Renault, Talbot and Cinderella

Say 'ZX, GTO, Carrera or SL' and the classic world is shivering on your lips. Say "Renault R6 or Simca Horizon" and the opposing party will ask: "Do you want some boiled coffee and how are your mother-in-law's difficult feet?"

The missing magic

Some brands and / or types simply miss 'The Magic' when it comes to tickling our imagination. They are too ordinary, too slow, too small. And that is all due to the Calimero effect and our dream factor. 'Ordinary' stuff does not sell. Or it should go to a selected group of gourmets.

That still applies to classics in the 1: 1 scale

Yet that was 'normal stuff' that determined the street scene. But where a Rolls, Ferrari or SL300 Gullwing by definition had a reasonable chance of survival, the usual conventional classics disappeared to reincarnate via the blast furnaces as a Tomado drying rack or sandwich maker.

Out and not wanted

That type of image-defining classics has disappeared, has hardly been sought after and - always nice - not expensive. For us, the range of classic cars of this kind is best in France, on the other side of the Loire where the weather is always nice. There are still quite a few forgotten smaller Renaults, Peugeots and Simca / Chryslers / Talbots. These have often been neat cars from older people. And they are still there because they have no value, are not in the way and because the average Frenchman is simply not interested in old cars, motorbikes or houses.

Just go

Add to that the fact that there are still reasonable documents in France where the Internet is still very slow and that older French people do not like modernity. The only way to get hold of such toys is to speak French fairly well, go to France and take the time to let the potential sellers unwind. Our Dutch openness and directness is seen locally as barbaric behavior and never make the mistake of just teaching people like - the otherwise rattling French speaking - Ilja Gort does. Start conversations with the usually gray villagers in the afternoon or in the evening with a long, quiet start. If they see that their conversation partner is not a rude Dutchman, but almost a civilized person, then they want to thaw.

There are still plenty of them

And then it turns out, as we have mentioned before, that there are still some old cars in every French village. Also this summer we spotted a couple. The TAs, DSs, Matras and Renault Alpines and Peugeot 504s are long gone. But R21's, R11's and R6jes? A sporadic GS, a Peugeot 505? They are still there. 305's can also be found. Plus the aforementioned 'small' cars such as R6ssen and the various cars that were made respectively under the banner of Simca, Chrysler Europe and Talbot.

Martin Nijenhuis is a fan of classic French cars of the endearing and almost forgotten type. A few years ago he was actively working on this with Auvergne Classics pro by bringing that kind of clean sleepers to the Netherlands. But that action has been put back a bit. But browsing through his photo album made us very happy.

And this winter you can also follow simple conversation courses for little money at an Alliance Française in your area. That can make your next vacation much more interesting.




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  1. When people hang “shuddering” on your every word of the first types mentioned, that certainly also says something about the reputation of those models.

  2. There are basically enough French cars. Let's see when we last see a beautiful Austin Westminster, Morris Oxford, a Vauxhall Cresta, Sunbeam Rapier, Wolseley 16 / 60, Humber Super Snipe, Riley4 / 72 or Singer Have seen Vogue! Not for the French, but English cars were and are the most elegant cars in terms of appearance. Also in terms of interior. That the sheet metal was of lesser quality, you could not know when you bought it, you came back later!

  3. From experience a few years ago: Always tell you that you are NOT a German (certainly to an older Frenchman / woman). Certainly if you have already spoken NL. German is in tone like NL. Many French people have nothing (or even less) with German people.

      • Czech Republic, for God's sake start in English, Prussians don't speak that.
        Then you can switch to German ..
        I have seen Germans treated with inhumanity in the Sudetenland where we received all respect including drinks from the business ...

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Now on newsstands

View the nearly forty-page preview at this link or a click on the cover.

