Frankreich

Renault R4 Nancy France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Renault R4 in Nancy, France

Spontan sind wir dieses Jahr an Ostern über die Grenze nach Nancy gefahren und haben das Auto in einem leicht patinierten Parkhaus abgestellt. Der Weg zum Ausgang führt uns quer über das Parkdeck. Wir unterhalten uns über einen der ersten Besuche meiner Eltern in unserem wunderschönen Nachbarland. Jahrzehnte ist dieser Ausflug her und ich stelle mir vor, wie es in dem damals neuen Parkhaus ausgesehen haben mag. Anstelle von silbernen, schwarzen und weißen Einheitsfahrzeugen parkten hier damals Autos in allen möglichen Formen und Farben ― je bunter desto besser.

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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 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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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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Porsche 935 Kremer K3 | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2014)

Porsche 935 Kremer K3 @ Le Mans 2014

Flag FranceAs promised in the previous post featuring the Snatch Panda, there are going to be a couple of posts containing more sport-orientated vehicles. First one up is the Porsche 935 Kremer K3 in the famous Vaillant livery. The car was parked in the fenced-off area where members of the Porsche Club Great Britain camped, a mere hundred meters away from the famous Porsche curve of the Circuit de la Sarthe. Unfortunately the security guard wasn’t the most sympathetic person and was neither understanding nor especially helpful. Therefore, I could only snap a few pictures through the fence 🙁

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FIAT Panda 4x4 Snatch Panda | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2014)

FIAT Panda 4×4 Mk1 | Snatch Panda @ Le Mans 2014

Flag FranceCamping at the Beauséjour campground in Le Mans near the Porsche curves provides a constant stream of interesting cars. Porsche, Lotus Seven, Aston Martin and other fine machinery are plentiful there. However, I choose this cute little FIAT Panda 4×4, nicknamed Snatch Panda, for my first LM 2014 posting. Why? Because it really stood out amongst all the high end cars and features lovely details, mimicking properly equipped larger scale 4x4s. You just gotta love the desert sand paint with the flat black accents. The camouflage nets in the rear windows are also a nice touch. Props to the builder/owner and thumbs up!

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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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Willam City Lambretta Microcar | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Dinosaur scares Willem Lambretta

Flag FranceWhoa! Watch out! There’s a dino on the roundabout!

My girlfriend tried to scare me while pointing out the obvious. Oh well I thought and pretended to be calm and totally in control of the situation – while flicking on the high beams of my Impala brown 190E. Remember the day in driving school, when they told you that deer and many other animals freeze and subsequently don’t move, due to temporary blindness? Gotta tell you – it works mighty fine to stop a French dino in its’ tracks. Just look at his eye.

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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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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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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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Sercel Nomad 65 Neo | Broadband vibrators

Flag FranceA beautiful Sunday afternoon, driving along the Doubs river in France with the convertible top down. We found this pair of Convoi Exceptionnel trucks, parked opposite the lock between Le Barre and Ranchot . The load looked quite interesting and we stopped to have a look. We could only guess the function of these impressive machines, named Sercel Nomad 65. But the internet is our friend and a quick Google search later, we knew that these machines are in fact broadband vibrators used for geological survey activities. If you want to learn more about it, check out the Sercel homepage or download the Nomad 65 Neo press release PDF.

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