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Old 14th February 2020, 00:34   #1
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Default The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris

Over the last couple of years we have seen a steady decline in car shows all over the world. We see fewer car show and we see more and more car manufacturers pulling out of attending these shows. We have a separate thread on this quite recent phenomena.

I have mentioned before that the opposite is true when it comes to the Classic Car Scene. We are seeing more and more Classic Car events everywhere in the world. Shows are competing against one another with themes, bringing in rare cars and all kinds of other unique attractions. Some of these classic car shows are also morphing into sort of life style events. Showing not just vintage cars, but all sorts of other related stuff. Watches and clothes being the obvious ones, but these days all sorts of other stuff is on display. It also means they cater for and thus attract a very different kind of public. Because lets face it, classic cars tend to be a very male orientated theme, by and large. Mature males I can add too. But all that is changing.

The numbers of classic car shows and events is steadily increasing. There are a number of shows that form the nucleus of car shows here in Europe. Most of them have been going on for decades. The Retromobile is definitely one of the top shows in Europe and it sorts of kicks of the classic car season, although these day the Classic Show In Maastricht, the Netherlands is usually a few week earlier. And is also seen as one of the top shows in Europe.

I visited the Retromobile show in Paris France, probably more than twenty years ago. There are a few things that I still remember. It was absolutely freezing cold. This show is alway held early February. Michelin was celebrating some anniversary and had a massive stand. On it they had an actual tyre making machine. A lot of manual labour was still involved. I watched in awe for several hours how these tyres were produced. It was unbelievable crowded. Huge show and there was so much to see. The catering was non-existing, you could hardly get a coffee, let alone a sandwich. I enjoyed myself hugely. I drove up and down in one day.

Ever since I have always wanting to go back. Somehow it never happened. But this year I managed to attend:

https://www.retromobile.com

It so happened I was attending an event of my photo club, The Royal Photographic Society, on macro photography on Saturday in Antwerp, Belgium. That meant I was already on my way south. So I decided to drive on to Paris afterwards and attend the Retromobile on the Sunday. Driving home Sunday evening.

It does require a bit of planning. These days, Paris has strict emission regulations. And although during the weekend nothing gets enforced, you never know and I applied for my special emission sticker. Only a few Euro’s on what I can only describe as the worst English translated website in existence. Credit where credit is due, the French did put up an English version of their French website. But somebody just dumped the complete French text into Google Translate and published it as the English version.

Our macro workshop was supposed to end around 17.30. It was held at the Photomuseum in Antwerp. Absolutely worth a visit if you ever find yourself in Antwerp. I decided to leave a little early. Primarily, because I wanted to be in France, on a French Motorway, before it got dark. The Belgium motorways are terrible and the further south you get, the worse it gets. Massive potholes and very often no lights on the motorway.

I was driving, obviously, my 2002 Jaguar XJR and I had just four new Michelin Sports fitted. I have shredded a few tyres, bend a few rims, on potholes before! You do not want to hit a big pothole doing 120-140 km/h!

So just before 17.00 hours I passed the Belgium Border.
Maximum speed on motorways in Belgium is 110 km/h, but in France it is 130 km/h.
This is the actual border, no checks, no migration, no customs. You just power through!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-img_2299.jpg

As always I have my trusted TomTom helping me navigate and it also knows the location of every speed camera. In France it is illegal to have positions of speed camera’s in your GPS. TomTom has overcome this by indicating known locations as a stretch of road, rather then just a spot. Works brilliantly.

So I put the hammer down, 140 km/h, cruise control, almost empty roads, some great music on my iPod. Nice sunset.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-img_2300.jpg

I had pre-booked a hotel just outside Paris a few week earlier. Arrived around 19.00 hours, had a very nice dinner in a nearby French restaurant and turned in for an early night.

The next morning after a nice French Breakfast, I just love croissants and pain du chocolat, I started up the Jaguar and we headed for Paris, About 35 minutes drive on near empty roads. I managed to park right underneath the exhibition centre. Had to wait about 20 minutes at the gate before the doors opened, but I was one of the first ones through the doors!

