GALLERY: Journees d’Automne Is Vintage Paradise In Modern Times
Photography by Maxence Massaro
We’ve been keeping up with Journees d’Automne over the years as it’s grown from a get-together to an event that brings people across borders to attend, and the most recent edition of the weekend-long vintage driving tour showed more of the same, which in this case is only a good thing. There are plenty of classic car rallies to attend around the world in some guise or another, from the larger “take a week off work” stuff like the Tour Auto to the smaller stuff that isn’t publicized, like meeting up with a few friends on Sunday morning to catch up and go for a drive. There’s fun to be found in either form—the big country-crossing treks with hundreds of rare cars, or just keeping the local traditions going—but the sweet spot is probably somewhere in the middle.
Journees falls into this space, and while it brings out some serious metal in the form of cars like Bugatti 35s and Jaguar C-Types, there’s also a cadre of classics on the modern side of the equation, and it’s not everywhere that you’ll find a Ferrari 365GT4 BB flanking an Alfa Romeo Giulia SS in the parking area. The cars cover a lot of ground between pre-war open-wheel types and hot-rodded 911s, and they both fit the mission statement despite the spaces between their ages and purposes: the event is based not on one type or marque of car, and not just a passion for cars either, but a passion for using them. That’s why you’ll see people giving their old steeds the beans on the track portion of the weekend (which includes tours to historic locations outside of Paris, some time on track, and plenty of casual gatherings along the way), and you’re more likely to find owners adjusting carbs and wiping off bits of spent rubber rubbing specks of dust from freshly waxed paint for the tenth time of the day.
The event began with a group of friends and has since seen itself on a trajectory to rival the premiere European driving events thanks in large part to the mixture between high-quality sports cars and the attitudes possessed by the kinds of people who don’t mind adding miles to them. There’s no one correct way to enjoy your car of course, but if we had to put our chips down somewhere this is probably where we’d go: French countryside, brisk but sunny autumn air, an array of cars, and an excuse to drive them as intended.