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France

FIAT Ritmo 65 CL Strasbourg France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2016)

FIAT Ritmo 65 CL and a beautiful old lady in Strasbourg, France

“A beautiful lady is an accident of nature. A beautiful old lady is a work of art.”   Louis Nizer

Dear readers,

you might be wondering why I choose this quote to accompany todays post. Both the FIAT Ritmo 65 CL and the graffitti snake in the cover picture have a bewildered surprised expression on their faces, as if they are wondering about the same thing.

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Citroen HY 1964 Carrosserie Le Bastard | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2014)

Citroën HY S.E.V. Marchal | Carrosserie Le Bastard 1964

Flag FranceIn the 1960’s the internet wasn’t invented yet and only a few people had a black and white TV. Apart from advertising in newspapers and cinemas, companies had to come up with different ideas to get the attention of potential customers. In France, many companies ordered special re-bodied vehicles from coach builders to gain attention at events like the Tour de France and the 24 Heures du Mans. These vehicles drove along the circuit before the races began. Concerning the Tour de France, the tradition lives on even today, but unfortunately most vehicles are not purpose-built solely for advertising duty any more.

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Dodge WC-51 Wrecker with Peugeot 404 Cab Conversion | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2016)

Dodge WC-51 Wrecker with Peugeot 404 Cabin Conversion

“We have had a very severe frost and deep snow this month.
My thermometer was one day fourteen degrees and a half
below the freezing point, within doors.”   Gilbert White

Flag FranceUtilizing surplus WWII machinery with canvas tops for towing wrecked cars in the winter at high altitudes with plenty of snow has certain disadvantages. The canvas covers freeze and eventually break when you move them. Scraping the ice of the plastic windows sratches them permanently and you never get warm and comfortable inside the vehicle, even with the heater on at full blast. To solve these problems and to make his live easier, Monsieur Negre could have bought new tow trucks. But hey! This would have been too easy. Men capable of creative thinking get pencil and paper out instead of the checkbook. Why should you throw away perfectly good vehicles just for the sake of being more comfortable?

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Willys MB Jeep with Renault R4 body conversion | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2016)

Revisited | Willys MB Jeep with Renault R4 body conversion

Flag FranceSix years ago I discovered a Willys MB Jeep with a Renault 4 body conversion and took some pictures.
Two and a half years ago I started to write this blog and decided to kick it off with the story about the converted Jeep.
A week ago, on a roadtrip home from Malaga, we spontaneously decided to cross the Massif Central instead of driving through the Rhône valley.

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dbs Simca Hot Rod 1955 France | photography by Sebastian Motsch

Nondescript French Concrete Mixer Hot Rod

Flag FranceTodays post is something for classic car fans who love challenges. I found this French hot rod with a mock-up concrete mixer on the back in rural France back in 2007. Ever since then, I’ve been wondering what the hell this is actually based on.

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Station Service Saint Priest de Gimel France | photography by Sebastian Motsch

Lost Places | Station Service abandonné in St. Priest-de-Gimel

Flag FranceDriving past this abandoned service station in 2007 sparked a memory. A long time ago, when I was a young boy, we used to take the same route between Clermand-Ferrand and Bordeaux. If I remember correctly, this station was still in service back then and we might even have stopped there to fill up.

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Peugeot 504 Pick-up Strasbourg France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2015)

Peugeot 504 Pick-up with more patina than rust

Flag FranceWhenever I take a road less traveled, there seems to be something interesting hiding behind a tree just around the corner. En route to the Parc de l’Orangerie in Strasbourg with my girlfriend, we found a somewhat sad looking Peugeot 504 Pick-up.

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Station Service Le Rousset France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

Lost Places | Station Service Le Rousset

Flag FranceWhen was the last time you found something not only totally unexpected, but also thought to be extinct by now? Trundling along the Route Départementale D27 at a leisurely pace on a hot day with no cloud in sight, we had a moment just like that, when we found the cutest rural petrol station and workshop. The icing on the cake most definitely was the color-matched Renault R5, which made the scene even more unreal.

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Yellow and Blue | Day seven

While digging through my picture archives, I became aware of having many pictures that have one thing in common: matching color schemes. It really is interesting how some color combinations can be found whichever country you go to. This week I’m going to feature a selection of pictures containing the bright colors Yellow & Blue.

