Say ‘Bonjour’ to Classic Car Events

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Book review by Grant Ford France: The Essential Guide for Car Enthusiasts‘France: The Essential Guide for Car Enthusiasts’ written by Julian Parish has 200 events, shows, museums and circuits for you to ponder, all helpfully split into regions of the country, so planning your trip couldn’t be easier. The author was born in Southport but has lived in France for 20 years and appreciates all things classic and has managed to collate not just the well-known events such as Le Mans and Angouleme but more interestingly many you will never have heard of. Whilst planning my trips this year I have found getting information difficult with most of the websites not responding to my Google requests and of course there is the language problem. This book carries all of that information including contacts, websites plus a detailed description of every venue, maps and even sat nav coordinates; many are within a couple of hours of the channel ports and whilst the cost of a ferry crossing has to be taken into account most are free to attend and only a few will require a Goodwood sized bank loan on entry. I was lucky enough to speak to Julian from his Paris home and he told me the original idea came to him about 5 years ago and his research and writing took 2 ½ years to complete. He drew up a list of all the events he could and divided them into areas before setting out to see just what they offered. Most UK visitors will look first at the area of north east France which goes from the Belgium border down to Le Havre and across by passing Paris (which has its own section) to Germany and Switzerland. Julian also pointed out the museum displays can vary from original private collections in rustic outbuildings to perfect rare machines in stately surroundings. One thing the French are very good at is a Concours d’Elegance competition. By incorporating period attire and music with light shows they can be enjoyed by all the family and are quite a spectacle. This year I am looking at the Western region, from Dieppe to Bordeaux and inland to Le Mans, all drivable in one day if the overnight is used from the south coast ports. I had already planned my visits prior to the release of this book; I wish I had waited as Julian Parish has detailed several events and museums I had never heard about. Still there is always next year. France: The Essential Guide for Car Enthusiasts is compulsory reading for those adventurous types that enjoy fine wines and great food with their diet of all things classic car. My advice is purchase the book and make your plans; board that ferry you really won’t regret it. Published by: Veloce Publishing Ltd. Priced at £14.99 ISBN 978-1-845847-42-5 Paperback 248 pages 503 picturesTags: