Frankfurt might not be the most obvious choice for automotive fans travelling to Germany. Whilst Stuttgart has the amazing Mercedes-Benz and Porsche museums and Munich the BMW equivalent, Frankfurt doesn’t quite have the same reputation when it comes to speedhunting. But if you are willing to travel a short distance out of the main city into a relatively quiet industrial-ish area, you will find Klassikstadt. A small little haven of joy for automotive fans visiting Germany’s financial hub.
Housed inside a former Mayfarth agricultural machinery factory, Klassikstadt is not exactly a car museum and the facility primarily houses a number of workshops all centred around vintage automobile culture. Glass workshops, as well as a watchmaker and a saddlery, sit side by side with mechanical experts bringing old engines back to life.
For those with the means, several dealerships for both high-end exotics and vintage autos are also located within.
While Klassikstadt does regularly hold themed meets every other week, my few hours on a Wednesday evening in Frankfurt meant a rather quiet day at the ‘Stadt and its carpark that usually holds a myriad of interesting cars that regularly feature of Instagrams was relatively empty with only a handful of notable cars parked up. That Corrado was lovely though.
Sitting right outside a Mercedes-Benz centric workshop was this beautiful W116 S-Class sitting on a set of perfect condition period-correct AMG Penta wheels. Whilst this black beauty was void of any identifying badges, I won’t be surprised if it was a pukka 6.9 450SEL.
Like I said, perfect. This is how it should be done.
For the price of a Huracan in Singapore, you could buy one of these in Germany instead.
Not everything here is priced to the stratosphere of course. Entry into Klassikstadt itself is free and it also has a couple of shops that casual visitors can have fun in. One of them is a shop full of miniature autos (I had to pull myself away), and another store selling automotive-related memorabilia and apparel. I was hoping to grab a key chain on my way out but the shops were sadly closed by 6 pm. Klassikstadt itself is open until 8 pm on most days (except on Sundays when it closes at 6 pm), but unless you have your own mode of transport back into town, I wouldn’t stay till it gets dark.
With the first level mostly made up of workshops and shops, the real auto-otaku action happens on the second and third floors. Which while still housing several workshops, are where most of the youngtimers are parked up. Some parked up for storage and awaiting their owners, others were on display and for sale.
Like this very rare and lovely E28 Alpina B7 Turbo complete in full Alpina livery. An interesting option which I suspect might have been added later in the car’s life as most period Alpinas in Germany were ordered without decals back in the day, mostly to deter car thieves.
From Alpinas, we shift our eyes to this very striking rally-spec Alpine A110. It’s quite unreal to see just how small these things are in real life. There were at least 3 original Alpine A110s on display at Klassikstadt during my visit but this was probably the best looking of them all.
Alpine, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo.
One of the workshops on the second level had a great collection of miniature Porsches on display in true man-cave style.
One of the biggest displays within Klassikstadt belongs to Pyritz Classics GmbH. A dealership focusing on high-end classics. Photography was not allowed inside so I abided by the rules and kept my camera down.
Elsewhere on the second level were a scattering of lovely small autos awaiting storage or restoration.
Time to head towards to the third floor where well-heeled private owners store some of their prized possessions. Behind glass walls of course.
With highly reflective glass partitions throwing off reflections, taking pictures of these machines without a polarizing filter can be very challenging so these were the best I could do.
I guess when collecting road-going cars get too mainstream, you move onto race cars.
Some more exotic than others, but all well looked after and ready to roll.
If I won the lottery a few times, this will be on my wishlist.
For those wondering, this lift is how they shuffle those precious cars up and down the building. This Dino is most likely awaiting storage.
Around the corner though, was this. Not one, not two, but three Bizzarrinis all parked together. Well, three and a half. I had never seen a Bizzarrini in my life and this really felt like a special moment. I’ve always thought the Strada was one of the most beautiful cars ever penned.
If you see hints of Ferrari and Lamborghini in the bodywork, your eyes are not deceiving you. Giotto Bizzarrini was the man behind the Ferrari 250GTO and Lamborghini’s V12 engine. An engine that first started production in 1964 through to 2010.
A Bizzarrina P538S, if this is one of the original early production cars, this car, fitting with a Lamborghini V12 would be one of two left in the World. If this was a later 1970s “recommission”, it would be one of maybe eight made. Either way, it is an extremely rare and beautiful vehicle.
These are of course by no means all the cars I laid my eyes on during my short excursion to Klassikstadt but I think they can give a rough idea of what goes on within its red brick walls. A real house of unicorns.
For those keen to visit, avoid the regular trains that Google maps suggest at all cost. This will bring you on a long, convoluted and expensive trip complete with multiple confusing train changes (ask me how I know). Take the local tram instead, the number 11 tram from central Frankfurt will get you within walking distance to Klassikstadt in roughly 30 minutes and is relatively cheap as well. The tram option is strangely missing from Google maps but you can use its GPS location finder to figure out where to alight from your tram.
After a visit to Klassikstadt, I’d highly recommend dropping by Restaurant Klosterhof for dinner. Enjoy!