Photos courtesy VeA.
France’s capital city isn’t known for being particularly friendly to vintage automobiles—with a controversial old-car ban making news in recent years—but Parisians certainly appreciate the aesthetic beauty of classic cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, bicycles, and even tractors. Sunday, January 7, will mark the 18th winter Traversée de Paris, a 30-kilometer parade from the Vincennes Castle Esplanade through the city.
The first gathering of vintage cars in Vincennes happened in 1986, this quickly becoming a tradition on the first Sunday of every month. It led to forming Vincennes en Anciennes—France’s largest multi-marque club—in 1998. This organization would host the first official Traversée de Paris in the winter of 2000. It has grown to take place twice annually, in January and July/August, and has become very popular in recent years, with 700 30-plus-year-old vehicles participating in 2015. That January 2015 Traversée was especially poignant for Paris, as participating vehicles wore stickers bearing the slogan, “Je suis Charlie,” in tribute to victims of the recent terrorist attack on the local offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
The winter edition of the 2018 Traversée de Paris is expected to attract more than 700 vehicles that represent a wide number of countries, marques and eras, that Sunday. The theme of this winter’s crossing is recognizing French and international marques that have faded into history, including well-known and obscure notables like Alvis, Delage, Facel-Vega, Plymouth, Pontiac, Simca, and Zundapp. Cycling enthusiasts will undoubtedly see examples of Verdin, Fongers, Clediabert, and Simoun being ridden.
Participants will gather at the Esplanade du Château de Vincennes, setting off before 9 a.m. to cover a 28-kilometer (17.4-mile) route that will pass through some of this city’s most famous sights, including Montmartre, Concorde, and Invalides.
The parade will return to the Esplanade du Château de Vincennes around noon, and remain on display until roughly 3:30 p.m.
A very limited number of seats can be reserved to ride the route on a vintage bus, those costing 10€ (roughly $11.75). Participating motorists also pay a fee that ranges from 30€ ($35) for Vincennes en Anciennes members in cars, to 45€ ($53) for non-members in cars; a 45€ fee also applies to tractors, while motorcycle riders pay 15€ ($18) and bicyclists just 5€ ($6). A special luncheon will be served at the restaurant of the horse racing track in Vincennes; that costs 65€ ($76) for adults, 25€ ($29) for children.
To see more images from recent winter Traversée de Paris runs, click on the thumbnails below to enlarge.