Art Basel is usually known for attracting art aficionados around the globe, but now the event is expanding its wings to include high-end collector cars.
Two hundred top classic and contemporary cars will go on display at three locations over the next 12 months: In Basel this September; Miami Beach in February 2019; and Hong Kong in May 2019.
And, true to Art Basel tradition, many of the luxury vehicles will have a ‘for sale’ sign on them.
To secure a spot at this much-coveted event, dealers, brokers, manufacturers and collectors will need to submit requests to the organiser and will later be evaluated by an advisory board headed by Paolo Tumminelli, a design and culture professor at Germany’s University of Cologne.
Tumminelli and his team will also select a number of concept cars, prototypes and one-offs for the exhibition. “It will be our mission to establish the automobile as a cultural asset,” he says.
The mayor of Miami Beach Dan Gelber adds: “Grand Basel is to car aficionados what Art Basel is to art lovers. We want people to come here to enjoy art of any kind, whether it is a special painting or rare Ferrari.”
Grand Basel is the first car show for organisers MCH Group, which presents the annual Baselworld. The group recently commissioned a short film starring A-list actor and car enthusiast Idris Elba to explore the emotional impact of the automobile.
The film features one-off models including the 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Zagato and 1978 Lancia Sibilo Bertone.
The event is set to wow car enthusiasts, with director of the event Mark Backé saying: “Grand Basel is not just another car salon or concours. It will be the first global show for some of the world’s most important and valuable automobiles of the past, present, and future.
“We very carefully looked at the success of Art Basel, which is the most successful MCH product at the moment, and wanted to convert it into a similar concept for automotive masterpieces,” he continues.
“This is the next big thing when you look at the big collector markets of the world.”
The creation of the event would appear be a smart move, as the classic car index has grown by 334% over the past decade, according to a 2018 report from the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index.