Champagne, France

May 2009 - Organiser - Thierry Denant (Mk I Auto GT)

 

Beautiful sunshine and the empty open roads of the Champagne region of France hosted this relaxing meeting of 6 Costellos (4 GTs and 2 Roadsters). Based in Epernay the group drove over 100 miles together exploring the Route Touristique du Champagne, finally visiting the crumbling remains of the Reims motor-racing circuit at Gueux for some great photographs. Those who made it along were:

 

Thierry Denant - MkI GT (France), Lawrence Wood - MkI Roadster (London, UK), Peter Brodt - MkII GT (Wiesbaden, Germany) , Stephane Vanoverschelde - MkII GT (Dieppe, France), Jean-Louis Beaurin - MkI GT (Dieppe, France), Benjamin Mullaert - MkII Roadster (Brussels, Belgium)

 

All cars behaved impeccably well despite the soaring temperatures and bright sun all day long. A drive along the Route Touristique du Champagne was thoroughly enjoyed, though it was, of course, thirsty work and necessitated several stops to take on more liquids. And while our trusty chariots took on fuel and water, drivers and passengers naturally enjoyed the more bubbly variety of refreshment.

 

Several other classic car groups, making the most of the sunny weather and the stunning countryside, sounded their horns in appreciation of our Costellos passing by. A group of such special cars is so rarely seen that many residents of the small villages in the region came out to nod their approval or wave their handkerchiefs as our little cavalcade burbled through.

 

On 22nd and 23rd May 2009, a select group of six, largely European-based Costellos gathered together in Epernay in the heart of the Champagne region of Northern France. Thierry, Jean-Louis and Stephane all travelled from their French homes, Benjamin drove his roadster over from Brussels, Peter came from his home in Wiesbaden, Germany and Lawrence across Le Manche from London. Stephane just managed to finish the restoration of his GT in time for the Gathering, though he played it safe by trailering the car from his home in Dieppe as far as his hotel in Reims. Nevertheless, the V8 was on song all weekend and is clearly a project of which he can be especially proud.

 

All cars behaved impeccably well despite the soaring temperatures and bright sun all day long. A drive along the Route Touristique du Champagne was thoroughly enjoyed, though it was, of course, thirsty work and necessitated several stops to take on more liquids. And while our trusty chariots took on fuel and water, drivers and passengers naturally enjoyed the more bubbly variety of refreshment.

 

Several other classic car groups, making the most of the sunny weather and the stunning countryside, sounded their horns in appreciation of our Costellos passing by. A group of such special cars is so rarely seen that many residents of the small villages in the region came out to nod their approval or wave their handkerchiefs as our little cavalcade burbled through.

 

Following several stops to sample the local cuisine and a sumptuous dinner at l'Abbaye de l'Hautvillers (resting place of Dom Perignon) the group descended upon the original Grand Prix circuit at Reims - the now disused road course at Gueux. Some evocative photographs show how local groups have successfully raised enough money to restore the facades of the crumbling pit lane and grandstands to their former glory. Now pretty much as they were in their competition heyday in the 1950s, they provided a fitting backdrop for group pictures of some true British thoroughbreds and their proud owners.

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