Two months ago, the first edition of the “Journées Automobiles Chapal” was held in partnership with the Polo de Paris. An intimate event combining the best of elegance and passion for cars. I was fortunate to be able to participate in this event and place myself right in the middle of the action to experience the incredible atmosphere of some gorgeous cars and meeting lovely people…
From the evening of Friday October 6th, nearly 40 cars were already lined up on the Polo de Paris lawn for the opening dinner. A place that combines elegance and tradition. The lawn was also available for the classic cars as the Polo season had just ended. Among the beautiful machines from the past, there was a 1925 Amilcar CGS3, a 1936 Bentley Sport Saloon, a 1947 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith, an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider… We also noticed a very rare and impressive Aston Martin International “Headlam” Coupe from 1930.
The start of the rally took place on Saturday morning at the Polo de Paris under a rather mild weather for this time of the year. After a breakfast with the crews, we were able to hit the road. Bad idea to have come to cover the first Journées Automobiles Chapal with my Mach 1 Mustang ’69 which was just fresh out of the garage. It’s really difficult to combine driving and photography as both require their own dedicated attention. I am offered to take a seat in one of the participants’ cars. All right! What we had for ourselves was a gleaming Austin Healey 100-4 BN2 from 1956 that had participated in the 2015 Tour Auto.
Hair in the wind, we reach the Aerodrome of Compiegne through a twisty 160km route in the landscapes of Vexin, guided by our roadbooks and Paul Belmondo, the ambassador of the brand who was at the wheel of a Porsche 911 T. A very nice course that wasn’t so intimidating for the historical vehicles, off which some skim almost the entire century.
The participants were welcomed by the Flying Machines Circle Association with Frédérick and Alexandre Collinot, A team of enthusiasts reviving the memory of the French aviation by restoring pre-1940 planes. The crews have lunched in the hangar that was made private for the occasion, under the wings of these mythical flying machines: Morane-Saulnier 181, Potez type 60, Stampe SV4, Piper J3… On the menu: specialties, a nod to the original cradle CHAPAL. We had the visit of Mathieu Lamoure from Artcurial Motors at the wheel of his Ferrari 400.
In the afternoon, guests were able to discover the incredible reconstruction of Jean Mermoz’s Latécoère, and enjoy a flying demonstration of a superb T-6 Texan. After a return to Paris by the paths of our choice, the day ended at the CHAPAL showroom with a cocktail party between Gentleman drivers. A beautiful event that deserves to be renewed for 2018.
We hope to talk about it again next year!