Almost straight away I ran into this Bugatti stand. Now, you might think Bugatti is a bit over the top these days. Spending that sort of money on a car is just decadent. But no matter what, it is a hugely impressive car.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090001.jpg

Lets just be honest, just about any Bugatti, is always special!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090002.jpg

As I said earlier, these days classic cars have much more on display than just cars. Some of it is car related, but not necessarily.

One thing is for sure, the French really like Steve McQueen. I saw an awful lot of car mobilia about him.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090004.jpg

I was very impressed with the various model cars on sale. You will see some more. But the quality and variety on sale was staggering!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090005.jpg

Like I said, it is not just car related stuff that is on display and for sale!!

Apparently, car enthousiast are also into aviation. Well, those of you that know me, know that to be true!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090006.jpg

Back to some remarkable cars:

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090008.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090009.jpg

The French tend to be somewhat nationalistic at these sort of events. Lets be honest, they do have quite the car manufacturing heritage, nothing to be ashamed about. So all the big French car manufacturers, dealers, restorers, auctions houses, all attend with some remarkable cars. How about a very old and not so very old, but certainly not very young Renault!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090011.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090012.jpg

Of course, there can not be a classic car event with red cars, when they are red, they are either Ferrari’s or Alfa’s, no mistake

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090014.jpg

Another magnificent Italian car, Maserati

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090015.jpg

One of my favourites, a Mercedes Pagoda. This one was still being restored. It is interesting, because you get some idea on how thorough the restoration is being done. Whereas on the outside this car looks quite stunning, I was not that impressed by some of the details underneath. Some of those, once finished will be difficult, if not impossible to see. But proper restorations also dress the bits you can’t see.

Still, I do like the colour on this one. Gorgeous, really suits the car.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090016.jpg

How well is a restoration done? It is all done with mirrors! This is how restorers show off how thorough they have been

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090017.jpg

My personal preference of classic cars tend to be around cars from the 60-90s, but the older ones, are, no discussion, incredibly photogenic!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090018.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090019.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090020.jpg

Ok, so I will admit, Alfa’s do come in other colours than red. Although this was very nice Alfa Spider, I don’t think grey does a Spider justice. Spiders are for fun driving, nice country roads, wind in your hair, sun in your face, your partner next to you, hamper in the boot. Who would chose a grey car for that?

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090021.jpg

Luckily, there were some more proper, proper Red Italian cars as well!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090024.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090026.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090032.jpg

This (boring grey) Mercedes is quite the special car though!

It is a Mercedes Benz SLR Stirling Moss. Only 75 of these have been produced and this is number 66. It has done only 8700 km. It comes with a 5.5L V8, producing 650 BHP at 6500 RPM, topspeed 350 km/h.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090034.jpg

These cars are hugely sought after by collectors (very wealthy collectors I might add). Since 2009 when they were produced, pricing have more then tippled.

I am a huge admirer of Stirling Moss. This man was just unbelievable fast in just about any car. I have met him once, best not say to much about that. As the saying goes, never meet your heroes. But as drivers goes he is unsurpassed as far as I am concerned.

A few more images, that will give you an impression on what is on display and how elaborate the displays are:

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090037.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090038.jpg

These must be the most photographed and most recognisable head lights of any classic cars. The head lights with eye lashes.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090042.jpg

Some other details on this car are quite interesting too

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090043.jpg

Again, somebody putting something very unusual on display to show of their skills, attention to detail etc

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090048.jpg

Last edited by Jeroen : 14th February 2020 at 01:11.
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Old 14th February 2020, 01:29   #2
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Default re: The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris

And now for something completely different:

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090049.jpg

How about a Porsche? A very early Porsche, but a Porsche never the less!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090052.jpg

Many a heritage of famous car brands is not just about regular cars, many started of building tractors, trucks.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090053.jpg

Lets have a look at some of the other stuff on display at this amazing exibition.

