Belgian Racing Victories display, it was difficult to see past the endless rows of classic used Porsche 911s and Mercedes SLs presented for sale by a number of top-level Benelux classic car dealers.
However, once you’d escaped the isles filled with these shiny 911s and SLs, a number of rare cars really worth seeing stood out. Pride of place for these went to a trio of unusual Fiats, with a Michelotti-styled mid-60s 1500 Sportinia (above), coach-built by Scioneri, deservedly winning the ‘car of the show’ prize. Positioned along this ultra rare coupe were two equally uncommon Fiats, a 1954 1100 TV Spider by Pininfarina, plus a cute coachbuilt Vignale 750 Coupe.
Our attention was also drawn to a 1964 Vixen GT – a one-off British mid-engined space frame special – plus a ‘transparent’ metal framed early 1960s Beetle, giving an interesting overview of the VW’s chassis layout (below). A Saab 900 Toppola – a bizarre camper conversion that sits inside the tailgate of the hatchback Saab – also drew glances, as did an odd but endearing late 1950s gullwing coupe built by an Antwerp student using Citroen 2CV running gear, plus a beautiful Belgian-built 5.3-litre Excelsior Albert from 1927, with coachwork by Snutsel of Brussels.