8W – Where? – Manoir de l’Automobile, Loheac

7 Oct 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 8W – Where? – Manoir de l’Automobile, Loheac

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August 14, (competed at Le Mans on June 19,

In a world increasingly occupied by hybrids and diesels of bland the roads and circuits of Europe are to become a duller experience day. However, not all of the continent has Somewhere in Brittany, one small holds out against the might is the 21st century stranglehold on the car.

Yes, it’s to see the parallels between the unnamed Armorican village from Gaulic comic book Asterix hails and today’s real Lohйac, a modest a few dozen miles south of Lohйac would be just any other village in Brittany, for the fact that it has named the Village de l’Automobile .

Lohйac now presents itself as the Village de . (photos 8W)

Solely responsible for the epithat is the 17th century de la Cour Neuve, a typical manor almost literally away in the woods surrounding the The difference is that this probably boasts the world’s in-house garage.

No-one would expect a of this magnitude in a place as far away from everything as this but yet there it is: over ten halls stretching to 14,000 metres of exhibition space, over 400 of the finest and rarest you could imagine, including 18 1 cars. The manor garden is unusual as well, with its tarmac and rallycross circuits. rallycross track actually the museum.) Back inside, the are surrounded by countless historic badges and advertisement hoardings of the and motor racing kind.

The collection of toy models is breathtaking as It’s hard to believe a mere two decades ago the Manoir de . which it is now called, was just a its buildings stuffed with animals instead of stationary

The Manoir is the brainchild of Michel editor of well-known French magazines such as Auto and Йchappement . and proud father of children and a car of his own design, the Berlinette When Hommell sought a to house his ever-growing car collection, he started when he was 18 years of he found it at Lohйac, the village he had already introduced the art of rallycross. the help of the locals Hommell the manor into a startling devoted to some of the most (or interesting) cars in the world.

The museum’s F1 section shows rich past as a Grand constructor.

Bottom: Various and Ligier tidbits light up the portrait gallery. (photos 8W)

The attraction for any fan of Grand Prix must be the space designed as a to Formula 1. With its 18 cars, houses one of the world’s largest F1 A 1997 Alesi/Berger Benetton-Renault forms the centerpiece, along two protagonists of the turbo era of the eighties, Lotus-Honda 100T and the Prost/Rosberg MP4/2C.

There’s another McLaren in the of the flawed 1980 M29, and a Osella FA1B but the majority of the hails from France: Ligiers. three AGSs, two cars, a Prost and a Matra. only makes you realise a powerful Grand Prix France used to be, whereas the country doesn’t have a doesn’t have a constructor (if you Renault because of being in England) and doesn’t even one F1 driver. Surrounding the cars are a collection of Ligier, Renault, AGS and tidbits and some of the best portraits of all World Champions to

One other F1 car is in the Ferrari pavillion, the horse’s ex-Tambay/Arnoux 126C3 1983. There, it is surrounded by a range of Ferrari road and an even more impressive of Ferrari models, both and road machines. The final of the man Tambay replaced at Ferrari is around the corner, the awe-inspiring off-shore powerboat that Didier Pironi off the Isle of

It is surrounded by the second Italian that Hommell was passionate Lamborghini. The bright red Miura in the sets off rather nicely the raw might of the Colibri.

Left: Pironi’s Colibri provides backdrop to striking Miura.

Two of the collection’s glorious Alpines. 8W)

Le Mans and rallying get their attention as well. The ex-Brundle Cut Jaguar XJR11 and the Courage form centre-stage in the Le Mans along with the Manoir-sponsored EB110 that raced at the in 1994. One year later entered an Aston Martin DB7 DM, on display at the Manoir.

Audi’s S1 rally car, the Peugeot 205 T16 Evo 2 and 037 and Delta S4 Integrale are the crowd-pullers in a section that frees up as well for a failed project the Citroлn BX 14 TC Evo. All are surrounded by glorious past as a car manufacturer, by great long-lost marques as Alpine, Panhard, Matra, DB, Delage and Delahaye and of course all the way down to the cradle – from De to Salmson.

In another section, the manor the full history of the two French that still remain – and Peugeot/Citroлn.

A climb to the first leads to a overwhelming number of that didn’t fit to a theme. are all there, side-by-side, from Vega to Maserati, Porsche to De Simca to Austin, Trabant to The top floor also includes a presentation of the various kinds of that were common in the era.

The horse-drawn carriages the displays show how their types – ‘berline’, ‘break’, ‘cabriolet’, ‘phaeton’, ‘jardiniиre’ – the resulting French car design, names still in common use to very day.

Top: The museum’s scale collection boasts separate for the most famous marques.

If one criticism we could make that there is too much to see at In most of the rooms – with the of the Formula 1 hall – the cars are almost on top of each other, away the opportunity to walk them and admire them a distance.

Still, you would be pressed to find a collection is as rich as that of the Manoir de perhaps with the exception of the Collection in Mulhouse. It takes a to get there for almost anyone not from Brittany itself but if you are in the anyway it would be foolish not to a detour. The Manoir is simply

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