France

Citroen CX 22 TRS | Photoshop Chop by Sebastian Motsch (2019)

Citroën CX 22 TRS

Flag FranceCitroën CX 22 TRS

2019.08   |   Photoshop Chop   |   Tuning


Growing up at the French border gave me the opportunity to enjoy the weird and quirky French cars. At a very young age, I was fascinated by the sheer elegance of the big Citroën cars parked in the lowest position of the hydropneumatic suspension. Seeing them sink into or rise from their “sleep” position always was the icing on the cake and put a smile on my face. These days now, air suspension setups are the norm, but for me it will always be a reminder of days long gone, when the French engineers’ ingeniuity and driving comfort was more important than the bean counters interference in vehicle development. This photoshop depicts a dream of my younger self: being able to actually drive the Citroën CX in the low position and fit larger multipiece wheels. Ça c’est une voiture très belle.

Citroen CX 22 TRS | Photoshop Chop by Sebastian Motsch (2019)

Click here to see the original picture.

 

Mercedes-Benz C107 450 SLC with Custom Top Chop

Flag GermanyMercedes-Benz C107 450 SLC with Custom Top Chop

2019.07   |   Photoshop Chop   |   Nice Matin


When I found the original picture of this Mercedes-Benz C107 450 SLC parked in front of the Nice Matin building, I fell in love with it immediately. The color hues and saturation just scream late 70’s / early 80’s!

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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 | 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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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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Biarritz Chateau d'Ilbarritz France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Lost places | Biarritz, Château d’Ilbarritz

Flag FranceLost places | Biarritz, Château d’Ilbarritz

Lost Places   |   Rust in Peace


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

Mercedes-Benz C123 | A Comet coupled to a Coupé

Flag FranceMercedes-Benz C123 | A Comet coupled to a Coupé

Surfing 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.

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

Volkswagen T3 Syncro | The perfect travel companion

Flag FranceVolkswagen T3 Syncro | The perfect travel companion

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

Renault R5 A5 Turbo | Up the hip!

Flag FranceRenault R5 A5 Turbo | Up the hip!

Finding 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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