A pair of outlandish cars designed to look like swans are among the highlights of a vintage car show in Paris. Opulent automobiles once owned by Indian Maharajas go on display alongside classic sportscars and historic record setters at Retromobile.

The Brooke Swan – commissioned by Robert Nicholl Matthewson, a wealthy Scotsman living in Calcutta – caused quite a stir. "Women screamed. Carriages went careering off the road. Water buffalo, oxen, goats, donkeys, elephants, camels and natives, after one glance, took off at top speed in every direction," ran a report in a Calcutta newspaper in April 1910.

The Swan was banned from the roads, and Matthewson sold it to the Maharajah of Nabha, who developed the Cygnet, a smaller single seater electric version for driving around in his estate.

Also on show at Retromobile is the BABS, which set the world land speed record in 1926. This behemoth, designed by Thomas Parry, had a huge 27-litre V12 Liberty First World War bomber engine under its bonnet. Parry was killed in the car the following year trying to set another record.

IBTimesUK looks at some of the cars on show at Retromobile 2014, at Expo Porte de Versailles in Paris until 9 February.

1910 Swan and Cygnet
The 1910 Brooke Swan car and the smaller CygnetReuters
1927 BABS
BABS: The car in which Thomas Parry set a world land speed record in 1926. The vehicle had a huge First World War bomber engine under its bonnet, a 27-litre V12 Liberty. Parry was killed the following year trying to set another recordRetromobile
mercedes streamliner
The 1955 Mercedes-Benz W196R Streamliner, as driven by Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss in the 1954/55 Formula One seasonRetromobile
1926 Rolls Royce Phantom I
1926 Rolls Royce Phantom IRetromobile
1914 Renault AG1
An actor dressed like a WWI soldier poses with a 1914 Renault AG1. It became known as the Taxi de la Marne when the fleet of Paris taxis was requisitioned by the French Army to transport troops to the First Battle of the MarneAP
A De Dion-Bouton vehicle used during World War OneReuters
1931 bentley
A 1931 Bentley 8-litre coupe Sportsman Gurney-NuttingReuters
1938 peugeot
A 1938 Peugeot 402 Darl'MatReuters
A 1962 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Mulliner cabriolet, owned by former French actress Brigitte Bardot in the early 1970sReuters
1972 fiat
A 1972 Fiat Shellette, owned by French designer Philippe StarckReuters
1957 chevvy
A 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air hard-top Coupe customised by George BarrisReuters
1956 Citroen
1956 Citröen Prototype C10Retromobile
An orange1959 Messerschmitt KR 200Reuters
1941 electric
A 1941 Pierre Faure Type PFA biplace electric carReuters
1967 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray cabriolet
A 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray cabrioletAP