Car models are the obvious choice for car mobilia of course. And there were plenty!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090055.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090059.jpg

I spotted this little collection of Matchbox cars. I found it particularly interesting, as one point I owned each one of these little cars. I had a huge collection of these little cars. These are all in remarkable, near mint, condition. All with the original (Match) box. My favourites were the garbage truck and the mobile crane. Retailing at Euro 120-150 a piece!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090061.jpg

Car books, car brochures

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090056.jpg

Pedal cars are a huge thing to. Not cheap either!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090058.jpg

A lot of what the French call Brocante about:

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090064.jpg

And of course, the usual part vendors! Mostly French parts I might add!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p20900652.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090065.jpg

You need a super charger or two? Get yours at the Retromobile

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090066.jpg

Do not ask me why, but there were at least 4-5 stands that sold leather belts! Not sure what belts have to do with classic cars, but there you are.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p20900682.jpg

At least hats and caps are very much part of the classic car scene

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090070.jpg

These days there is no escape. Any classic car show and you will find some classic cars converted to electrical.

The 2CV will never be the same

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090071.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090072.jpg

Some overviews of the first hall (there are three in total)

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090074.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090076.jpg

In order to get from hall 1 to hall 2 and 3 you had to follow this corridor. A very special exhibition in this corridor

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090081.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090082.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090084.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090085.jpg

Hall two was a mix of some cars and a lot of other exhibitors as you will see. Hall 3 had a lot of cars on display, mix of clubs and some traders.

What is interesting is that other classic car shows are present with a booth of their own and put in some remarkable cars too

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090086.jpg

So we already saw some pedal cars and electric classic cars. But if you want to get something really special for your kid, get them one of these electrical mini Jeeps,. With winch! Only Euro 4500,-!?

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090087.jpg

As far as I am concerned the below is just sacrilege, but there you have it, an electric mini! No Italian job will ever be the same!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090088.jpg

If you would like a nice vintage petrol pump, this is the place! Pick one!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090091.jpg

An interesting and unusual paint scheme on this little Renault

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090092.jpg

And of course, any classic car show will have a few of these, and the doors will always be open!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090093.jpg

In order to own and drive a classic car, one needs to look the part. One can buy a nice classic outfit here at the Retromobile

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090094.jpg

Last edited by Jeroen : 14th February 2020 at 01:40.
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Old 14th February 2020, 01:55   #3
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Not sure about India, but in the western world, owning your own jukebox is considered to be pretty cool. Many a man cave has a classic jukebox!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090095.jpg

One can not be expected to drive one’s classic car with just any pair of shoes. One needs proper driving shoes, obviously!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090096.jpg

Amongst all this sort of stuff, luckily also still a lot of hard core vintage and classic car related stuff. Like this guy that specialises in restoring radiators.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090097.jpg

Or this gentleman, selling real car mobilia

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090098.jpg

I had a little chat with the folks on this stand. They can make you a piston, any piston, any specification!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090099.jpg

And of course, quite a few tools on sale! No I did not buy any.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090100.jpg

Most of these very large, very fancy classic car shows tend to have a particular theme. This year Retromobile had various theme, one being agriculture vehicles. So quite a few tractors on display too:

By far the largest one:
The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090103.jpg

Lo and behold, another Porsche. A Porsche tractor!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090106.jpg

Some very nice cars on sale by various traders. Lovely little Fiat 500, really nice, love these pastel colours for these little cars.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090109.jpg

The French Mercedes Benz club was out in force. (Gull) wing doors open, of course!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090111.jpg

Quite a number of interesting car club out here

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090113.jpg

And more models

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090114.jpg

Model trucks too, look at those prices. Euro 149 and that is discounted

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090117.jpg

In terms of life style accessoires, here is an interesting one. If you can afford some of the cars on display here, you are likely to be able to afford one of the most iconic speed boats too. A Riva. Stunning!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090118.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090120.jpg

