Lost Places

Dodge Challenger SRT-8 392 Hemi Muscat Oman | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2016)

Dodge Challenger SRT-8 392 Hemi | Abandoned near Muscat, Oman

“Don’t become a mere recorder of facts, but try to penetrate the mystery of their origin.”   Ivan Pavlov

Avid readers might remember the JDM goodness I found in Muscat right the sun rose out of the ocean. Driving  northwest along the coast on a Friday was a great opportunity to take pictures of vehicles that wouldn’t be there any other day of the week. More on all the 4×4 vehicles I found there will be covered in a different story here on drivebysnapshots.com. I circled the new airport development and just before I reached the city limits, a baby blue vehicle caught my attention. Naturally, I turned off the main road to check it out.

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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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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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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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Nissan Patrol Shumaisa Beach | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2015)

Nissan Patrol 160 | Catch of the day

Flag OmanBefore reading this story, please make sure to read the story called Fishermen’s Friends.

Most seafood restaurants have catch of the day on their menu: a special fish out of the many fish caught last night, served fresh. Drive-by Snapshots is not a seafood restaurant but a blog covering automotive topics – and the menu changes daily.

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Oman Road Trip | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2015)

Fishermen’s Friends

Flag OmanImagine you’re driving along a brand new and perfectly fine highway which, without prior warning, abruptly ends at a beach. Mind you, the beach was not the intended destination!

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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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Rust in Peace Les Francaises | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

Rust in Peace | Les Françaises

Flag FranceA field with fading beauties from various countries in southern France. So far, vehicles from Germany, Italy and the UK have been featured here on Drive-by Snapshots. But this little series of posts couldn’t be complete without the French, or could it? Non monsieur! Pas du tout!

OK then, we’ll start this post with the colors of the French flag: bleu, blanc et rouge. Fun fact: you can see the Italian colors in the background (with a little help from a gentle Brit).

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Rust in Peace British Heritage in France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

Rust in Peace | British Heritage in France

Flag FranceWell, you have probably read the posts about the German and Italian vehicles found in a field in southern France. OK then, this post is about the British heritage fading away in the very same location. The Mini Mk1 and the Land Rover Series II look as if you could save them, albeit probably with a little more work than it looks at first sight.

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Rust in Peace Italians in France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

Rust in Peace | Italians in France

Flag FranceAfter posting the German cars resting rusting in a field in southern France, Drive-by Snapshots brings you the Italian counterparts found at the same location: the proverbial sleeping beauties. In the first picture, a Lancia Beta Coupé and a Lancia Beta HPE are guarded by an angry looking Simca Aronde.

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Rust in Peace Germans in France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

Rust in Peace | Germans in France

Flag FranceIf you have read the story about the star on a reasonably priced car, you already know how I found a field full of faded treasures in rural southern France.

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Mercedes-Benz 280 SE | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

Mercedes-Benz W108 | A star on a reasonably priced car

Flag FranceOnce upon a time…
This is how most fairy tales begin. This is no fairy tale, though.

Once upon a time we traveled through France and my friend asked me whether or not I had seen the classic car behind a bush we just passed. I thought she wanted to fool me and kept driving all the way to… the next roundabout. This is what they have been invented for anyways. Turning around and driving back, all the way thinking about this (possibly nice) opportunity for a Drive-by Snapshot. Finding the bespoke classic car behind the bush was great – but discovering a whole field with literally dozens of classics, left me speechless.

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Berlin Dreilinden | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

Lost Places | Berlin Dreilinden

Flag GermanyLiving in West Germany and having relatives in Berlin made it necessary to drive through German Democratic Republic (GDR) frequently. I remember sitting in the back seat of our Audi 200 as a young boy, waiting for endless hours in ridiculously long queues at the Drewitz border crossing. The round building and the service station always fascinated me. It marked the point where we re-entered familiar territory after the arduous Transit through the eastern part of Germany. Leaving the big city on the way home, it marked the point where we literally left our relatives behind and entered the Transit route once again. Fortunately those days are over, and Dreilinden now serves as a landmark that sparks memories of times long gone.

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Station Du Haut-Limousin | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Lost places | Station du Haut-Limousin

Flag FranceIn 2009 we found an abandoned service station, somewhere in the Haut-Limousin region of France. I quite like the old fashioned architectural approach and design. The service station and garage must have been very busy, at a time long gone and almost forgotten. Inside, it was completely empty. Thoughts of buying it bugged me and I couldn’t forget it for a long time. In 2013, I drove past it again – and didn’t even bother to stop and take a picture. It had been converted into a mattress store. Painted in awful colors, with ugly billboards and cheap advertising – destroying the vintage character of the building completely. It was really sad, to see it in such an unattractive condition. 🙁

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Biarritz Chateau d'Ilbarritz | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Lost places | Biarritz, Château d’Ilbarritz

Flag FranceBiarritz, France. A beautiful sunny and warm day in spring. I was driving around randomly, looking for interesting things to take pictures of. Finding the old Château d’Ilbarritz by chance, I hiked up the hill to have a closer look. Quite an impressive building, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the Biarritz Golf Course. Peeking over the fence was rewarded by a nice surprise: two classic cars enjoying the early summer sunshine, completely undisturbed. An 02-Series BMW and a Renault R4, both early models with more chrome trim than the later models.

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Vita Popcorn | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Vita Popcorn

Flag Germany2009 wasn’t such a good year for funfairs. With the financial crisis hitting the economy hard in 2008, many people didn’t have a lot of money to spend on rides, hot dogs, popcorn, etc. This and the chilly bloody cold temperatures during the Karlsruher Mess’ gave us the rare opportunity of taking some nighttime funfair pictures, without having to worry about a crowd. Most of the pictures turned out to be awesome – but lonely and sad at the same time. Proof, that an economic crisis takes the fun out of a funfair.

This post is dedicated to the beautifully lit Vita Popcorn® themed stall. A homely, warm glow that really stood out from the more colorful neon lights surrounding it.

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Datsun 1200 GX | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2007)

Datsun 1200 GX | A vintage petrol pump with a matching car

Flag South AfricaIt just happens sometimes, that you are in the right spot at the right time. Imagine walking past a vintage Shell petrol pump that is blocked by a boring new car, thinking you mustn’t forget to take a picture of it on the way back. And as you walk back an hour later after a cup of baie lekker hot chocolate and a biscuit, there is a matching vehicle parked right next to it. In this case a yellow Datsun 1200 GX with beautiful patina. A couple of minutes later it was gone again. This really happened in Pilgrims Rest, back in 2007 – imagine the smile it put on my face! 🙂

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