Monday, 13 October 2014

The Charente International Rally at Angouleme.

The "Circuit des Remparts" is a day of classic car races held around the old town streets in Angouleme on a Sunday in late September, as part of an annual three day event celebrating the automobile. Cars come from the UK and other European countries as well as France.

It is preceded by a ‘Concours d’Elegance’ (classic cars shown and judged for their condition) on the Friday night, followed on  Saturday by the Charente International Rally. The exact rally route is only released a couple of days before the event, but generally consists of two loops, morning and afternoon, around the beautiful surrounding countryside, stopping for lunch this year at the chateau at Chalais, south of Angouleme, before making their way back to the town in late afternoon. We went to watch them returning to the Champ de Mars, a large central square in the town centre. We had thought about going to the Sunday races, but as we were leaving for Paris on Monday morning (more photos to follow), we decided against it!  Sorry, more photos than my usual posts, but I did not want to split this up.

The finish ramp in the Champ de Mars, waiting for the cars to arrive, and before the crowds got there!

Angouleme wall paintings


and more;  There are many cartoons and trompe l'oeil painted on blank walls around the city, which enliven the environment. Angouleme has become the centre of the comic strip industry since the early 70's, when a group of enthusiasts held an exhibition celebrating the "bande dessinee", as comic strips are named here. The town has no connection with the art at all, except that once it was renowned for the production of paper! The exhibition, held every year, became bigger and bigger and it continues to flourish.


A view of city spires and townscape, while waiting for the cars to arrive.

 Alpine Renault, probably from the late 60's - one of many in the event.

Alvis - a fine British coach-built car,  once made in Coventry. This one from the 60's. Car production ceased in 1967, but attempts have recently been made to revive the marque.


A Bentley, a Continental probably....


and the unmistakable swooping back!

Peugeot 402 Special Sport Roadster, one of only 53 built in 1938. If genuine, it's worth hundreds of thousands of Euro!!!....

with another uniquely shaped back.

No rally would be complete in France without a 2CV!

A somewhat unusual Citroen 11 Limousine, a huge car.

 Citroen DS

and a Citroen Light 15, front wheel drive and well ahead of its time!

 Matra Bonnet Djet

An unknown MG model!

Porsche 911E

'Rochdale Olympic';the bodies were mainly fibreglass and the cars manufactured at Rochdale near Manchester in the UK, hence the name!

Lotus Elise,not sure which variant!

Fiat 500

Renault 750

Triumph TR3

Also see my daily diary HERE

See also My Life Before Charente (updated 16 October 2014) 

55 comments:

  1. Fantastique post ..and a place I certainly wouldn't mind going back to ..even just to see the street art. this though is great for any car enthusiasts ..suoer photos. The 'comic festival's in January is I believe the biggest in Europe and second biggest in the world , with the biggest being in Japan!! Take care xoxo still no laptop or pc .maybe by the weekend. Xo

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    1. Hi Anne the festival is from the 29th Jan to 1 Feb, I have no idea why they have to have it at the coldest time of the year!! Glad you enjoyed the post, it was a good day and we/they were lucky with the weather. Hope you are soon back on line properly. Take care Diane xox

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  2. awesome. i love the cars! what a beautiful town!

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    1. Jaz it is a lovely town and it is just interesting to walk around and see the art as well as the beautiful buildings. They have a stunning cathedral. Keep well Diane

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  3. How fun. I've never seen an Alvis. On our last visit to St-Remy in Provence a group of antique cars drove around the "circle" on their way to another village for a meet. We just happened to be having an early lunch and were able to see them. One of the highlights of our trip, especially for my husband. He had fun trying to name them all. He's a real English sports car enthusiast and has owned several MG's through the years of his youth and driven many other what would now be considered vintage cars.
    Sam

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    1. Sam it was a fun day out and I tried to pick the more interesting cars for the post. We are Porsche fans and there were quite a few there but not our favourite 356 model :( So pleased you enjoyed this post. Hope all is well Diane

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  4. What a fun event, Diane!!! I love all the old cars. Great photos depicting this event.

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    1. Thanks Linda, it was a good day out and great weather. Keep well Diane

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  5. Diane, I hope all is well.
    These are fun, vintage looking cars...they bring fond memories. Catherine

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    1. Catherine when I think of some of the cars my father used to drive, he was in the motor business, if only I had them now :-) Glad you enjoyed. All is well and I hope with you as well. Diane

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  6. Last spring, Ryan heard about a "car meet" in a local parking lot, and drove our 1979 Lincoln over. He enjoyed the attention the car garnered, and loved observing all of the other cars in attendance. Automobiles speak a universal language, and appeal to many of us, don't they?

    BTW, Hubby had a 1950s Austin Healey and 1950s Jaguar while in college in the 1960s. They were tempermental beauties, and he enjoyed them immensely.

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    1. Marjie old cars are such fun but restoration is expensive. We restored an old Morris Minor Traveller and a couple of Porsches 356's in South Africa so we know! For that we had so much fun with them all. Keep well Diane

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  7. What a fantastic looking days all around. Happy week ahead. Here we are celebrating Thanksgiving (a time to celebrate the end of the harvest season in Canada).

