Did you say “Cars”?!

WC1 BOG

You will not see me driving a fancy car. A B.M or anything like that. I’m strictly functional. We’ve been driving German cars at home for 15 years. Reasonably good line. Strong and sturdy (Ideal for mexican streets). Reliable. German! I might be tempted by a Jaguar type E or a Triumph TR3 (see below) but that’s it. Now, once in a while, my eye (and camera) is drawn to an old car. Like the MG above, caught in Bogotá, Colombia. Looks like the little boy likes it too!

WC02 VINCENNES

2CV Citroën. Bois de Vincennes. Paris

A 2CV Citroën. The French response to VW’s Beetle. Basically a chassis, an engine, 2 Horsepowers, a steering wheel and an umbrella in lieu of a roof. A couple of friends had one at college. Incredible suspension, but funny in curves.

WC03

WC04

Merry-go-round, Bois de Vincennes. Cars for kids!

WC05 ST-GERMAIN

Traction avant Citroën, near Boulevard St-Germain.

A fabulous car. Played an important role in the Liberation of Paris in August ’44. Driven by the FFI (Free French Forces of the Interior) and by Simenon’s Commissaire Maigret. (It took a Belgian to create the greatest french Police officer character!). This one is parked illegally in a delivery-only slot. 🙂

WC06

WC07 BSLS

Dishes factory, Brussels.

How this little Fiat got inside the shop… Beats me: Maybe the owner doesn’t have a garage?

WC08

Not quite sure, but I think this is a Lancia. The Pont des arts is behind and the Académie Française to the right. Design by Pinin Farina?

WC09

WC10

Renault 4. Right bank, near the Prefecture de Police, Paris

Renault launched this “family” model in the sixties. My first car was one of those. Second-Hand. Spray-painted it blue over a week-end with a couple of friends. The paint helped keep the rust together.

WC11 MX

Chevrolet, Mexico city. Late fifties?

WC12

Just making sure everybody is following. That is not a car. Just a fun lorry, “Transports et excursions”, from Alsace. But shot in Paris.

WC13

That is not a car either. Or is it? The French call it a “Pot de Yaourt”, a yogurth! Can’t pack more than a briefcase but easy to park.

WC14 MILAN

Another non-car. Electrical. Italian. Shot in Milan.

WC15 FZE

A lovely Fiat 500. In Florence.

WC16

My mother and her Triumph TR3. C.1967. Nairobi.

The TR3 was a great car. Racy line. Good acceleration. No seat belts then, just hang on to your bucket seat. Very low and hard suspension. Skidded a bit in curves. But what the heck!

WC17

Same, circa 1968 in the house’s driveway in Nairobi. Soooo Carnaby Street!

WC18

Back to “modern” times. A 2chevaux prepped for a wedding. Beats any limo. Brittany, 2013.

WC19

Anonymous. Nice parking technique. (c) Nouvelles Images.

The little boy’s driving a Wolkswagen sport coupé with paddles. Judging by his clothes and the car behind, a DKW junior, ancestor of today’s Audis, and the plates, I would say “West Germany, early sixties”. The boy’s parking technique is very pro. But he’s cheating: see his right (bare) foot below the car? He’s pushing the car in place with his feet!

Have a nice week-end. And drive safely! 🙂

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67 thoughts on “Did you say “Cars”?!

  1. I love that lorry’s color – is it fuchsia? 🙂

    Admittedly I’m not a car fan, never drove one (but I did drive a tram for a few months). However, as a child I used to hunt down “foreign” cars (anything besides our “Dacia 1100” or “Dacia 1300”). There weren’t too many at that time. I remember having found a Chrysler parked on a street, with automatic gears. It looked so stylish, so elegant, so… rich.

    As a child, me and my neighbors were able to play soccer or other games in the middle of the street, hardly any car drove by – mostly the bus, every half an hour or so. Recently I’d have to wait for five minutes in order to be able to just cross the street, and it’s not an eight-lane highway but a mere two lane ordinary street! Too many cars!

