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Ready for your first trip of the year?

March sees the season really getting underway!
March really sees the season get under way, with (hopefully) the first of the spring sunshine bringing cars out after being laid up over the winter. There is plenty to choose from, with shows in Arras and Reims that are an easy drive from the Channel ports, or the increasingly impressive Avignon Motor Festival in the south. If you’d prefer to get behind the wheel – or just see some fine classic cars on the road – the Rallye de Paris is the first big touring event of the year.

Take a look at each of these events in this blog, and don’t forget to check our Facebook and Twitter pages regularly for more news of these and other events this spring, including the Coupes de Printemps at Montlhéry.

Julian Parish, author of France: the Essential Guide for Car Enthusiasts, will be attending each of these events, so please use the Contact form if you’d like to meet him.

Salon Champenois du Véhicule de Collection, Reims
The first show of the year in North-East France, the ‘Salon de Reims’ is one of the most popular, with lively club stands and plenty of traders selling parts and books. This year’s centrepiece display will be devoted to MG, with a dozen historic cars to be shown by the dynamic MG Club de France.
See page 220 in the guide for more details.

Why not make a weekend of it, and visit the Musée Automobile de Reims-Champagne in the city centre or stop off at the legendary circuit at Gueux, just outside the city? Both are also featured in the guide.

Welcome to Reims for the 28th edition of the show!

Les filles de Levallois: Citroën 2CV exhibit.

World War I theme for the main display in 2014.

Plenty of traders selling books and parts.

Popular French cars from the 1950s and 1960s in the Musée Automobile de Reims-Champagne.

Rare period photo of the J-P Wimille prototype, part of the collection at the Musée Automobile de Reims-Champagne. (Courtesy Rallystory/Hervé Charbonneaux)

Club members gather by the pits on the old circuit of Reims-Gueux.

Bourse d’échanges, Arras
If you are looking for an easy first drive in France, this could be just the ticket. Back after a break last year, and now in its 38th edition, this informal event regularly attracts visitors from the UK. One hall is given over to a display of cars from local clubs and from southern England, another to spares and automobilia of all kinds, with prices often lower than at some of the bigger shows. More information on page 221 in the guide.

Back in the historic city of Arras for the 38th time!

British makes and clubs are frequently present at the event.

Huge range of spares on sale.

Cold weather in 2013 didn’t put off these British visitors, with their MGB Jubilee and Limited Edition models.

Avignon Motor Festival

Growing bigger and better every year, the highlight of this year’s show in Avignon will be a display of eight cars with coachwork by Erdmann & Rossi from the outstanding collection of Saulius Karosas. Other exhibits will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Citroën DS as well as a huge range of sports and competition cars, motorcycles, lorries and tractors. Full details are on page 112 in the guide.

Celebrating 100 years of passion for all things automotive in Avignon.

Display of Salmson cars one of the highlights in 2013.

Mercedes 380 Roadster by Erdmann & Rossi (the star feature this year), seen here at Chantilly last September.

The French specialist PGO was one of the manufacturers on show in the Sport & Prestige hall.

Rallye de Paris
For its 22nd edition, Rallystory is organizing not one, but two rallies, one for classic cars from 1950-86 and one for modern sports cars. Both follow the same route from Paris to Burgundy, mixing unspoilt country roads and track time at Magny-Cours and Dijon-Prenois. Last year’s highly popular stop in Fontainebleau, with a private dinner in the Gallery of Stags, is part of the programme again too. Re-live the 2014 event from a new Jaguar F-Type, driven by Anthony Beltoise!
All the information you need is on page 30 in the guide, but note a late change to the start location, now at the Port de la Bourdonnais in Paris.


Courtesy Jaguar France.