A Classic Chassis and the Mad Inventor

Once upon a time there lived a mad inventor who had the particular peculiarity of retiring to his bed at the end of the cricket season, refusing to get up again until the sound of leather on willow announced that another new season had begun. The inventor had 14 children – no doubt something to do with his prolonged confinement to the bedroom every year – 7 boys and 7 girls, one of whom was my grandmother. With so many mouths to feed her father never had the means to patent his ideas and so, sadly, the details of his inventions have long since been lost to history except for two family stories which relate how his pioneering design for the hydraulic pump, since used to pull millions of pints for the world’s grateful beer drinkers was purchased from him down the pub for £10 – probably a tidy sum in the early 1900’s – and the story that thrilled me as a child, that long before the arrival on the scene of the money man, my great-grandfather worked with a certain Mr Henry Royce on the development of the earliest of the now fabulously famous Rolls Royce engines.  I’m not sure if a passion for cars and engines can be inherited genetically but if it can then I have my great-grandfather to thank.

Where we live in sunny France, just happens to be near the city of Angoulême where each year there is an international vintage and veteran car meeting for the ‘Circuit des Remparts’.  For 3 days the old town is cordoned off and turned into a racetrack, and splendid cars from all eras of classic car design hurtle around the streets in a Charentais vintage version of the Monaco grand prix.   Here is a selection of images of some of my favourite participating cars……….more to follow in part two……… and possibly even part three!


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Jane……What an absolutely fabulous set of images.
    As much as I like both frocks and figs, as partial as I am to silver spoons and as keen as I am on the acoustic wooden bodied beauties, all of which I have previously poured over here on your pages, (not literally of course, don’t want you thinking I’m leaky), these for me are the icing on the cake.
    I’ve never had anything as old or as beautiful as these, but, in my youth, had a classic Daimler, a couple of Triumphs, an early Mercedes SL and my ultimate fave, a Volvo P1800S….
    All of mine were a little tatty, I only once paid more than a thousand pounds and had to get a third job for a whole summer to make that one possible, but OH I loved my cars….
    That things of metal can be SO alive……………SO practical and SO SO beautiful!
    If part two and three are like this I might have to sedate myself.
    (I’m off outside to look at my current Vauxhall…Just to get myself back down to earth…..With a BIG bump) 😦


    1. Blimey, thanks sh! and there was I thinking you didn’t like them! Yep, I have enough for at least two more posts, I may do another one for this evening as they seem to have created about as much interest as a soggy cornflake apart from your good self! Thanks for the thumbs up – off to do my weekly shop yuk. PS My first car was a silver Alfa Romeo Sprint which I absolutely adored, have been an Alfa fan ever since 🙂


      1. True story….
        I arranged to buy an Alfa Spyder over the telephone from a man in Glasgow and it caught fire as he was driving it to the midlands…….I’m grateful it was pre Ebay but I bet he was spitting feathers…
        So I’ve never had an Alfa…(but have always ALWAYS wanted one…..maybe one day).


      2. Lucky escape 😮 – my Alfa hared around between Suffolk and London for a good 10 years, I cried when it finally went! We now have a very old Hyundai Matrix – cool de chez cool – 😦


      3. Shite de chez shite !
        Poor Madame de Morlais !


      4. 😮 reliable shite de chez shite quand même :/


      5. That’s what Mrs Shpics says about me…
        “Tant pis, cela ne fait rien”


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