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    1. Joyful thanks for the comment. Enjoy your celebrations, sadly we don't get them here :( Take care Diane

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  8. Sounds absolutely fun Diane.Amazing cars!
    You know someones here still have a 2 CV car. !! and someones care them a lot!!
    Your pictures always are amazing dear!!Take care:))

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    1. Gloria there are many 2CV's here in France they are such popular little cars and fun as well. Keep well Diane

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    2. Yes is a.amazing they were and useful I remember a friend that had one and never wants change for other car:)

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    3. Gloria, most people who still have them would never change them for a modern car, they are loved as part of the family :-)

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  9. Some super cars there! Leo had an MG at one time....still remembers it - and the way the petrol gauge would sink like a stone when you put your foot down!

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    1. Fly you are so right some of those old cars were quite thirsty. We had an old Morris Minor that used to run on the smell of an oil rag but then it did not have the speed!! Stay well Diane

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  10. Hi Diane. What a wonderful day this would have been. Love the look of the old city, especially the artistry on the walls. We used to own an old restored Citroen many moons ago. What a gorgeous car that was. Maybe we'll have to put this yearly rally on our travelling diary.

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    1. Hi Denise, good to hear from you. We have friends coming from South Africa for next years's rally and race, it seems to attract people world wide. Hope that all is well Diane

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  11. Dang, you sure do know your classics. What an awesome showing.

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    1. Gaelyn it is N that knows his classics but we still had to check a couple of them out! It was a good day out. Have a good week Diane

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  12. Love the wall paintings and the cars too. Great post!

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    1. José there are some amazing paintings in Angouleme, and cartoons, many of which I am sure I still have not seen. There were some rally interesting cars there :-) Have a good week Diane

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  13. What gorgeous cars. They were so distinctive then weren't they?

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    1. Sarah I agree, maybe not as convenient, but so much more character and fun:-)) Keep well Diane

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  14. Hi Diane .. love the art work and particularly the steampunk one - mind you the others are pretty good too ... what an amazing place - I see Wiki says it's "the balcony of the south-west" .. lovely thought - stunning views all around I guess.

    Lovely collection of cars, with some excellent photos ... loved seeing these ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary there are some amazing views from around the walls, the town is quite high. I need to spend more time there just hunting for art. Some of them are hard to spot as they look so real. Especially windows in blank walls with either people looking out, or flowers on the 'window sill'.

      The cars were great with some very interesting models. Hope all is well with you. Diane

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  15. Hello Diane,
    The vintage cars are gorgeous, what a lovely post!
    I like those wall paintings in 'trompe l'oeil', so much more decorative than some ugly tags!
    Angoulême is a beautiful city.
    Keep well, enjoy your day :)

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    1. Thanks Noushka,there are some spectacular paintings around Angouleme. There were some fantastic cars there, it was a good day out. Take care Diane

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  16. Wow there were some fantastic cars there. Great shots and captions.

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    1. Thanks diane,comment much appreciated. Hope all is well and that your garden is starting to come together now. T'other Diane

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    2. Unfortunately not as well as I would like. It is craving rain which we haven't had for months.

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  17. This is such a great collection of old cars. I would love to own one of them but they are all lovely it would be a hard choice. Love the murals also. Pretty town and great photos :)

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    1. Denise it is a lovely town and still much I have not seen there despite numerous visits! We are Porsche fans but there were no 356's there that we saw which is our favourite model :-( Keep well Diane

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  18. Nice bunch of cars. Still prefer the Citroen 2 CV though!

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    1. Vera they are amazing little cars and so loved by everyone who has owned them. Thanks for the comment,have a good weekend Diane

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  19. Ces voitures sont magnifiques. Merci pour cette belle ballade.
    See soon

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  20. Love the mural on the wall and I love seeing those different of classic cars!

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    1. Thanks Rose, it is an interesting city, and the cars were great. Keep well Diane

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  21. I see that the Charente is a very interesting place :)

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    1. Thanks Mariusz for the comment and visit, much appreciated. Charente is a lovely place with masses of history. Have a good weekend. Diane

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  22. Until I began visiting Paris (and France) in earnest, I did not know what a 2CV was - for shame! What a varied and beautiful collection you found. I particularly like the one with the real trunk for a trunk (or boot as in England).

    So glad you enjoyed your time in Paris recently. We must have just missed each other!

    Bises,
    Genie

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    1. Genie why should you know what a 2CV is in the USA, but see what they are missing over there :-) The icon of France.
      The cars were great and many very interesting ones. Bon week-end. Bisous Diane

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  23. When I was a kid, one of my first boyfriends had a Citroen. It was incredibly rare in the US and I loved it. with Padded armrests and floor and the way it whooshed up when it started, it was a cool car. Frankly, today's cars are soon dull by comparison. Thanks for the tour!! Love them all.

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    1. Deana those 'up and down' Citroens were fun, but yes I can imagine there were not many in the US. I agree the old cars are much more fun and have so much more character. Glad you enjoyed the photos. Have a good week Diane

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  24. It must have been great seeing all those old cars and the characters in them! The wall art is amazing...would love to see that!

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    1. Maggie the wall art in Angouleme is amazing. I need to spend more time there in around, we are always in a hurry and I miss so much! The cars were great :-) Have a good day Diane

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  25. Dear Diane! I see you've been moving around while I was away from the blog! Nice trip to Paris, I loved the pictures! Yo sure have "the eye". And what can I say about these cars! I am impressed!! Take care!

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    1. Pamela so much has been happening and so little time to post! Thanks for the kind comment. Hope you are well Diane.

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  26. Wonderful cars.
    At least they had character in those days, not like the smooth, featureless things we drive around in nowadays.

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    1. I could not agree more Friko, we used to have such fun in the old days in these cars, so much character. As you say the modern car is mostly very uninteresting by comparison. Keep well Diane

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