[Originally published 10 February 2017 @ 14:00]
It’s been an
unreasonably unusually snowy winter here in the lower BC Mainland; here’s an apropos French flick full of old cars I mostly can’t identify. I find this film compelling, for some strange reason certain of you might guess. Alors, let’s go racing in the snow and speaking French! It is daytime, so let’s stop in the middle of the race and replace a working headlamp with another working headlamp! Now let’s rev the engine, do a little heel-and-toe soft-shoe, and speak more French! Okeh, so it ain’t exactly C’etait un Rendezvous, but…
…say, come to think of it, now that first movie’s set our teeth achatter, let’s warm back up with Rendezvous, which (if you watch it with the sound turned up, as required by international law) is as hot as the first film was cold:
Somehow I thought the second video was going to be “The Black Prince” doing a lap of the 35 Kilometer Paris Ring Road.
The cars in this film (aside from the E-Body Challengers) are all Simcas; the first, boxy little one in the title sequence is a Simca 1000 Rallye 2- think Renault 8 Gordini. The second car, the hatchback with the buggy eyes is the Simca 1100, likely equipped with the hot 1294cc engine. These were sold Stateside in small numbers through Chrysler dealer in the very late 60s-early 70s. The attractive little bizzaro-Alpine A110 is a CG 1200S, a low production sports car produced by the Chappe Fréres et Gessalin coachworks and powered by a tuned version of the Rallye 2 engine
The second clip led me to spend well over an hour on YouTube, watching dash cam videos of cars doing 250, 300, 330 kph on German autobahns. Including a couch-grabbing 333 kmh (206 mph) run in an Audi R8.
Time well wasted.
I think the first video captured the only French car of the time with properly adjusted head lights. What a coincidence!
These guys had no seatbelts. I can’t imagine driving a mile without being strapped in. But I remember how difficult it was for the adults to get used to them when they were introduced.
There is no toolbox in France without a lighter in there somewhere!
Did I see right? This was Michelle Mouton? I’ll have to dig out some videos of her driving the Audi.
Porsche used Cibié for their legendary 917 racers, most teams chose Cibié, while Enzo Ferrari insisted on Marchal headlights for his production and racing cars.
The car in this film a Simca 1100 Special is a rather strange choice, Simca used mostly Marchal headlights, Citroën and Renault were more loyal Cibié customers.
Cibié’s Oscar and Super Oscar driving lights are famous, set the standard and are still made today, although Cibié, Marchal, Ducellier and Paris-Rhône (all French electrical car component manufacturers) have merged into the Valeo Group.
Back in the day French lighting were state of art, used on the 1977 Aston Martin V8 Vantage and the XJ Jaguar rectangular foglights were Cibié airports (now made in Portugal but still available) and Porsche France could fit your 911 with Cibié’s also used for Citroëns DS21 Pallas second nose.
Further it is worth mentioning that Cibié invented the kangourou headlight, a headlight with an additional built-in lense for high beam, these were used by Peugeot for their 504 injection model, Ford used them for their Mk I Escort Mexico and RS models and Berliet Trucks for their TR series a long distance hauler.
Ow, Cibié and Citroën developed the world’s first rectangular headlight for the Citroën Ami 6, which was so good that it could cope with Ford’s GT40 racer and the 1962 Maserati 5000Gt.
Simca by then could have been part of PSA so would use the ‘company’ lights.
In Spain in the seventies wannabe racers used to place decals with names like Esso and Cibié in their cars because they were popular brands in rallies. I haven’t seen one in decades.
The little red white sports car is a Simca CG, Chappe et Gessalin
The early hours sprint through Paris is great and not upspeeded footage and that guy can drive and what ever he is in handles great
2 great films! The second one felt like I was playing a video game!