Sunday, February 15, 2015
After a year-and-a-half of working almost non-stop starting my own practice, this trip to Paris was sorely, sorely needed. It did not disappoint. We stayed in the 7th arrondissement, right next to a Metro station. In the time we were there, we didn't take a taxi cab once.
The trip started with Retromobile, which was the primary reason we chose Paris for our trip. The Citroen CX limo ordered by Erich Honecker (but never ridden by him, as it was delivered after the Berlin Wall fell) was my favorite car at the show. Retromobile also featured the much talked about Baillon barn find collection. Even after two days walking the show, it was hard to wrap my head around all the cars, displays, and enthusiasts.
The only disappointment was the general state of the modern French car industry. For the most part, their contemporary offerings were dull and ordinary. It made for challenging car spotting on the street. The only classic French cars on the road were covered with vinyl wrap, giving visitors tours of the city.
Car spotting was not a total dud, however. We stayed near a lot of embassies so I saw a lot of cars with diplomatic plates. The rarest car I saw parked was an Aston Martin Cygnet/Toyota-Scion iQ.
We visited the Citroen Conservatoire on Wednesday. It was tucked in a warehouse on the edge of the PSA plant in Aulnay-sous-Bois, a couple of RER train stops from CDG airport. It seriously should be designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. I thought the four-door convertible SM was going to be my favorite, but this presidential DS stole the show. It's longer than anything LBJ or Nixon had. What a presence!
And finally, we had many great meals. I can recall only one meal that disappointed, which is a pretty good batting average. We even took a crepe-making class on Friday, which was a lot of fun.