Frankreich

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

Renault R4 in Nancy, France

Flag FranceErinnerungen an den ersten Neuwagen meiner Eltern

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Toyota Tercel 4WD Pick-up | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Toyota Tercel 4WD | Pick-up Conversion

Flag France… we couldn’t go surfing due to a massive beach break. We drove down the coast instead, heading to Biarritz for a Café au Lait. Walking out on the Capbreton pier is always a little adventure on a day like that. Walking back to the shore and setting foot on dry land again, we thought our eyes were fooling us. But indeed… there was something missing from the Toyota Tercel that drove past.

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

Peugeot 504 Break USDM-spec | 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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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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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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