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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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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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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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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 | 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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Eurl Garage Reitz Louannec | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

La Bretagne est magnifique.

Flag FranceDiscovering the Bretagne region in France is always a stunning experience: the wild coast, the important landmarks, unique rock formations and then some more. Driving from one interesting spot to the other never gets boring. Around every corner you turn, there is something of historical significance waiting to be looked at. Being a car aficionado that loves to take Drive-by Snapshots, I always make sure to look out for interesting vehicles. However, sometimes the interesting stuff is not around a corner at all, but rather right within your focal vision.

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Peugeot 504 Break US-spec | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2013)

Peugeot 504 Break | Early morning surprise

Flag FranceIf you are a frequent reader of this blog, you might remember seeing a glimpse or two of this Peugeot 504 Break in the post about the Winnebago LeSharo. Even the EU-spec vehicles are kind of hard to find in good condition these days, because many of them have been exported to northern African countries years ago, to be used (and abused) as taxi cabs. Finding this US-spec model on an early morning was a nice and unexpected surprise. No visible rust on this extremely rare car, but very lovely patina. If cars could talk, this one would definitely be able to tell some interesting stories about the adventures of a long life on at least two different continents…

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BMW E30 324d Strasbourg | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2014)

BMW E30 | An important birthday to be celebrated soon

Flag FranceTaking pictures of the diamond black 318is beauties on Sunday reminded me of something. A couple of weeks ago, while looking for Drive-by Snapshots in Strasbourg, I found an almost immaculate BMW E30 324d in an industrial area. The sign on the roof pointed to a used car dealership I would have otherwise missed. The silver car was for sale, but an old diesel isn’t really desirable to own in Germany due to high taxes… unless it is 30+ years old. Well this particular birthday will be celebrated in the not too distant future.

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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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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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Volkswagen T3 Syncro Westfalia | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Volkswagen T3 Syncro | The perfect travel companion

Flag FranceThe perfect travel companion? Should be able to go anywhere while carrying all the things you might need there. Oh… and providing ample sleeping space and a fridge to keep the drinks cool wouldn’t hurt either. This immaculate Volkswagen T3 Syncro Westfalia camper ticks all the right boxes and comes quite close to being the perfect travel companion, doesn’t it?

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Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Toyota LandCruiser 80 | Leader of the pack

Flag FranceSome people drive a Citroën 2CV for fun. Some people want to have more fun with their 2CV and take them on a trip to the Sahara desert in Morocco. A great idea if you are not afraid to take your classic vehicle on long distance trips under sometimes harsh conditions. The French call this kind of adventure “raid” – and it is anyone’s guess whether or not this word originates from being afRAID once or twice along the way.

The Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series pictured here seems to belong to the head of the organization committee, called “Le pape organisation”. The bumpers have been removed and the suspension raised. A snorkel and a heavy duty roof-rack kitted out with various gear, necessary for serious off-roading, complete the picture. This rig looks to be ready to tackle some dunes!

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