The other weekend was France’s first ever Journée Nationale des Véhicules d’Epoque. If you think Fête de la Musique but with old cars rather than music you get the idea. Seeing a vintage British vehicle on my way to the boulangerie made me smile. You don’t have to go far to find a classic on the Ile de Ré.
I spotted this Citroen van near one of the oyster shacks that are a few minutes cycle from our house in St Martin de Ré. The island is a bit of a favourite for classic car runs. So easy to drive round given the lack of hills and plenty of lovely scenery.
There is something quite stylish about French cars from the years after World War Two. Compare the Renault 4CV with a British Morris Minor. Both spotted in St Martin de Ré.
One reason for this year’s vintage vehicle day was the crack down on old cars driving in Paris. As far as I know there are no plans for anything similar on the island. If there were then I can see some unhappy locals. Alongside all the normal cars there are plenty of Mini Mokes and Citroën Méharis still in regular use on Ré.
If you want to bring your car to the island, vintage or not, the nearest ferry port with services from the UK is St Malo. It’s between 4 and 5 hours away in a modern vehicle. Calais is a longer drive but you could always break the journey with a stop along the Loire.
If you are still thinking of a summer or autumn break, you can check avalability for our house here.