The December issue, containing:

  • Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300 Super
    Erik van Putten explores the timeless charm of the Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300 Super, with images of Bart Spijker and himself. The story delves into the world of Alfaenthusiast Koen de Groot, whose family is deeply rooted in the Alfa Romeo culture. Koens' special relationship with his Giulia, a car he has cherished for years and which will soon receive an impressive upgrade, is highlighted. The Giulia symbolizes car love and heritage, a passion enriched by Koen's father Frans, a Alfa Romeo expert and enthusiast.
  • Double Used Type Designations
    Peter Ecury unravels fascinating stories from the automotive world in the 32nd episode of his series on double-used type designations. This edition provides an update on the rumors surrounding Peugeot and Porsche and delves into the history of the type designation '142', used by brands such as Volvo and Austin. Ecury also discusses the evolution of the term 'GT' and the controversial use of the letters 'SS' in car names after WWII, with examples such as the Chevrolet Impala SS and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS.
  • Ducati 750GT, 860GT and 900GTS
    Hans Smid highlights the Ducati round carts, produced from 1972 to 1974, which combine minimalist beauty with unique technology. This article describes Ducati's drive for innovation and the creation of these models, highlights the challenges and costs of collecting them, and shows Ducati's journey from near ruin to iconic status.
  • Horex Imperator
    Marina Block tells the story of the Horex Imperator, an iconic motorcycle from the 50s, known for its sportiness and advanced technology. Despite the closure of the factories, Horex remained known, partly due to the cartoon character Werner and recent reissues. The Imperator, with its innovative parallel twin and overhead camshaft, inspired later designs and has been praised for its quality and design, despite limited sales success.
  • ClassicPost
    Readers of Auto Motor Klassiek share their discoveries and experiences. Eddy Joustra discovers a Peugeot 203 pickup in Heerenveen, while Robert Reessink photographs a unique Moto Guzzi moped in Italy. Stories range from Chris van Haarlem's Scottish scooter adventures to Bram Drooger's discovery of a Rolls-Royce Corniche and two FIAT 850s. Ben de Man finds a special Chevrolet Step-Van in the Netherlands, and readers share corrections and additions to previously published articles.
  • Nissan Silvia 1.8 Turbo
    Aart van der Haagen reveals the history of a rare Nissan Silvia 1.8 Turbo, originally registered as a commercial vehicle. The first owner transformed the car into a family-friendly vehicle, and Jan Manenschijn now cherishes this unrestored gem with only 67.000 kilometers on the odometer.
  • Peugeot 205 collection Team VCC Twente
    Aart van der Haagen highlights Team VCC Twente's collecting passion for Peugeot 205 models. Brothers Peter and Niek Olde Veldhuis collected unique examples such as the GTI and CTI, and even a rare 1.9 GTI Dimma. Their collection shows the transformation of a once ordinary model into a special classic.
  • Volvo and Classic Cars
    Alain Pondman from Volvo Lotte speaks about the true value of classic cars. He criticizes the trend of cheap, poorly maintained classics on Marktplaats, emphasizes the importance of making memories with vintage cars, and advises buyers to invest in quality and durability.
  • Volkswagen Beetle 1955 - Second life
    Max de Krijger tells the story of Hendrik Jan Hofman, a passionate Kever restorer. Hofman brought a badly damaged 1955 Beetle back to life with a dedication to perfection and detail. This green Beetle, complete with handmade high chair and open roof, reflects his craftsmanship. Hofman is now considering selling the Beetle to focus on a new project.
  • ClassicPost
    In the KlassiekerPost section of Auto Motor Klassiek enthusiastic readers share their unique finds and personal experiences. Eddy Joustra comes across a rare Peugeot 203 pickup in Heerenveen. Robert Reessink captures a unique Moto Guzzi moped on camera in Italy. Chris van Haarlem shares his Scottish scooter adventures, including an unexpected encounter with an Austin A30 on the Isle of Skye. Bram Drooger spots an elegant Rolls-Royce Corniche and two FIAT 850s. Ben de Man discovers a special Chevrolet Step-Van in the Netherlands. This section illustrates the diversity and deep-rooted passion of classic car and motorcycle enthusiasts, with stories ranging from local discoveries to international treasures. In addition, readers provide valuable corrections and additions to previously published articles, such as PBTM Matthijssen's input on the Ardie/Dürkopp Dianette, which contributes to the rich and versatile content of the magazine.
  • Once again almost twenty pages of short messages about everything that has to do with classics
  • And of course our section 'Classics' where you can shop around in search of your next classic.

The perfect reading material for an evening or more of undisturbed dreaming. It is now in stores. A subscription is of course better, because then you will no longer miss a number and you are also much cheaper. Not bad in these expensive times.

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Continue on a classic

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