Friday, May 18, 2012

KIWANIS 2012


On the same day as the May edition of the Legend Café was an annual meeting in Angers organized by the local Kiwanis Club. Like the Rotary, this club aim to improve people's lives with charity actions.
They organized a gathering of vintage and luxury car, and with a small fee of just 5€, some of their owners could take you to a little passenger trip on defined course in Angers' streets.





Not all cars were available for rent though. This nice Camaro SS was sadly not enjoyable.



Cars ranged from classic British roadsters like this Morgan Plus 8 to Italian GT or American muscles.



This Austin-Healey 300 was running almost non-stop, people forming a line to get a ride in a car that looks like coming straight from a carousel.



I planned to marry the driver of this Caterham Super Seven on the spot, but moving to Corsica was not in my plans.



Sadly not available, this Lotus 2-Eleven was just standing here, looking ready to take some track action.



If you were more on the German side of motorsports, this 996 GT3 Club Sport would undoubtely satisfy you.



Or perhaps you would prefer a vintage 911, like this light blue looking perfect from every angle.



I myself consider the Ferrari 550 Maranello to be one of the most beautiful car ever produced. Le long hood, the shark shaped side vents, the simple air intake, and the gorgeous rear end are what make this a true masterpiece of automotive design. I used to have posters and miniatures of this car everywhere in my room as a child, so each occasion to see one in the flesh is a god gift to me.
This black one was unfortunately stationary.



However, this silver one was open to public. It didn't take me much time to rush to the ticket booth and hop in for a ride in my dream car. Drivers were told to respect usual road laws during the predefined ride, because the road was still open to public. Well, that's for the theory, but I sincerely doubt that blasting through a bus line while passing regular cars on  the right is well-accepted by our local police. Still, it was the only way to truly enjoy the 485hp V12 engine. Describing how it sounded like is almost impossible.



Louder, but way less refined, was this Shelby GT 350, running non-stop, dropping a passenger on the roundabout, picking a new one and powersliding  through the roundabout, providing us the nice smell of burned gas and screaming tires.



There were some unloved cars, like this nice Renault 5 Alpine Turbo. While this car is a true rally legend, almost nobody wanted to ride in. Sad story for such a nice looking and remarkably rust-free example.




Remember the red Matra Murena from our very first coverage of the Legend Café ? Well, this one is a rare limited edition called the Préparation 142, with the Talbot 2,2L engine now delivering 142ch.



This Panhard 24CT is the last car produced by one of the oldest car maker in the world, Panhard having started to build cars in 1890. This swan song of the venerable brand is powered by a 850cc flat-twin engine delivering 50hp to the front wheels. The front fascia prefigured what the Citroën DS would be, with two round headlights behind a glass.



Speaking of Citroën DS, this kid was intrigued by the apparent lack of rear wheels of this D Super.



Once topping the line up of Citroën automobiles, this SM coupé was definitely ahead of his time in 1970, when the first production car hit the roads. Maserati-sourced DOHC V6 engine, adjustable hydraulic suspension, adaptive headlights, lightweight composite wheels, all make it a true showcar, sacrificing reliability to technological innovations.



An impressive line up of Citroën 2CV was also present, like this limited-run 007 edition, celebrating the presence of the iconic post-war car in James Bond's For Your Eyes Only. Definitely not your secret agent's car, with the bright yellow paint and flashy decals.



At the total opposite of automobile spectrum was this Excalibur Phaeton SS. Good attention-grabber, but  a bit on the too much side for me.



In contrast, everything about this Celica Supra looks simple and well-designed. I don't think any wheels will fit this car better than the stock Lotus ones.

Taking a nap along the Loire river, behind a Celica Supra on a bright Sunday, it looks like the perfect weekend conclusion to me.