France

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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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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Renault 11 Turbo | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Renault 11 Turbo | Replica of a rallye legend

Flag FranceDriving through central France. Cloudy skies with the odd rain shower now and then. An uninspiring town along the road. A boring Renault dealership. Wait! Boring? No way! Around the back, they had something interesting: A Renault 11 Turbo Rallye replica. I always like to see the simple, yet striking, designs of an era long past. Make sure to check out the video further down in this post, as it features a couple of these legendary machines.

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Winnebago LeSharo | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2013)

Winnebago LeSharo | A grey morning in September

RD 6089 near Terrasson-Lavilledieu, on a grey morning. Cruising along with the local traffic… I spotted something based on the Renault Trafic on the side of the road: the Winnebago LeSharo. I have always liked how the French design of the base vehicle integrates well with the American style camper body. If you look at other Winnebago motorhomes of the same period, you can even see a familiar resemblance. Being flanked by a US-spec Peugeot 504 Break was a nice coincidence. The dealer had many other interesting vehicles for sale, some of which you will sooner or later find here at Drive-by Snapshots.

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Mercedes-Benz W123 Coupe with Constructam Caravan | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Mercedes-Benz C123 | A Comet coupled to a Coupé

Flag FranceSurfing makes hungry and supplies don’t last forever. Coming back from shopping groceries at the local supermarket in Lit-et-Mixe, we found this period-perfect car and trailer combination: A shiny blue Mercedes-Benz W123 Coupé with a Constructam Comet 6T caravan in tow. Unfortunately the owner wasn’t around at the time, so I couldn’t ask him, if this particular combination had in fact been together for almost three decades. And when I woke up the next day… he had already left the campground and moved on.

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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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Renault 5 A5 Turbo | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Renault R5 A5 Turbo | Up the hip!

Flag FranceFinding this little gem in Hossegor was a treat. The silver of the Renault 5 A5 Turbo matched the orange in the background perfectly. Looking at the picture again recently while resizing it and adding the watermark, I discovered something in the picture that I had missed previously: the store is called HIP UP – and the little girl is sitting up on daddy’s hip. Funny coincidence, isn’t it?

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Volkswagen T2b Biarritz | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Volkswagen T2b | This is not an abandoned vehicle

Flag FranceThis was one of those ‘by chance’ finds. While trying to find a good vantage point to take a few pictures of Biarritz, I turned into one of those dead-end alleys you often find near the beach. Out of curiosity I followed the tiny road around a bend – and found this Fuchs equipped Volkswagen T2 hiding there. Quite clever actually: park where it’s free of charge, grab your surfboard and head for one of the famous surfing spots. I really like the sticker on the windscreen, because it somehow fits the overall theme of the van.

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Modern Garage France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Modern’ Garage à Chalus

Flag FranceSeptember 2009. Late afternoon, somewhere in rural France. Running low on fuel, we were looking for a service station to fill up the trusty Mercedes. Eventually we found a station just before sunset – and right next to it one of those places that are well and truly lost in time. The overall impression didn’t really match the name of the place – Modern’ Garage. It might have been modern when the sign-writer painted the letters on the front wall decades ago. Peeking inside, we spotted a seemingly brand new Ford Escort Mk3 and many parts boxes of the same period. Around the back I found a Renault 5 Mk2, a pre-facelift Renault 21 and a Peugeot 403. I intended to take a few pictures, but a rather unfriendly dog reminded convinced me that I really wanted to cover many more kilometers before nightfall…

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dbs Ford Transit Mk1 camper van | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Ford Transit Mk1 | Forwards ever – backwards never!

Flag FranceThere are a number of songs with that or very similar titles that instantly came to my mind while sorting pictures from a 2009 trip to the French Atlantic coast. We spotted this Ford Transit Mk1 camper van in Hossegor. Looking forward is aided by a classic roof mounted spotlight and a set of (not really period-correct) Hella Micro FF fog lights… while looking backwards isn’t really that easy with a missing rear-view mirror. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to speak to the owner if this beautiful camper was in original condition or if it has been restored.

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dbs Renault Alpine A110 Andelot-Blancheville | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

Renault Alpine A110 à Andelot-Blancheville

Flag FranceOn our way to a wedding in France we opted to take the more scenic Routes Nationales. Driving two days instead of one and taking pictures of interesting things on the way is just so much better than trundling along on the boring Autoroute at 130 km/h. Entering the tranquil town Andelot-Blancheville we found the central plaza full of interesting classic and vintage vehicles, one of which was this Gordini blue Renault Alpine A110 in front of the Hotel-Restaurant Le Cantarel. I especially liked the perfect color-matched parking. Look closely and you will find hints of future posts in the window reflection of the restaurant.

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Mini Mk1 with Trailer | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

Mini Mk1 | A Mini with a mini-me trailer

Flag FranceWhen you least think of it, something out of the ordinary happens. One day in March 2010 we went across the Rhine River to do some shopping in France. As we step out of the Super U we find this lovely little Mini Mk1, complete with a matching trailer. Cute, isn’t it?

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Transports Rougier N21 | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Transports Rougier

Flag FranceA late afternoon in September 2009. The low sun provided a special light to the French landscape and the sky was filled with heavy clouds. We were driving along the Route Nationale 21 between Périgeux and Limoges, as the first lightning of a nearing thunderstorm stroke. A classic Mack truck was sitting at the intersection in Les Thermes Ouest. I stopped briefly to take a picture, and found the spotless Transports Rougier fleet in the background…

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Jeep / Renault 4 Conversion | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

Willys MB Jeep with Renault R4 body conversion

Flag FranceIn June 2010 we took the scenic route through the Gorges du Tarn. Climbing out of the canyon and heading towards Le Puy, we drove past a service station somewhere in the rural Département Lozère. As always, I immediately slowed down to take a closer look and was once more rewarded by finding something rather unusual: a leftover WWII Willys MB Jeep that has been cross-bred with a Renault R4. The bodywork of the conversion looked very professional and is actually very clever, because the region sees a lot of snow in winter. Judging by the faded red paint and the rotating light on the roof, it might have once belonged to the local fire department. The markings on the left door indicate that it may have been used by the local garage as well, probably as a service or recovery vehicle?

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