Gear: France Comes Alive In This New Driving Guide

France Comes Alive In This New Driving Guide

By Benjamin Shahrabani
June 1, 2015

The BookFrance: The Essential Guide for Car Enthusiasts
Author: Julian Parish
Pages: 248
PurchaseClick here

Could there possibly be a better way for a Petrolisti to celebrate summer than by taking a trip of the four-wheeled variety? But where to go? The world is a big place, and there’s so much to see, but so little time.

Finding new places of interest can be hard, but luckily there are guidebooks to help us get the most out our travels. The country of France was an early pioneer in the automotive industry, so it stands to reason that the tapestry of its motoring heritage must be rich—even its famed Michelin Restaurant Guides were created to promote driving and, in turn, tire wear!

So, if you should yearn to unleash your inner Francophile, you could do worse than consider this new travel book for the autophile by Julian Parish, titled France: The Essential Guide for Car Enthusiasts, 200 Things for the Car Enthusiast to See and Do.

Parish, an Englishman who has lived in France for almost twenty years, decided to pen this reference book for his fellow countrymen who love cars, and other motoring events, after discovering that there was scant information available in the English language (or en Francais for that matter) on the many fascinating but less well-known points of interest for auto enthusiasts.

This fairly compact guide is different than most. While there are suggestions on combining your motoring vacation with some of the other, many attractions in the country – gourmet food, wine, art, and culture, spring to mind – so that your significant other might be assuaged, the author’s almost singular focus is for auto enthusiast.

Parish wisely divides the country into five regions: Paris & the Ile-de-France, Western France, Southern France, Central France & the Alps, and North-East France. Within each region, there are thematic sections: museums, shows & tours, marketplace, motorsport, and circuits. Each attraction, covering everything automotive, from museums and concours d’élégance, to motorsport events and track days, gets its own page (or two) in the book with descriptions, commentary, photographs, and a “practical information” section that includes things like addresses, telephone numbers, website, and opening times.

There are places and events open throughout the year, and in every region, and each entry also has a QR code which can be scanned by your smartphone to access the relevant website for the most up-to–date information. Additionally, this guide should never go “stale” like a piece of old, French bread because it is linked to its own website that features updates, a news blog about upcoming automotive events, and calendar.

Parish has done extraordinary research on attractions that may be worth visiting, and helps pave the way for his readers’ worry-free trip.

While maybe too focused to have as your only guidebook during a trip, France: The Essential Guide for Car Enthusiasts is well written, concise and to the point. Whether you prefer vintage models, or the latest sports cars, I highly recommend this book for anyone with the desire to have an automotive related holiday in France. Bon Voyage!

Purchase France: The Essential Guide for Car Enthusiasts

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Odd Goderstad
Odd Goderstad
8 years ago

Great! Now, if someone could do the same for Italy!