Tag Archives: vintage car

Classic cars on the Ile de Ré


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 . 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 .



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.














Vintage wheels on the Ile de Ré

The other weekend when I cycled over to La Flotte to visit the market I came across this lovely parade of cars.  Rather than seeing a display of those well known French brands Renault, Peugeot and Citroën, I had come across a meeting of Panhard fans.  Apparantly the company last made a car in the 1960’s after being bought by Citroën.  I loved the streamlined details on some of them.

It’s not the first time I have come across vintage cars on the Ile de  and having travelled to the island myself in a 1968 Morris Minor I was delighted to see yet more.

And here is the car that happily made the journey London – St Martin de  – London.  It’s pictured just down the road from our house, driving round St Martin harbour.

Veteran, vintage or modern all are welcome on the Ile de .  Though it’s always best to park your car and get on a bike to see the island at its finest.  To see more of our house in St Martin de and for details on how to book it, click here…



Vintage rides on the Ile de Ré

Morris sur l'ilot St Martin de Ré

We first travelled to the Ile de after seeing a newspaper article claiming the beaches were a bit like Cornwall in the 1950’s.   It’s certainly a great place to take a vintage car for a spin.


We came across these Renaults as we were cycling back along the coast from La Flotte.  They were parked on the grass behind the St Martin de beach, la plage de la Cible.


They are 1940’s and 50’s Renault 4CV’s.  I was particularly impressed by the single wheeler luggage carrier stuck on the back of one of them.


It was also great to see the little touches of French style…


This one had gained a registration plate showing the year it was built…


Another had the classic French yellow headlamps…


I assume Inspector Maigret might have travelled in one of these…


With the uniformed officers following in this…


I don’t know what the VW Beetle was doing among all the French cars but I do know that the Morris Minor had made it safely all the way from London.

However you want to get there,  you can find out more about our house in St Martin de here…


The calendar will soon be updated to show 2015 but you can already book by email.