Motor Racing, H:O Scale Slot Cars, Classic Cars, the building of my slot car circuit

Les courses automobiles francaises et voitures classiques

Monday, 29 September 2014

Bourges Allogny French Championship Autocross and Sprint Car

We made a rather spur of the minute decision to spend a short few hours at the championship autocross event in Allogny this weekend.   I must admit that I wish I had had time to spend the whole day there.  The racing was fun and close, plenty of sliding around and a great atmosphere.  Despite all the modern safety fencing, it was possible to find a few locations to take some good pictures.  Hope you enjoy them and if you get a chance do visit a French National Autocross event.
The start of the buggy final with smoke and dust pouring off the rear wheels
Aurelien Daumain in his Susuki engined Camatos buggy heads from the paddock to the start.
Action from an earlier Super Buggy heat
Thierry Ben Hassen leads a bunch in his Gembo Nissan Super Buggy
I particular wanted to see some of the Tourisme Cup cars as there were some Alpine Renault, Porsche and Lotus silhouettes in this class.   Like the buggies they also provided exciting racing.

Noam Lagarde leads the race in his Susuki engined Alpine Renault A110
Luc Franseret in his BMW engined Porsche
Very close racing between the midfield runners
Peugeot versus Lotus Honda battle
Perhaps the best racing of all came from the sprint cars.  We saw both the junior sprint car and sprint girl finals and both provided great entertainment.

The juniors head into the first corner…...
…..and  then around the infield section
Understeer and oversteer styles in the battle for third place
The sprint girls show that they mean business!
Tail out action from the girls
I have to say that this event has wetted my appetite for the Rallycross event at Dreux in a few weeks time.  Perhaps I'll see you there!

Noam's Alpine A110 provides the tailpiece

Monday, 8 September 2014

Les Club des Voitures Anciennes de Beauce a Boullay-Thierry

Boullay-Thierry is a pretty little village in La Beauce the wheat growing region of France of which Chartres is the only major city. It is worth a detour to see their interesting church - L'eglise Saint Lubin and the Chateau next door.   Every year the commune holds a regional products and artisanal products fair with a number of other attractions to get in the paying customers.  This year on the Sunday afternoon 7th September the club des Voitures Anciennes de Beauce were there as part of one of their rallyes.  The club is based in Chartres and has a nice website - vab chartres website.  They had a nice variety of just over 30 vehicles on show in a lovely location amongst the trees, a few of which are seen below.

Lovely Marcos sports car in the shade of the trees
An open topped Citroen creates particular interest
Interesting old Renault
A French marque I thought I had never come across before - but RNUR is another name for Renault
Peugeot 203, Mini and Triumph Spitfire
This MGB had a beautiful interior
Being in La Beauce we had to have a vintage SFV tractor made in Vierzon pull up in front of the Chateau….
….whilst behind this old Massey-Harris tractor you can see the interesting church tower of Boullay-Thierry
I had to show these tractors as they had kindly pulled over to let us pass earlier in the day!

There must have been a competition to see how many you could squeeze into this vrai tacot.
All in all a lovely collection of collectables cars including this Renault Primaquatre

Sunday, 7 September 2014


An Opel GT at the Traverseé de Paris Estival
Having recently seen an Opel GT at the Traverseé de Paris, my interest in this little sports car was rekindled.  Thus when I saw that over 50 of them from France and Belgium were going to descend on the Opel garage in Rambouillet, I couldn't resist.  

The Opel GT was sold from 1968 and was in production for 6 years until 1973.  Just over 100,000 of these coupés were sold.  It shared many parts from the Opel Kadett B but had some rather stylish French steel bodywork.  Most had 1900cc engines although there was a 1.1 litre option early on.  The Opel GT was unusual in having manually operated pop-up headlights.   This helped give the car its lovely aerodynamic look.   The main problem for the Opel GT was lack of power compared to some of the competition.A number have obviously been modified over the years to try and overcome this.  The other strange feature of the Opel GT was the rear mounted central fuel filler cap that meant that the car had no conventional boot or trunk even if it had some space accessible from the inside.

Chevrolet Corvette comes to see its little cousins
I have always regarded the Opel GT as looking like the baby version of the Chevrolet Corvette, both being in the General Motors stable.  The sixties Corvette being particular similar.  I also believe the great French Corvette racer Henry Greder took a similar interest in the Opel GT, thus many connections.   It appears that a Chevrolet Corvette owner agreed with me as he turned up to see his European cousins.  There are quite a few American cars around here, with a large American Classic car dealer between Hanches and Epernon.

If you are a fan of the Opel GT, enjoy these photos I took yesterday.  Thanks to the club Entraide Opel GT for giving us all the pleasure of seeing all their cars. Apparently they have around 300 members in French speaking Europe.  This was their annual outing.  I hope they enjoyed driving around the beautiful roads in the Valley of the Chevreuse, the rugby club in the afternoon and the dinner.

Club Entraide Opel GT gathering in Rambouillet September 6th 2014
Examples included both standard and modified versions
Beautiful lines of the Opel GT 1900 shown off at the Rambouillet Opel dealership
Classic shot of the Opel GT showing its Covette similarity
Beautiful Opel GTs wherever one looked….
…but also a classic  Opel GT/E in the showroom
This is what lurks under the bonnet of an Opel GT1900
or this under the one with the modified bonnet
The pop-up headlights of the Opel GT 1900
The lack of rear boot entrance and the central rear filler cap of the Opel GT
Interior of the Opel GT including lovely wooden steering wheel
Many variations on wheels and tyres including these I liked …..
…..and these
Beautiful rear aerodynamics and Kamm tail
A visitor from Belgium arrives
Front study showing the classic hump….
… and here a modified version
Another car that has been modified, next to a car that had been on the Tour Auto
Maybe I am a purist but it seem a shame to ruin the original classic lines of the Opel GT 1900.

Another variation on the wing theme
One way of dealing with lack of boot space but must be devil to fill up!

Lovely twin exhausts - note the original narrow tyres