Frankreich

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 FranceLost Places | Station Service Fermée

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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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 FranceLost Places | Beheaded bodies, robbed carcasses and zombies

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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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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Rust in Peace | British Heritage in France

Flag FranceRust in Peace | British Heritage in France

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

Rust in Peace | Italian Cars in France

Rust in Peace | Italians in France

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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Mercedes-Benz W108 | A star on a reasonably priced car

Flag FranceMercedes-Benz W108 | A star on a reasonably priced car

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

Modern’ Garage Chalus

Modern’ Garage Chalus

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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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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2007 France Mézos Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste | travel photography by Sebastian Motsch (2007)

Mézos | Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste

Flag FranceÉglise Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Mézos

Click here to see what was parked across the street.

2007 France Targon Commanderie templière de Montarouch | travel photography by Sebastian Motsch (2007)

Targon | Commanderie templière de Montarouch

Flag FranceCommandarie templière de Montarouch

Always taking the small backcountry roads instead of the Autoroute paid off again, as we would have never found the Commandarie templière de Montarouch. It is one of those hidden treasures that you’ll never find unless you go there on purpose or find it by chance.