    A few days ago I had just noticed that. I was in my ex-girlfriend’s car and started counting the passengers in the cars that drove by on the opposite lane. Driver only… driver only… driver only… one passenger… driver only… driver only… driver only… Looks like one person-one car. No more space on the walkways, cars parked everywhere, cars driving up and down the streets…

    Sorry, got carried away! ^^’ A lovely article, as always, with nice comments to the pictures. And you do look a lot like your mother. 🙂 I think the sixties and the seventies were the best years. 😉

    Weekend’s around the corner – have a good one, Brian! 😉

    • Fuschia is not a colour. It was invented by women to confuse us! 🙂 It is a flower. Small. Pretty. Lives in Brittany. And elsewhere I guess.
      Dacia! Hmmm. Yeah those were the days when getting hit by a car in your parts was very unlikely. The Sicuritate was much more dangerous! 🙂
      Thank you Dragos, for your comment. And, how can you tell I look (very much) like my mother from two tiny photographs? 🙂
      I¡d like to drive a tram. In Amsterdam, with a big bell to shoo away cyclists and pedestrians!
      Bon week-end aussi!

      • Ha ha ha, you’re right about Fuchsia, it is a flower but I’ve heard that name associated with a particular color so it got stuck in my brain! 😆 And I do like it nonetheless, actually I dislike green very much so any combination of the other primary colors (red and blue) is welcome, for me. 😉 Now, how would you call that lorry’s color other than fuchsia? I’m really bad at colors and shades. ^^’

        Yeah, the old times… so few cars, so few car accidents, so much fresh air… Oh wait, not so much – we did have big industrial complexes that used to pollute the air big time. 🙄

        The old ‘Securitate’ is still in place under a different name, but it’s nothing compared to the NSA and others around the world. Fortunately I never had to deal with them, ever. 😉

        Maybe I’m wrong – usually I just can’t tell the resemblance between two persons – but it just occured to me when I saw the pictures of your mother above. I’ve seen the picture of you as a child not long ago and somehow they just ‘clicked’ in my mind. 🙂 I wouldn’t know how much you changed in the mean time, haven’t seen any recent photo of you. Will I/we ever meet today’s Brian? 🙄 🙂

        You’re naughty, my friend! 😀 Shooing away poor people with a tram bell can be very dangerous; it’s a strong sound and they may get so scared that they may do something foolish or even get a heart attack. 😯 A tram is a very large and heavy beast and you can’t just hit the breaks and turn the wheel to avoid something or someone, as you do in a car – the tracks will inexorably lead you forwards and BANG! you’re in trouble. o_O

        So be good, dear Brian and stay away from trams. 😉 À la prochaine! 🙂

      • The tram thing was a joke of course. It just reminded me of living in Amsterdam as a child, in-between two African bouts, and a very recent trip back. I just love the sound of the tram bell, especially on the Dam, where cyclists and pedestrians cross everywhere and the Dutch tram drivers go veeeery slowly and ring their bell. 🙂
        Bon week-end mon ami!

      • Hehe, I knew it was a joke but had to set things straight in case someone took it seriously. 😉

        Dunno if you know this footage; it’s said to be the very first traffic video footage, taken from a tram in San Francisco around 1905. Enjoy! 🙂

      • Absolutely fabulous! Trams, cars, bicycles, horses! All at a leisurely pace! Thanks for sharing Dragos!

    • Thank you Indah. You hit the nail on the head: elegance! The brits, along with the italians had developed cars sooooo elegant!
      And Elegance is a concept slightly befallen now: even in clothes. What matters is not the elegance it’s the price. Let’s strive for more elegance!
      Gut week-end!

    • Aren’t they? My brother actually had a “traction avant” (The black Citroën) for a while. The only problem with those cars is Comfort or lack of. They still remain beautiful. Long live Elegance!
      And a good week-end to you.
      Brian

  2. your mom was really pretty! gorgeous when she was young! 🙂

    loved the pix, esp the tiny electric car.

    You are right, elegance is vanishing from our civilization, even fifty years back we could see it everywhere, in dresses, in people, in things now it has been replaced by pricetag

    Let’s try to bring it back! 🙂

    • I like your shortcut: from elegance to price-tags. Agreed: let’s reverse that. Have a lovely week-end “Trisha” (with five h’s” 🙂

      • hey! Trisha has only 1 H, but 5 letters 🙂

        Well, I have seen both- as I may have bragged already i belong to a family that knows its lineage for last 500 years or more, and in india such people marry among themselves (did that till 50 years back), so i grew up the aristocratic (not royal) famillies of bengal, i remember those multi-miilonaires, wearing 100 rupee sarees, sitting on ground (stained with mud), eating simplest food, yet their sheer personality told you they were well brought up, sophisticated, they first served their servants then ate themselves! I remember those things and now I watch the designer clad specimens I really dont like to talk with, I think we clearly understand a person right after we spend one hour with that person.

