There are car and motorcycle manufacturers where the marketers don't care about the past and have an emotional customer loyalty. We noticed this during contacts about Suzuki's centenary. There are manufacturers who cherish their historical heritage. They still supply parts for the vehicles they once made or at least keep the administrative files of 'before' up to date.
For something ever decent like an A Kadett or a Simca 1000, that's not such a thing
But for the more exotic classics, this is taken very seriously – also on the trade side. You can request the birth certificates of your classic from brands such as Mercedes, Ferrari and Bugatti. With more time and effort, such suppliers or registry keepers can also issue a document of authenticity. Because in the more exotic corner we usually talk about higher prices. And based on the great liberal thinking, in those cases it can be more than rewarding to upgrade a model with a lesser background to an (almost) real top model.
There are now quite a few sold Ferraris, AC Cobras and Bugattis that are simply no more than fake. And somewhere in that transformation, someone got rich and someone else had a lesson in writing off. For example, we manage to find an almost perfect 'Bugatti' replica just across the border that has simply been kept for so long that it has gathered dust and oblivion to somehow come onto the market as 'real'. That could take another 25 years. But one day it will hit the market.
Roy wanted to make sure he had a real one
It's a matter of demand – or greed – and supply. The current prize party also plays a role in making 'upgrading' cars worthwhile in the sector where cars are not yet traded for millions. And that is the reason why advertiser Roy Bolks approached us to enter into a conversation with Renault. He wanted a proof of authenticity of his R5 Turbo Phase II. And for such questions, the Régie has a separate department in which at least two ladies spend part of their time. They are friendly, genuinely French bureaucratic, rather slow. And they speak only French.
We also speak French
That's already half done. The two ladies in question are friendly and talk in the girlish birdie voices of born Parissienes. And Sabine Cotti, Conseillère Service Attestation Renault, was genuinely surprised when she saw a foreign number on her screen!
Because it is vitally important to be indirect when communicating with the French, the topic of conversation only came into view a little later.
take your time
Successfully dealing with the French is only possible if you speak their language and take the time. In addition, Parisians and 'fonctionaires' m/f are a separate breed. Our famous Dutch directness is classified as noisy rudeness. And you don't have to go out of your way for noisy, uncivilized people.
But issuing an authenticity document turned out to be possible
All it took was a lot of detailed pictures of the Turbo plus text and explanations. And then the waiting began. The follow-up of the first conversation was very carefully dosed. For in France the mere suggestion of haste can lead to disaster and exclusion. But if you call again after a few weeks, and again a few weeks later on a Friday afternoon to wish Mme Cotti a nice weekend and to ask if the picture postcard from Terborg has arrived, and - oh yes - has it already What is known about Monsieur Bolks' Renault?
And if you call again after a few weeks? Then Mme Sabine Cotti is on vacation. But an hour later Roy Bolks called: His certificat d'origine had arrived.
What could be arranged in five minutes took about three months. But It worked. And how much 'value' has that document added to the Renault? We do not know that. But it has a price tag of less than 160.000 euros. Not bad for an R5.