DBS France

Drive-by Snapshots Hot Rod Philippines Angeles City | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

Drive-by Snapshots article published on Speedhunters.com

Flag World greyscale20+ Years, 20+ Countries: The original Speedhunter

2019.09   |   Drive-by Snapshots   |   Speedhunters


The first Drive-by Snapshots article was published today at speedhunters.com:

20+ Years, 20+ Countries: The Original Speedhunter

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

Renault R4 | Nancy, France

Flag FranceRenault R4 | 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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Lost Places | Station Service Fermée

Flag FranceStation Service Fermée

Lost Places   |   Rust in Peace


There 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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Citroen HY 1964 Carrosserie Le Bastard | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2014)

Citroën HY S.E.V. Marchal | Carrosserie Le Bastard 1964

Flag FranceCitroën HY S.E.V. Marchal | Carrosserie Le Bastard 1964

In 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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24 Heures du Mans 2014 | Starting grid and first lap

Flag France24 Heures du Mans 2014 | Starting grid and first lap

Everybody know about the starting procedure of the 24 Heures du Mans race. The cars are lined up in an angle in front of the pit lane wall. But… theoretically knowing about it and seeing it live are two different things entirely. All the buzz on the starting grid is quite interesting…

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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 FrancePorsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 @ Le Mans 2014

One 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 FranceBMW E30 | An important birthday to be celebrated soon

Taking 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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Peugeot 504 Break USDM-spec France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2013)

Peugeot 504 Break USDM-spec | Early morning surprise

Flag FrancePeugeot 504 Break USDM-spec | Early morning surprise

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

Winnebago LeSharo | A grey morning in September

Flag FranceWinnebago 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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Station Service Ouverte France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2013)

Lost Places | Beheaded bodies, robbed carcasses and zombies

Flag FranceBeheaded bodies, robbed carcasses and zombies

Lost Places   |   Rust in Peace


Discovering 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 FranceStation Service Ouverte

Lost Places   |   Rust in Peace


Yesterdays’ 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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Willys Jeep MB with Renault R4 body | Artwork by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Willys MB Jeep with Renault R4 body

Flag FranceWillys MB Jeep with Renault R4 body

In 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.

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Station Service Le Rousset France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

Lost Places | Station Service Le Rousset

Flag FranceStation Service Le Rousset

Lost Places   |   Rust in Peace


When 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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Rust in Peace | British Heritage in France

Flag FranceBritish Heritage in France

Lost Places   |   Rust in Peace


Well, 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 Germans in France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

Rust in Peace | German Cars in France

Flag FranceGerman Cars in France

Lost Places   |   Rust in Peace


If 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. You might also have spotted a blue BMW E28 5-Series in the background. This one seemed to be in good shape. Gotta love those yellow fog lights 🙂

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

Rust in Peace | Les Françaises

Flag FranceLes Françaises

Lost Places   |   Rust in Peace


A 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!

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

Rust in Peace | Italian Cars in France

Flag FranceItalians in France

Lost Places   |   Rust in Peace


After 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 | Mercedes-Benz W108

Flag FranceMercedes-Benz W108

Lost Places   |   Rust in Peace


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

La Bretagne est magnifique

Flag FranceLa Bretagne est magnifique

Discovering 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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Renault Alpine A110 | Artwork by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Renault Alpine A110 à Andelot-Blancheville

Flag FranceRenault Alpine A110 à Andelot-Blancheville

On 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.

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Mini Mk1 with mini-me trailer | Artwork by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Mini Mk1 with mini-me trailer

Flag FranceMini Mk1 with mini-me trailer

When 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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Classic Mack Truck | Artwork by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Classic Mack Truck and a fleet of Volvos

Flag FranceClassic Mack Truck and a fleet of Volvos

A 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.

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

Lost Places | Modern’ Garage Chalus

Flag FranceModern’ Garage Chalus

Lost Places   |   Rust in Peace


September 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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Renault 11 Turbo | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2013)

Renault 11 Turbo | Replica of a rallye legend

Flag FranceRenault 11 Turbo | Replica of a rallye legend

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

Volkswagen T2b | This is not an abandoned vehicle

Flag FranceVolkswagen T2b | This is not an abandoned vehicle

This 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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