Electrical parts required? We have them all and then some!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090123.jpg

A very familiar Alfa Romeo engine and gear box on display. My Alfa Romeo Spider has these as well

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090124.jpg

At least I thought so. The gearbox had a cutaway section and the clutch and fly wheel look like some sort of high performance version.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090125.jpg
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Old 14th February 2020, 02:14   #4
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This was another interesting company. They make you a miniature of any of your real cars!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090127.jpg

I spend some time with these guys, they build garages, or rather the interior of garages. Special floors, work benches etc. Very nice, very expensive.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090134.jpg

Another restorer showing his magic tricks and mirrors:

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090136.jpg

There were some American cars, but not that many I noticed. Still a few nice ones: Large and small!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090137.jpg

Another Mercedes Pagoda, still being restored. This one was in much better shape. Lots of attention to all the little details. The engine on the Pagoda had mechanical injection. Apparently, very difficult to properly set up, but very reliable and robust when properly set up.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090138.jpg

Another grey Alfa Romeo Spider!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090140.jpg

There were also a number of motorbike manufacturers about. Anbody remember these guys? They have been around for a while I believe, but you rarely see their bikes for real

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090141.jpg

A nice shot showing how classic cars combine with other interest, aviation in this case.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090142.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090145.jpg

As you might have gathered, I am not a huge fan of the colour grey. On anything, anytime. But this Ferrari was stunning. Boring colour, but immaculate paint work

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090143.jpg

Did I mention watches yet? Every self respecting classic car show will have several stands selling watches. Of course, there are quite a few watch manufacturers out there who have been involved in various ways with racing and certain car branding.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090146.jpg

There was a lot of car-art about too. Many paintings. Some very attractive, some not so, but of course, that is down to your own very personal taste.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090147.jpg

Even so, I hope we can agree, that this particular item is not in good taste. Still, they made it, I am sure they will sell it to some punter.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090148.jpg

I have mentioned before that some vintage and classic cars can or maybe even should be regarded as pieces of art. Look at these two bikes. Look at the details and how beautifully each and every individual part has been crafted. Look at the details and the total bike. Outstanding, a true piece of art as far as I am concerned

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090151.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090152.jpg

On my way to the exit I came past this little model, only maybe 10-12 cm long. Amazing!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090153.jpg

The last stand i spend some time at was the Bosch stand. I have seen this stand at various other shows as well. Bosch takes an active role in maintaining their old systems. Most parts can still be purchased and or overhauled by Bosch.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090155.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-p2090156.jpg

I left Paris early. Not sure if this is known in India, but Western Europe was all buttoned down last weekend, because of quite a heavy storm, Ciara.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51425482

Usually all the weather forecasters exaggerate these storm warnings by a substantial margin. It’s all about cover your ass. They got it badly wrong decades ago and many people died. So now, they take the approach better safe than sorry, and better apologise afterwards it did not get as bad as predicted, then get sued! Welcome to our brave new world. Of course, the joke is on them, crying wolf. One day there will be a mother of all storms and nobody will have taken any notice.

But, it was still quite a storm. And my wife was all alone and during previous storms we have had some damage to the roof. The worst was supposed to hit our part of the Netherlands around 20.00 hours and I arrived home around 17.00.

Driving home from Paris meant that for the first 250 - 300 km I was heading straight north with a southern gale behind me. Very little traffic on the road, Sunday, France, Storm, so pedal to the metal. I managed to keep my Jaguar, on the cruise control for a little over 250 kilometers at 140 km/hour with only twice coming of the cruise control, both times for Toll Gates.

But what was interesting is that my fuel efficiency, at 140 km/hour was around 1:10!! Normally at this kind of speed I would be lucky to do 1:7!

The total round trip, last night with normal weather driving to Paris and today with this gale behind me, 841KM, all at high speeds I got an average of 1:8. Which is unheard of!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-img_2312.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-img_2313.jpg

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-img_2314.jpg

I don’t think I have ever experienced such a pronounced effect on my car’s fuel efficiency due to wind!

