Cart horse or thoroughbred? The AMK translation service

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Purchasing classics there

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.

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  1. citroën issued a birth certificate for my 2CV AK 400 from 1973 and my 2CV Special from 1987 without too much trouble. So it doesn't have to be an expensive car.
    It went as the editors write, but as a Dutchman you just have to be able to adapt and then there is nothing wrong

  2. Speaking of rudeness, the French think we are rude because we are direct and want to make haste. But the French are rude because they assume that someone else will always adapt to them. They never do anything wrong, always someone else does. Napoleon is a hero there, a dictator for the rest of Europe, but to find that is a mortal sin for them.
    Patience is indeed a virtue, as indicated below. But if something that should be arranged within 5 minutes or so has to take a month or 3(!) then you are frustrating things.

    • Although it is kept quiet under the Citrophil, André's last ride was in a hearse belonging to the eternal competitor ..; Renault.

      When applying for my DSuper's 'Birth Certificate', the ladies of the Conservatoire did the Citroën but a week or two left.
      So it can also be…

  3. A nice trip with some cultural flaws.
    That “the French” take the time to be careful and, for example, also take the time to sign a paper check at a cash register can also be a relief. Just like waiting for your DS to be up to speed before you can quickly drive away. Or that your engine oil temperature is perfect for racing. You have patience and patience is rewarded. Often rewarded in France to enjoy

  4. Anyone who has something to figure out about a Mercedes can simply enter the chassis number on

    And you get ALL the specifications, including by which importer the car was ordered, on which date it came from which factory, what the factory accessories were, the paint, the upholstery, the engine and gearbox, the version, the nameplates, everything.

  5. It's the "crazy who cares". 3 years ago I sold an R5 Alpine, (so no Turbo, and much rarer!), with 110dkm, original NL, for no less than 10.500. And of course abroad, because the Dutch like to be ripped for a fake, albeit with a lower price 😉

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