        These women/men wear clothes that might have been ten times costlier than their wardrobe but “elegance” cant be bought, it comes from upbringing [that is why these people are so jealous of royals ;)]- you grow up with it!

        I guess I wont have to teach a French what class and elegance is, I think your culture is best example of both!

      • Interesting to date one’s lineage back 500 years or so. My parents traced one of our ancestors in Flanders all the way back to the early 1400’s. Impossible to go back further, the records are illegible. 🙂
        I also liked the comment about the masters having the servants help themselves first. Never seen it anywhere. It meant that Loyalty went both ways. Be good!

      • oh we had a family tree, and as the family stayed closely knitted so keeping track was not tough, just a bit more to lessen the confusion, basu, mitra and ghosh intermarry if they are kulin kayastha, in my case being from west bengal was must too. basu cant marry a basu unless of-course they are from a branch that has parted at-least seven generations ago, and even after that if they do then the bride is given away by her maternal uncle, not father.

        So if we go by the book, a basu can marry a kulin kayastha from west bengal who is either ghosh or mitra 😉

        It was really tragic in past, before sane people intervened, boy! women have faced so much torture in the name of customs! so much inhumanity! ;(

        i will share some posts in earthinbw next month, under thursday blogs, if you are curious let me know i will leave you the links.

      • Curiosity is my middle name. 🙂
        (Also killed the cat!)
        Do send me the links please.
        And have a great week-end!
        B.

      • there was a simple logic behind feeding the servants first, we can always help ourselves with anything we want, but servants will hesitate, or if we stuff up everything they will be deprived!

        In fact, in my family get-togethers there was a competition for the last batch of eaters (space restriction always resulted in multiple batches) because even though there was little goodies left the eaters of last batch could chat for as long as they wanted! There was no “get up and let others eat” nudgings.

  3. Great selection of cars. I was disappointed that there wasn’t a pic of an E-Type Jag. I had two of these amazing cars in the late 1970’s, early 80’s but have no pics. 😦 I also had a little yellow Triumph Spitfire in the early 70’s. Wish we’d been more into photography. 🙂

    • Love E-type jaguar. The finest line ever designed and a tribute to British designers. Spitfires were great too. But I haven’t found any (so far) in my Paris or Italian strolls. As soon as I spot one, I’ll take a photo (before stealing the car!) 🙂

    • Thinking twice, I am a wee bit jealous that you had E-Jags! 🙂
      What? No photo at all? Dig in your shoe-boxes!
      Take care
      Brian

    • So did I. I was sent to Paris to start college. When my father was transfered back to Paris, I told my parents to bring the car. No big deal. Air France paid for everything. And they left it there (Sometimes parents do not heed their children’s advice. Ask my daughters!) 😦
      I still hope the brave little car is still roaring along the roads of Nairobi and the ngong hills! 🙂

  4. Wonderful photos, put a smile on my face. I love the TR3, a friend had a Triumph Spitfire which was fabulous but the TR3 looks much funkier. I used to have a lovely MG (not as fancy as the one here), such a joy. There is a car museum in The Hague, it includes a swan shaped car designed in India by a disgruntled Scotsman. I’ll have to dig out the photos…

    • MG’s were great. Austin-Healey, Not so big on Aston-Martin.
      The Brit car designers of the 50’s and 60’s were fabulous. Shame this was lost.
      Do dig!

  5. I remember that Fiat – it was very popular here. What an amazing collection of cars in this post! Thank you for the photos of St. Germain 🙂

    • Cars “caught” in various streets around the world. 🙂
      I like old cars. Not suitable for my back anymore. Lousy suspension.
      But what lines. What elegance…
      De rien pour St-Germain. Avec plaisir.
      (Toy contando los días: nos vamos a Londres y Paris en Julio!)
      YES!

  6. Great post. Love the Fiats and the Citroen! You will never ever believe this but my husband and I have restored a 1959 Triumph TR3! We bought a roached out one when we got married and finished restoring it about a year ago. It’s a nice off white and looks a lot like your mothers! That’s crazy!

  7. Love the TR3 of course and your moms pants. And I have always loved the Citroens. Thanks for sending this to me. I missed it although I think you may have pointed me to a photo of your moms car a while back.

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