Just north of Antwerp, one problem. A tree was blown over and fell across the E19. The main motorway connection between Belgium and the Netherlands. Happened almost right in front of me. The guy a couple of cars in front of me, but in the slow lane, had it almost fall on its car roof! Some scratches on his car, and I dare say he probably needed a change of underwear! I was barreling down this stretch of motorway doing 125 km/hour and I had to hit the brakes hard!

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-img_2315.jpg

I was lucky being so close behind it. Because I know what will happen. Within minutes the cops and fire brigade will be on the scene. And they will shut down the whole motorway until they have cleared the road. Me and some others, managed to squeeze by.

If anything, another reason you need to live in the fast lane. Any trees falling over, are less likely to hit you!

Last edited by Jeroen : 14th February 2020 at 02:24.
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Old 14th February 2020, 03:14   #5
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Default re: The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris

Note from Support: Thread moved to the Beyond Borders section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 14th February 2020, 12:33   #6
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Quote:
I have mentioned before that the opposite is true when it comes to the Classic Car Scene.
Totally agree with this. Classic car shows will not go down like the other auto shows, which are already struggling. Shows like Retromobile and the London classic car show will stay for a long time.

I've been seeing some stunning pictures from this show on Facebook over the past few days. Some gorgeous cars on display there.

Quote:
It is a Mercedes Benz SLR Stirling Moss.
Including this. Stunning car that I've always wanted to see.

Quote:
These must be the most photographed and most recognisable head lights of any classic cars. The head lights with eye lashes.
Adding a pic I took a few years back:
The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-miura-headlights..jpg
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Old 14th February 2020, 15:07   #7
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You have got to love the French. They do try, but English is just difficult for them.

As I explained, I ordered a so called Air Quality Certificate for my trip to Paris a few weeks ago. I got an invoice and an order confirmation via mail within 24 hours. The actual certificate was supposed to send by regular mail to our home in the Netherlands. Figuring all of this out, was not easy. I know very little French and the English version of the French website left much to be desired.

The week before I was due to head south for Paris, I got a little nervous. The website allows you to track your order. But my order reference was not known, or so it told me. So I mailed, but never got a reply. I called them, but I could not get hold of somebody who spoke English.

As I had the confirmation, it was the weekend, no smog, I decided just to change it. Today my official Air Quality Certificate for my Jaguar arrived.

This is how the French Ministry of Transport communicates in English. If anything it is amusing.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-air-certificate-1.jpeg

The “back side” as the French call it (?!) somehow managed to escape the attention of whoever was in charge of translating. Or perhaps he or she was completely exhausted after doing the front page.

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-air-certificate-2.jpeg

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Old 14th February 2020, 15:36   #8
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Awesome thread!
A huge thank you @Jeroen for (re)introducing us to some gorgeous old ladies!

Matchbox cars has an interesting trivia about it's origins. Jack Odell, one of the co-founders, designed a scaled down model of the first toy car (road roller actually), because his daughters school allowed toys in school, only if they fit inside a matchbox.
Jack surely deserves a dad of the year award, in my opinion!
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Old 14th February 2020, 16:09   #9
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So I have carefully read the “back-side” of the letter. It was in French. The video is also in French. But I managed.

It is now firmly stick in a legible way from the outside

The Retromobile Car Show, 2020 @ Paris-img_2319.jpg

I will now proceed to them my opinions on their website.

By the way, the green sticker at the top is the German equivalent. A so called Umwelt Sticker. As you will notice I have left some room in between the two, as more European countries are introducing more environmental zones and as many different stickers. Soon, you will not be able to take your car anywhere due to the fact the front window is completely covered in Emission and Air quality stickers!

We can laugh, but every time you take your car into Europe, you better check what they have come up with.

Apparently the French do have an exemption scheme for classic cars. However, even the Dutch Automobile Association has not been able to figure out how it works.

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