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Yellow and Blue | Day five

While digging through my picture archives, I became aware of having many pictures that have one thing in common: matching color schemes. It really is interesting how some color combinations can be found whichever country you go to. This week I’m going to feature a selection of pictures containing the bright colors Yellow & Blue.

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Yellow and Blue | Day two

While digging through my picture archives, I became aware of having many pictures that have one thing in common: matching color schemes. It really is interesting how some color combinations can be found whichever country you go to. This week I’m going to feature a selection of pictures containing the bright colors Yellow & Blue.

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Citroen Dyane Snail StanceRat | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Citroën Dyane | The ugly sister of the 2CV

Flag FranceWorldwide the Citroën 2CV unites many enthusiasts. There are plenty of clubs and interest groups. They even organize huge meetings each year, one of which I visited in 2009 in Lit-et-Mixe while being on a surfing holiday nearby. But wait… the 2Cv has a sister even most Citroën enthusiasts describe as being rather… ugly.

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Renault Dauphine Mezos | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2007)

Renault Dauphine | Like ice in the sunshine

Flag FranceImagine a sizzling hot day early in June, with temperatures well over 30°C and no wind whatsoever. We are cruising through the pine forests between Biarritz and Bordeaux at a leisurely pace with the windows and sunroof wide open. The loudspeakers of the trusty old Mercedes play a tune most Germans immediately associate with childhood memories of family summer vacations.

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Station Service Ouverte France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2013)

Lost Places | Beheaded bodies, robbed carcasses and zombies

Flag FranceDiscovering a defunct service station displaying a sign saying Station Ouverte was already weird in its’ own right. The place looked like it had been left in a hurry and the proprietors haven’t returned since. Being the kind of person who is always keen to figure out what might have happened, I walked around the building and found… the carcass of a little vehicle the French call La Deuche.

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Station Service Ouverte France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2013)

Lost Places | Station Service Ouverte

Flag FranceYesterdays’ post featured a small service station that went out of business, but isn’t fenced off or has a sign saying so. The story today is different. You are looking at pictures of a substantially bigger service station that, for lack of a better word, is closed. Nonetheless, it does sport a sign saying: Station Ouverte.

To tell you the honest truth – this place looked like a film set straight out of a zombie movie! The lack of traffic, heavy clouds and a slight drizzle didn’t make it any more friendly or welcoming!

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Station Service Fermée Tuffé France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2014)

Lost Places | Station Service Fermée

Flag FranceThere are many reasons why I love France. One of them is the fact, that the French do not immediately dismount the pumps after a petrol station goes out of business. Instead they just display the lowest possible price on the signpost, call it a day and wander off to play a game of Pétanque with their friends, enjoying a glass of red wine.

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FIAT Panda Mk1 Véhicule sans permis | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2014)

FIAT Panda Mk1 | The story is often hidden in the details

Flag FranceAll of you have have been in this situation before: a long distance, cross-country journey by car. If you happen to be driving through France, make sure to stay away from the Autoroute and use the Route Nationale instead. I bet you – it will never be boring! Driving home from the 24 Heures du Mans, we stopped at a red traffic light in Sedan (Ardennes), not far from the border to Belgium. The low sun cast an interesting shadow on the wall, in front of which a FIAT Panda was parked on the sidewalk. Not really interesting, you think? Well look closely, and you will see what instantly hit me.

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24h du Mans Starting Grid | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2014)

Le Mans 2014 | Starting grid and first lap

Flag FranceEverybody know about the starting procedure of the 24 Heures du Mans race. The cars are lined up in an angle in front of the pit lane wall. But… theoretically knowing about it and seeing it live are two different things entirely. All the buzz on the starting grid is quite interesting…

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Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 Le Mans 2014 | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2014)

Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 @ Le Mans 2014

Flag FranceOne of quite a few Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 models in 1:1 scale that graced the Michelin booth at the 24 Heures du Mans 2014. A stunning car and engineering masterpiece… but not particularly pretty. It might have looked a lot better had it sported a Martini or Gulf livery. Maybe next year?

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Toyota LMP1 TS010 Le Mans 2014 | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2014)

Three generations of awesomeness @ Le Mans 2014

Flag FranceLe Mans 2014. Three generations of awesome LMP1 race cars from Toyota are displayed in front of the Toyota hospitality building. That’s actually a good chance to compare how the design of the vehicles has evolved over the years. They might become faster, sleeker and more aerodynamically advanced with each generation. But honestly, don’t you also think the oldest car is the most handsome and good looking?

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