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Luxury on wheels

Luxe, calme et volupté

After the popular French cars of the shows in Arras and Reims last month, this time the accent is unashamedly on luxury. Let’s follow the poet Baudelaire’s Invitation to the voyage:

“There all is order and beauty,
Luxury, peace, and pleasure.”

The three events below are just a few of the events throughout France presented in the guide. All share an emphasis on luxury and pleasure, although the peace will probably be shattered by a chorus of 6-, 8- and 12-cylinder engines!

You’ll find a complete listing of this year’s dates in the online calendar at This has just been fully updated, with firm dates for more than 80 events. Julian Parish, author of the guide, will be attending many of these, and some of the one-off events in 2015; you’ll find full details of where to meet him on his Author Page at Amazon UK:

GT Prestige, Mortefontaine
11 April


This event, a short drive north from Paris and close to the A1 autoroute for visitors coming down from Calais, is unusual for two reasons. First, it is one of the few events in France devoted to supercars and modern high-end sports cars. And, secondly, it gives participants a rare chance to drive on the banked track at Mortefontaine (see page 227 in the guide). Sometimes seen on French television when magazines carry out tests there, it is seldom opened to outsiders.

This video from the organisers includes footage at Mortefontaine and Montlhéry:

Top Marques Monaco
16-19 April

Noble M600 Carbon Sport, seen at an earlier show.

Bling bling! Top Marques is the third biggest event held annually for the public in Monaco. It’s a unique opportunity to see and even test the most exclusive supercars and motorbikes, with no fewer than seven world launches planned. More than 60 other show-stopping cars including the Zenvo ST1, the Evantra by Mazzanti and Lexus’ latest RC-F will be on show in Monaco, at the heart of the Formula 1 circuit. There will also be a fashion show for the first time, whilst a selection of cars will be displayed in Monte Carlo’s world-famous casino. All the details are on page 117 in the guide.

Join His Serene Highness Prince Albert on his visit to last year’s show here:

Tour Auto Optic 2000
20-25 April


Peter Auto’s flagship event is without doubt one of the most prestigious motoring events in France, combining circuit time and regularity sessions on some of France’s most beautiful roads. For 2015, the route runs from Paris to Biarritz, with time on track at Magny-Cours, Charade, Albi (specially re-opened for the Tour) and Pau. You can read more about each of these circuits in the guide, as well as the Tour itself (on pages 22-23).

For spectators, the circuit sessions and the parc fermé each night are great opportunities to get close to some of the most valuable historic cars you are ever likely to see in action. The first day in Paris – for registration and scrutineering – is a wonderful event in itself, held under the magnificent glass canopy of the Grand Palais, home for 60 years to the Paris Motor Show.

Look ahead to this year’s event with Peter Auto:

1 Translation by William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil. (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)