It was Tonton’s coupé, his parents’ sedan, the neighbor’s convertible, Alain Delon’s car… They are called “youngtimers”, vintage cars with a powerful scent of nostalgia. Renault 4L, 16 or Fuego, Lancia Beta HPE, Simca 1100, Peugeot 204, 504 or 604, Volvo 240, Ford Escort, Mercedes-Benz 190… without forgetting the Citroën Ami 6, DS, GS, CX. They are luxurious or modest, sporty or sluggish, huge or small, it doesn’t matter.
With them, it is not a question of technology, nor of time, but of feeling, as evidenced by the tasty testimonies collected in “Youngtimers, cult cars, young forever”, the new book by Stéphane Cohen. There is Guillaume, who does not want a car radio in his Mini Clubman from the 1960s: “I prefer to listen to the sound of the engine”, he confides. There is François, fan of trucks, who would die for a Berliet GLM, “The star of the 1970s construction sites”. And then Marion, alias Miss Mustang, or Loïc, who loves “Very beautiful leatherette” of his Fiat 850 Sport.
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2 CV Charleston: 40 years old and still cult
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The difference between a youngtimer and a classic car? The latter is over thirty years old and must be maintained and restored in strict accordance with the original model. The youngtimer is ageless. Neither very old nor contemporary, it is simply a beautiful, original or sympathetic car. She doesn’t care about authenticity. It has other virtues, that of a (mechanical) memory box, of a travel machine in a happy, real or dreamed past. A madeleine of Proust which makes vroum.
“Youngtimers, cult cars, young forever”, Ed. Epa, € 29.95.