It is the dream of every car enthusiast: driving a stylish two seater roadster on the legendary roads of Europe. This time it was a journey from Paris to Deauville, along the banks of the Seine…
Yust dream away with the pictures…as we do, as surely we would like to take one in the second half of September to the Maserati factory and an unforgettable trip in the Italian Modena surroundings…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
From the heart of the “ville lumière” to the tiny pearl of the Côte Fleurie. The two destinations are connected by the “Road of the Impressionists”, so-called because it passes through some of the locations that inspired the works of Van Gogh, Renoir, Pissarro and Monet. And this was the route travelled by a group of Fiat 124 Spiders, in a bid to appreciate the pleasure of driving “en plein air” through enchanted scenery and striking locations.
The expedition was made by no less than 15 examples of the vehicle. These Spiders were launched in 2016.
Theh car that drew the most attention from the public encountered along the French route was indeed the latest addition to the family, the Fiat 124 Spider Europa. Presented at the last Geneva Motor Show, the 124 Spider Europa is a limited edition special series sporting a range of equipment designed to celebrate the version bearing the same name that Pininfarina exhibited, again at the Geneva Motor Show, some 36 years ago.
the cavalcade of Fiat 124 Spiders departed from the Rond-Point des Champs Elysées Motor Village, the elegant flagship of the French sales network located in the heart of the capital and currently the location of a showroom for the FCA brands, as well as a meeting place for exhibitions and cultural events designed to promote Italian taste in all its forms.
The route went over La Roche-Guyon, one of the most beautiful towns in France, and continues along the “Road of the Impressionists”. A highlight of the route is the municipality of Giverny, where Claude Monet’s garden and house are located, declared a national monument back in 1976.
The journey of the Fiat 124 Spiders continues along the Seine to Les Andelys, before taking the motorway to reach Honfleur. The teams also appreciated the extremely pleasant driving experience and the total control over the vehicle, also thanks to the lightweight, reactive steering wheel, and sophisticated suspension system (quadrilateral at the front and multilink at the rear).
Honfleur, famous for its picturesque marina, is characterised by houses with façades covered in slate tiles and captured by the paintbrush of countless artists including Gustave Courbet, Eugène Boudin, Claude Monet and Johan Jongkind, the leaders of the school of Honfleur, the group that helped to develop and consolidate the Impressionist movement.
The expedition continued towards Deauville, the elegant beach town of the Côte Fleurie, a favourite with nobles and intellectuals until the second half of the 1800s.
With its exclusive boutiques, its casino frequented by celebrities and the American Film Festival which attracts hordes of cinema buffs from all over Europe every year in early September. The chic French town is located in the département of Calvados, in Lower Normandy and is also famous for the starring role it played in Marcel Proust’s novel “In Search of Lost Time”.
The expedition of the Fiat 124 Spiders comes to an end not far from Deauville, and more precisely at the castle of Breuil, one of the most stunning examples of the architectural heritage offered by the area. Recognised as a monument of historical interest, it stands proudly in the centre of a park of trees which have been there for hundreds of years. Today it hosts one of the most famous distilleries of Calvados, a characteristic local apple brandy. Founded in 1954, today it produces approximately 400,000 bottles, distributed in more than 50 countries. This is the last stop in this trip on French soil on board the charming 124 Spider, with its evolved design that fully embodies the traditional beauty of its 1966 predecessor, without ever betraying its essence.
As said, we would like to take it on the road towards the Maserati factory in Modena, and see how the supercars are made… maybe that dream comes true… stay posted!
Hans Knol ten Bensel