Long before we first arrived here it was clear to me that France is a wonderful country in which to take classic car tours. With the many miles (or I should say kilometres) of roads and thousands of places to see, France is a natural, easy choice for classic touring. What’s more, the absence of many other road users means the absence of traffic jams, the bane of most classic or historic cars.
When we left England I promised the Jaguar (which I was driving) that I would never again expect it to stand in a queue for the Dartford crossing for hours at a time and the Jag and me have been treated ever since to clear, (mainly) well surfaced roads that stretch off to all points of the compass – north to the Loire, south to Dordogne and the Riviera beyond or for the really adventurous, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Switzerland.
It also occurred to me that here at La Ferme de L’Eglise we are well served with barns, four in fact, where classic cars can be safely stored and worked on under cover. So I got underway with plans to create a small collection of classic cars for hire, as this seemed like a sensible way of indulging my interest, sharing it with other like minded folk and perhaps most importantly, making the cars pay their way. The house and gîtes look out onto a large, secure courtyard that can accommodate several cars, so that owners never need to be far from their cherished chariot!
So, how does it work? Are we a classic car rental company? Not quite, since you need to come to stay in one of our gîtes to get the use of one of our classic cars. And, what cars do we have?
We have two Citroën DS: a Citroën DSuper 5 (generically known as a Citroën ID) and a Citroën DS23 ie.
Even though these cars are now 40 years old they still drive like a modern car – a testament to just how advanced a car launched in 1955 was and still is.
I also have my Jaguar MK2:
The Jag is really a much more “vintage” drive than the DS: no power steering; a Moss gearbox that was first used in cars before 1938 and with no synchromesh on 1st gear; rear wheel drive with enough grunt to land the unwary in trouble, especially in the wet and suspension that does not forgive reckless drivers who are used to the sure footedness of a modern sports car. First registered in September 1961 she is older and better looking than me and has outlived the Berlin Wall, which went up in the same year. With all this said and done, she is a fine classic tourer, happy in overdrive in top gear cruising the French Route Nationales – Grand Touring at its best!
What other classic car experiences do we offer?
Self-Drive Classic Car Holidays
Come and stay in our gîtes and make use of one of our cars for all or part of your stay. For more information about these holidays click here.
Chauffeured Classic Car Wine Tasting Tours
Choose your car and itinerary and we will chauffeur you around on a tour of vineyards and distilleries so you can sample the very best Cognac from Martell, Remy Martin and Courvoisier as well as the famous Pineau des Charentes. Travel in style and luxury and enjoy a day of wine and food without having to worry about getting back home again. Lunch is included in these days out and for more information about these Cognac and wine tasting tours, please drop me a line to make a general enquiry via the enquiry form below. If you have a stay with us already booked and would like to put this day out into your itinerary then please send me an email.
Try before you buy
There are many potential classic car owners who would like a chance to try out a car before committing. Take the Citroen DS for example: these cars were produced from 1955 to 1974 and there are many variants of the marque. Do you choose a DS or an ID? Do you want a DS with the Citroen semi-automatic gearbox or the manual gearbox? What are the differences between the cars over the years? We have a 5-speed manual Citroen ID – the DSuper 5 – that you can compare with the DS23ie, the most powerful of the DS line, with the semi-automatic gearbox. Come and stay for a long weekend or a week or two and use both cars to get a feel for which is likely to be best for you.
Classic Car Tours
For parties of classic car visitors we have a selection of tours of half and full day duration, always with an excellent lunch stop. For those who prefer to spend more time on the road and less in a restaurant we can provide luxury picnic hampers stacked with a variety of food for every palate. For those parties where a passenger wants to spend the day as a driver, why not join your friends in one of our classics? Or even have John or me drive you ……. just let us know how you’d like it to be, by making an enquiry via the enquiry form below.
After such tough days out, you’ll probably want to relax in the pool that will be newly installed in time for 2011 and perhaps have us prepare a BBQ meal for you to finish a perfect day!