Blog: Dave LeggettFrankfurt reflections

Dave Leggett | 12 September 2003

Got back from Frankfurt late last night after a hectic but enjoyable couple of days at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show. As ever, there were highs and lows. Some highs: the visually very pleasing Lancia displays, having a good look at the Bentley Continental and deciding that it should be my next car (in fantasy land of course), a wide-ranging chat with ex-Reuters man now off the leash (and just-auto contributor) Neil Winton - entertaining as ever. And I must mention a doner kebab enjoyed on the hoof from one of the many Turkish establishments in Frankfurt's lively city centre with colleague Ollie Wilkinson after we'd quaffed a few quality beers - freshly baked bread, chilled sour cream, chilli sauce, friendly conversation with some locals, it just hit the spot perfectly.

Also, Edmund Chew's 'sources of info' event yesterday was very good for me as there were plenty of people there to catch up with and it is always great to meet people who use just-auto. Frankfurt airport provided amusement as the Germany vs Scotland football game meant there were groups of Scottish football fans passing through. Fully kilted, furry sporans, caterpillar boots - quite a sight. Good natured though, even though their team lost.

Lows? Maybe I'm getting old, but I find the incessant noise of the IAA almost overwhelming at times. So many competing boom boxes. And some manufacturers really seem to go through the motions. No imagination or creativity is evident. The best displays have some kind of theme working and stand out from the crowd.

Sometimes the component halls provide blessed and unexpected relief from the noise and hubub. DANA had what seemed like a laboured theme going - DANA driveline products and its business were being compared to the intricate workings of a piano. It looked a bit overdone in the PR material I picked up. And then a guy who'd obviously travelled to the show via a time machine from 1984 (with a 'mullet' hairdo to die for) emerged to play the piano. This didn't look so hot. But it was an unexpected bonus - he was very good and not at all intrusive. We emerged from the DANA stand half an hour and several cups of coffee later strangely chilled and ready for the manic car halls again.

On a more serious note, myself and Graeme R are working on a show feature which should be on just-auto later today. Also, Matthew Beecham is working on an IAA components/technology piece for just-auto.

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