The MCH Group is no stranger to art. This year, classic, vintage and luxury cars will be the masterpieces on display at the live marketing company’s inaugural annual car trade show – Grand Basel, in Switzerland led by the event’s global director, Mark Backé.

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The group which is responsible for bringing us the international art fair, Art Basel, and the annual watch and jewellery trade show, Baselworld, hopes that Grand Basel will become the ultimate car show for presenting top-of-the-range vehicles of the past, present – and future.

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A global car show

“Grand Basel is the first global show for the world’s most important and valuable automobiles of the past, present and future,” says Backé, who came up with the idea for the show.

“It presents an international audience of connoisseurs, collectors and enthusiasts with the epitome of automotive culture, aesthetics and technological sophistication.”

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A short film teaser for the show was released in May featuring British actor Idris Elba, as he explores the characters that make a car a masterpiece.

The inaugural Grand Basel show will take place in Basel from September 6 to 9, with around 100 cars expected to be on display at the Messe Basel exhibition centre.

Two other Grand Basel events at venues in the United States and Hong Kong will follow next year

The people behind the cars

Although put together by the MCH Group and Backé, each exhibit featured in the show has been carefully selected by an independent advisory board featuring a diverse range of leading voices from both inside and outside the industry.

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The executive members of the board directly responsible for selecting the cars are Sylvie Fleury, a renowned Swiss pop artist, Lapo Elkann, founder of Garage Italia Customs – a restaurant-bar and creative hub in Milan that celebrates great Italian motor cars, design and food – and Professor Paolo Tumminelli, founder of the Goodbrands Institute for Automotive Culture in Cologne, Germany.

The cars

“Grand Basel is not just another car show – it is a unique opportunity to start a discourse about everything artistic and inspirational that goes together with cars,” says Tumminelli, chairman of Grand Basel’s advisory board.

Here are some of the highlights we will see exhibited at Grand Basel.

Lamborghini heralded a new era of sports cars when it unveiled the Miura in 1968.

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Arguably one of the most famous cars ever built thanks to its starring role on the big screen, the iconic Miura is beloved thanks to its place both in film and cultural history.

It has been 10 years since the last Ferrari bespoke “One-Off” car was shown.

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This year, the Ferrari’s “Special Projects” division revealed the SP38 – a unique and contemporary car that reflects the specific vision of a designer with a deep passion for racing.

The result is a model that can be driven both on road and on track, while at the same time, expressing all the beauty and innovation inherent in Ferrari’s road cars.

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Designed by Austrian Ernst Fuhrmann, the 1956 Porsche 550 that will go on show was built in the final year of the highly successful mid-engined roadster’s three-year production history.

Its highly effective 1500cc four-cam flat-four engine meant it often beat significantly more powerful or established rivals in races.

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One of the Porsche 550’s most tragic associations is with the American film actor James Dean, who was killed in a road accident, aged only 24, while driving his Porsche 550, which he had nicknamed “Little Bastard”, in 1955.

One of the most highly anticipated exhibits is the “Diamond Line” or “Linea Diamante” car, which will display the design principles of legendary architect and industrial designer Gio Ponti, who died in 1979.

Along with Ponti’s colleague Alberto Rosselli, the design of the car was conceived in 1953, but things never progressed further than the making of 1:10 scale models – until now.

The finished full-sized Linea Diamante will be revealed for the first time at the inaugural Grand Basel – much to the excitement of car lovers from around the world.

Grand Basel in Basel, from September 6 to 9, will be followed by Grand Basel in Miami Beach, Florida, from February 22 to 24, 2019, and then Grand Basel in Hong Kong in May 2019.

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