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Le Français

Toujours, je suis désolé pour mes amis( et amies) français(es), mais il est difficile pour moi d'écire en français. Peut-être un jour...
S.V.P. regardez ce LIEN

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rallying is Dangerous

Yesterday, I spent most of the day watching our local rally: Le Rallye du Pays Rochois. It was my intention to write a piece illustrating the glories of the French countryside on a beautiful sunny day whilst various French men and women competed over the special stages.

This will have to wait for a little while, as sadly in the penultimate "special", there was a tragic crash: a Renault collided with a tree. The driver actually survived the accident but tragically died of heart failure after being freed from the car by the emergency services. His co-driver was taken to a hospital in Geneva - the usual procedure with very serious injuries.

However, for now I attach a little video clip that I think will entertain some of you

video

À bientôt

P.S. By the way I have had the same problems with this post as with the Nantua one: again I had to delete a load of HTML gibberish, before Blogger would accept the post - and again all I did was type out the post onto Blogger's page!

Bloggrrrrrrrrr

Anyone know a better blog-host than Google's blogger? I apologise for the appalling appearance of the previous article which was in no way my fault. I spent an hour trying to edit it to no avail.

To start with, Blogger rejected my publication on the grounds that "Your HTML cannot be accepted."

What HTML? I hadn't made any or written/created/cooked up any. The stupid program does this allegedly by itself. So I deleted great tranches of rubbish until it accepted the article and if it finds this bordel acceptable then that speaks volumes for Blogger.

Now the various fonts that appear in the article do not appear on the draft page; anyone who doesn't believe me is welcome to a screenshot!

Finally it is about time that Blogger produced a preview page that at least vaguely resembles the item that will appear on the blog.

Grrrrrr!!!

A Grey Sunday at Nantua




















Despite its Italian-sounding name, Nantua is a picturesque small town located at the west end of the Jura mountains in the Departement de l'Ain about 50km or so from my home. The landscape is delightful in the area helped to a great extent by the lake pictured here.

So, I can hear you ask, what's this got to do with this blog? Well, sadly not much, although it does concern cars at least. I was in Nantua to meet a bloke concerning some possible work and the occasion was an English car show or more properly, gathering.


On arrival I saw plenty of Jaguars as the French have a great affection for these - yes even including early XJ6s! However there were one or two more recherché items, for example the bizarre Ghia Austin-Healey 3000 and the stunningly lovely Swiss-bodied Alvis:


I was introduced to an Englishman (who like me has a French name) resident in Switzerland, who had arrived in a splendidly restored 1953 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn, quite a rare car in England - the Bentley version, the Mk VI being much more common. Incidentally I have read that R-R marketed the Bentley in the UK as at the time there was a "strong wind" blowing from the left in England and it was thought that the Bentley radiator grille was a little less "obvious" than the Rolls one.


















The chap was very friendly and invited me to sit down with him and share a pleasant lunch and an excellent bottle of wine, which I did. Later we drove together up to the prize-giving where my new acquaintance received first prize for his car - deservedly so in fact.


















However, for the Italian car fan, all was not lost; any of you who go to these kinds of event will know that the car park is often as interesting as the event itself. On this occasion, I found a delightful Ferrari 250GT, that I would very much liked to have driven home!

À bientôt

Saturday, June 14, 2008

It's Been a While Hasn't it?

Sorry for the silence; apart from the fact that I have had no inspiration, I have been rather busy with various things, and in particular my computers...

Anyway an old friend sent me a link which I was delighted to receive. It concerns my boyhood hero, Mike Hawthorn, Britain's first Formula 1 World Champion.

Hawthorn won the championship, by just one point fifty years ago in 1958. After winning the championship he immediately announced his retirement; he was killed in a road crash in January 1959.

In those days Grand Prix drivers did a lot more than just F1 racing. Like most of his contemporaries Hawthorn raced sports cars and also saloons. On his day (and it must be admitted he was inconsistent) he was awesome in the D-type Jaguar - fastest lap in a D-type at the terrifying Dundrod circuit in Northern Ireland is just one example of his talent and bravery - and he was one of the very few who could go really quickly in the tricky Ferrari 750 Monza (Ascari died in one of these).

Anyway, here's a delightful video, made in 1956, where Hawthorn equipped with microphone takes us on a lap of Le Mans in a D-type.



Given that it is the fiftieth anniversary year of Hawthorn's success and that the Le Mans 24-hour race is in progress as I write this, I think that this post is really jolly appropriate - as Hawthorn himself might have remarked.

As a parting shot, I think I should add that Hawthorn - and his father Leslie who were based at Farnham in Surrey, were great Lancia fans; Chris Nixon tells an hilarious tale of young Mike's adventures in an Aprilia, and Leslie Hawthorn's Aprilia EYE 606 was at dear old Harry Manning's garage until the end.

À bientôt

Sod the Law!

SMOKING IS NOT ONLY PERMITTED ON THIS BLOG - IT IS ACTIVELY ENCOURAGED

New Internet Speed test

Music and Radio Blog Club

Radio Blog Club, a good friend for a while appears to be in some legislative difficulty...

However, in tribute to its brave effort, I shall leave the existing track on this page (which amazingly still works)

Sadly my Playlist no longer works (hence its removal) thanks to the absurd "Hadopi" legislation in France. Apologies to all.