When you combine a fine selection of classic cars with one of France's most elegant cultural riches, you get the Traversée de Paris organised by the Vincennes en Anciennes (an association of classic car owners and enthusiasts).
Spearheaded by a small group of car enthusiast friends, the first gathering of classic cars was organised on 7 December 1986. It featured around 70 cars, all lined up on the Saint-Louis esplanade of the Château de Vincennes. Given the huge enthusiasm for the event and to make organising it easier, Michel Lemoine was one of the coordinators involved in creating the Vincennes en Anciennes association. His brother Jacques was its first president. Nowadays, Jacques D’Andrea is its president.
In 1999, the idea to have a parade of cars crossing Paris was born. No sooner was the idea born than it was implemented. Given the huge success of this first non-official crossing, it was turned into an official, supervised event in 2000. Classic cars are a barometer of history. Their purring engines showcase the expertise of manufacturers from days gone by. In a city that oozes history, sharing these fantastic machines – just for half a day – seemed like the obvious thing to do. Rekindle the memories of a Paris of long ago. Bring back an era when legendary cars drove through mythical places. From the sound of Paris church bells to the hooting of car horns – what pleasant music.
Since then, this alliance of two heritages – one made of stone, the other of metal – occurs every year. So on Sunday 8 January 2017, Vincennes en Anciennes will be celebrating the 17th winter Traversée de Paris. More and more people – men, women, couples, families, young people, not-so-young people – are getting interested in classic cars… as evidence of a shared heritage and for their own personal pleasure. So feel free to come and watch this fantastic event. And if you think it's too cold, remember that another crossing is organised in the summer season as well.
You can also find out more about Vincennes en Anciennes at Rétromobile 2017 from 8 to 12 February.
Click here to download a flyer showing the crossing points.