Inside: Eddy Merckx and Jacky Ickx 70th Expo
A display of Merckx‘s 1972 Hour Record machine, components, skinsuit, and some astonishing stats is just one piece of the Merckx-Ickx Expo
Eddy Merckx and Jacky Ickx are sharing their 70th year with this fantastic joint Expo that will run until June 21st 2015
With Merckx’s birthday not until June, the Expo and celebratory bike are an early present
Whereas Belgium’s finest racing driver celebrated his 70th on New Year’s Day
In the red corner, Merckx, in the blue, Jacky Ickx…
The Expo is superbly designed with flowing lines leading visitors through the careers of both men by year
Merckx’s first Belgian Champion’s jersey for his amateur club
A peloton of eight of Eddy’s classic bikes and an old Peugeot team car take centre stage
Many of Merckx’s most notable trophies, plus a list of all 525 victories make an impressive sight. The pennants top right were awarded for his Tour de France wins – the fifth is out of shot
One of Merckx’s three World Championship winning medals
The achingly stylish Faema jersey worn by Merckx for some of his finest seasons
Merckx regards his victory in the 1969 Tour de France – his first – as his most important career win
A timeline at the top lists each season’s major victories with photographs, news reports, jerseys and memorabilia relevant to the time
1971 saw Merckx win a quite stupendous 54 races, and including the years either side of it, he won 250 races in just 5 seasons, something that will never happen again
One of Merckx’s 4 World Championship winning jerseys, and a shot of him climbing the Col du Galibier in 1975
The Molteni – Campagnolo jersey from 1975
1976, Merckx celebrates his seventh Milan – San Remo win
This tunnel marks Merckx’s dominance of Milan – San Remo
A rare sight of the C&A jersey Merckx wore for his truncated final season in 1978
Leading the peloton is this immaculate Merckx
The red and white Faema model was the inspiration for the colour scheme of the new EDDY70 bikes
This early Superia bike has a very relaxed seat angle, bar end shifters, mudguard eyes, huge clearances and an unusual 24 hole front wheel with tied and soldered crow’s foot spoking. More on the drivetrain later.
A Peugeot from the 1967-1968 seasons with centre pull brakes, mudguard eyes and some quite uncomfortable looking levers
Note the red detailing on the seatpost, chainset and lugs on this machine from circa 1970
Possibly the frame and jersey colour that will forever define Merckx, this Colnago frame is very evocotive of the early 70s
An immaculate example of a late 60s Peugeot team car – no TVs or rider radio for the DS to be distracted by in this one
Our favourite section was the re-creation of a typical Belgian fans bar, full of period Merckx memorabilia, and the great man himself!
If you think that merchandising is just a modern idea, think again
Eddy was even cool enough to be sponsored by a coffee machine manufacturer
We’re intrigued to know how the Merckx board game works
But possibly less intrigued to hear what’s on these Eddy Merckx vinyl singles…
Typical rider post cards of a very untypical rider
Different times. An advertisement from when attitudes were rather more relaxed
What super fan wouldn’t want a Fiat team jigsaw?
Hard to imagine any modern riders who could warrant having their face on their frame twice
Or their name taking the place of the frame builder
The thankfully defunct practice of drilling components to save grams
Gear cables haven’t always passed beneath the bottom bracket shell
Drilled chain rings. We have to wonder how much rigidity this cost
Campagnolo’s finest components were a constant throughout Merckx’s career, and there could be no other choice for the EDDY70 bikes
Clement tubulars were among the finest of the time
Taking weight saving to a new level, the chain on this Superia bike is drilled right through every link. We’re not volunteering to ride it. Also note the toothless jockey wheel on the Gran Sport derailleur
Jacky Ickx’s first car from 1950
By 1968, Ickx had graduated to a V12 Ferrari 312
The 1977 Le Mans winning Porsche 936 gave Ickx his fourth victory in the 24 hour race
Icckx drove this four wheel drive Porsche 911 in the Paris-Dakar rally in 1984
Some of Jacky Ickx’s cars and his first enduro motorbike show his versatility. Part of the Merckx exhibition is in the background
The BMW 3.0 CSL Batwing from 1974
Alongside Martini Racing, the Gulf racing colours of this 1969 Le Mans winning Ford GT40 are among motorsport’s most distinctive
Long-time friends Jacky Ickx and Eddy Merckx have not only shared the affections of decades of Belgian and international sports fans, but also their birth year.
Former motorcycle, Formula 1, Le Mans, Sports Car and Paris-Dakar racer Ickx turned 70 on New Year’s Day this year, and Eddy Merckx will celebrate his 70th birthday on 17 June.
The Merckx-Ickx Expo honours both men with a superb exhibition of significant bikes, cars, personal and fan memorabilia, photographs, newspaper cuttings and old films. It’s all set in a brilliantly designed display within part of the Trade Mart Brussels in Belgium.
The Expo has been open since December, and will remain in place until 21 June 2015.
For any cycling fan, however much you think you know about Merckx, the Expo is well worth a visit to see so much of Eddy’s personal history displayed in such a coherent, informative fashion.
Take a look through our gallery for a taste of what you could see.
Our favourite section was the re-creation of a typical belgian fans bar, full of period merckx memorabilia, and the great man himself!:
With features like this recreation of a typical Belgian sports bar, the Merckx-Ickx Expo is a trip back in time (nevermind the mobile phone in the great man’s hand)