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Vintage Car Show 2017 review

New event for Les Deux Alpes' summer calendar

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Ian Huyton | Les 2 Alpes Reporter | Published: 31 Jul 2017


Vintage Car Show 2017 review

Saturday saw around thirty classic cars, vans and bikes assemble in the square for a brand-new event in Les Deux Alpes; the Vintage Motor Show. 

The cars assembled in the square at 14:30 and  included a wide range of classic and vintage automobiles. A good-sized crowd turned up to admire them, although people were periodically sent running for cover by short but heavy rain showers. 

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For me the most interesting cars were the French and European classics, including several Renaults and a pair of Citroen Traction Avant convertibles – one in black and one in white. The Traction Avant was an innovative car that made Citroen’s name when it was released in 1934. It introduced front wheel drive, independent suspension and a unitary chassis to mass-produced cars for the first time. The old Renaults on show comprised two beautifully preserved 50s/60s Dauphines, two Renault 4s and an Alpine.

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Other European classics were a Triumph TR6, a Volvo P130 Amazon, a mini, and from Volkswagen a Karmann Ghia, 2nd generation Transporter van and a Beetle. Not everybody knows that the latter was commissioned by Adolf Hitler and designed by Ferdinand Porsche before its release in 1938. The oldest car in the show was probably a Model A Ford Tudor Sedan.

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Moving on from European classics to American muscle cars, there were a few models more familiar to me from Hollywood than from real life. Chevrolet were represented by a Corvette Stingray and Chevelle SS, while the star of the show was a Ford Mustang GT Fastback. A couple of modern Mustang GTs were parked in the background but whilst clearly expensive and fast they lacked some of the style of the original version. A modern Ferarri 360 completed the line-up of newer, fast cars. Two heavily modded old pickup trucks – a Chevvy and a Ford – made up the Hotrod section and a row of Harley Davidsons represented the two wheeled classics.

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The Jeep section was the most unusual part of the show. A World War II Willy’s Jeep was flanked by a selection of big modern SUVs and pickups. These might be expensive, but to me they looked very out of place in a collection of vintage cars, particularly in a mountain town where four-wheel-drive vehicles are already commonplace. Americana in general and big American machinery in particular are much more popular in France than in the UK, so perhaps the huge Dodge Ram pickup did merit its place on those terms.

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The cars were parked in the square for an hour and a half giving people plenty of time to wander around looking at them. While the cars were obviously the main attraction, it is a pity that there was not more in the way of entertainment in the square. Some music and a food and drink stall would have made for a big improvement, although this was a brand-new event for 2017, so perhaps it will be bigger if it returns next year.

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After viewing the cars in the square, it was parade time. The drivers fired up their engines and filed out of the square in convoy. Numerous laps of the town took over an hour before the next stop at Les Sagnes creperie for snacks. Rue des Vikings and the Jukeboxx apero party barbecue was the final destination around at around 7 o’clock. The classic cars lined both sides of the road, which was closed to non-vintage traffic. The weather was not exactly barbecue friendly by now, nor was it ideal for outdoor live music, but that was not going to put a dampener on things. With Niven on guitar, the Jukeboxx crew defied the rain to put on a good show and plenty of people braved the storms to watch from the sheltered bits of the terrace.

More inspiration...

Find more events in Les 2 Alpes this summer and into the coming winter season, or if you're looking for a more modern alternative to get you from A to B on a trip here, take a look at Car Hire

Read more from our reporter Ian on his website.

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