Old French Cars in France
The south of France's climate and the absence of salt on roads makes cars last longer and you'll quite often see an example of something you never see back in the UK. This is mostly French vehicles, but a few are from other parts of the world.
Comme d'habitude dans la France Prtofonde
The Renault 4, known by the French as the Quatrelle, is perhaps the most well represented of all the 'older' cars on the roads of France. This suggests that simple engineering improves sustainability.
A Peugeot 104 in Green
Not an inspired vehicle in retrospect, though seen as quite zippy at the time, Peugeot's 104 was launched in the mid 70s and carried on in various guises, including the Talbot Samba, until the late 80s.
Traveller van at Rennes les Bains
There are a good number of hippy travellers about in France, and many favour these large Merecedes vans from the late 70s onwards. This one was spotted at Rennes les Bains, a popular gathering point as it's near to Bugarach, and also has warm spring baths in the river.
Another view of the Renault Frégale
An elegant car from the 50s, here seen well preserved at Olonzac by the Canal du Midi.
And it's all in the best possible taste
I had a couple of BXs a long time ago and they were really good for purpose. One had electric windows - that was just so modern back then. Luckily neither were purple, and I didn't find any need for a body kit. Thanks to some brave person in Le Havre for treating us to this.
A plucky fieat 500
Still intact at least 25 years on, and probably more. This Fiat 500 is so unfeasibly small compared to modern 'small' cars.
An elegant Peugot 404 Saloon
At the same time as BMC was making the crude Morris Oxford and Austin Cambridge series, Peugeot's 404 was a modern, well engineered and solidly constructed.
A shiny 1967 Citröen DS
In purple with a grey roof, spooted in the station car park. Rather strangely, on UK plates.
A silver Renault 20 looking a bit rusty
No wonder, it's at Le Havre so on the coast. The is the 'quick' 2 litre version.
Ageing beauty, a high powered XM
From 1994 or before, this XM has the powerful 2.7 litre V6 petrol engine. I was lucky enough to own one of these myself some years ago (a more frugal diesel one though!) and it was a fantastic car: really comfy plus fun to drive. In a typically French way, sadly not too durable, but we got 175K miles out of it.
Renault 6 - a bit of an ugly duckling?
Similar to, but more modern than the 'Quatrelle' 4, the Renault 6 involved stretching a lot of metal very thinly, and propelling it by the smallest conceivable motor for a vehicle of the size.
Simca 1100 in use as a wood store
In the valley opposite Labastide Esparbaïrenque, a car those old enough will remember, repurposed.
Based on its predecessor the J7 which debuted in 1965, Peugeot's J9 had a wider choice of engines including some diesel options. It was produced between 1981 and 1991, and although the newest is 25 years old, they are still fairly common.
H Type Citroen Van
Standard issue for councils, mairies and individuals from 1947, the shed-like HY van is still seen, in relatively small numbers, across France.