Retromobile Paris 2015

| 2/19/2015 2:36:00 PM


A sea of red MV Agustas at Bonhams’ Retromobile auction.

I had just arrived in Paris for the 40th year of Retromobile, one of the biggest vintage machinery shows in Europe, and was struck by the irony of an announcement by Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, that she would request a ban on all motorcycles manufactured prior to 2000. Automobiles prior to 1996 would face a similar ban. In the same manner that people flock to Las Vegas and Scottsdale, Arizona, for the winter motorcycle auctions, the French version of cabin fever sets in and they, too, show up by the thousands to see some nice vehicles. Quite often, American enthusiasts are incredulous when I mention the importance of French motorcycles. Yet prior to WWII, France was on the cutting edge of motorcycling, and some of the earliest designs originated there. Paris is covered all year round by riders, and the Retromobile parking lot was filled with motorcycles — and it was barely above freezing!

1952 Vincent

Nice 1952 Vincent Black Shadow was sold by Bonhams for 82,800 Euros, or approximately $93,547 U.S., including premium.

My initial impression is that this is in fact a car show/meet. Many high end dealers have their stalls punctuated with vintage motorcycles. There are numerous stalls that serve as a swap meet for bits, or “antiquities” as the French call them. Fine sifting will bring out many jewels; chronometric instruments, badges and literature cohabitate in display cases. I’ve found that sometimes you have an upper hand with motorcycle parts because some dealers don’t stay abreast of prices. One dealer had a small key for a pre-war BMW motorcycle. It had a VDO clock in it! Another dealer had an original paint Norton International gas tank nestled in with some Italian car bits.

2/27/2015 3:38:26 PM

Mark - 30 seconds with Google or DuckDuckGo searching "Peugeot 175cc twin" should give you plenty to work with. Just two of the first:

2/26/2015 12:09:17 PM

That "Peugeot 175 twin" in the photo... would like to learn more about any such model, or whatever it is in that photo. Sure looks like a 2-stroke single with twin exhausts, which has been a popular style of the 50's. From the photo thought it might be a Jawa single, except for the exposed carburetor. I am fascinated by 1950's motorcycles and any French motor vehicle, but have been unable to ascertain Peugeot ever made a 175cc. Why would it not be on the Wikipedia website?

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