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Han’s Worldwide Sightings: France

Sightings in France

Over the past few weeks we have featured a few of Reader Han K’s worldwide sights. Being a rally support mechanic, Han has gotten to travel the world following a number of rallies. For this week’s sighting, we are featuring some of his sightings on a rally while traveling through the French Alps. When he wasn’t busy keeping a Supercharged Bentley running, he was watching for interesting finds and here are just a few that he came across.

Hans Sightings in France

Han spotted cars that we rarely see here in the states, including a number of Panhards, Citroens, and Peugeots. While nothing jumps out at us as being super rare, we can’t help but want one of these oddball French cars. There is just something about the likes of Panhard station wagons and derelict Peugeots.

Sightings in France 2

It’s amazing to think that even though Han was surrounded by ultra-rare and valuable rally cars, rusty old barn finds could still grab his attention. Thankfully, being around all that high end steel hasn’t left him numb to the kind of cars us regular car guys can afford. We aren’t sure if it would be worth importing any of these cars to the states, as that can get a bit pricy, but if you’re in Europe it might be worth tracking some of these down. Han didn’t give us the exact location, but he did provide a photo clue which can be found in the gallery below. If you have any idea of where these finds are located, let us know!

Hans rally car

Han thought we might like to see the cars he typically travels in while servicing rallies. He has a Jensen he uses when he goes for enjoyment, but when he’s working he is typically in the Ford Cortina Estate you see above. Seeing these photos sure makes us look forward to attending some events this summer ourselves. Not only do you have the joy of the driving experience, but traveling old back roads is always a great chance to spot some interesting finds! Anyone have any suggestions for what kind of car we could get cheap, but that would still be eligible for a number of events here in the Western United States?


  1. Koolpenguin

    Very very cool. Love the Cortina Estate in the bottom picture!

    • Han Kamp

      Yes, that little old 1963 Cortina was amazing, our trusty workhorse. We have done over 200k rally miles with her…. The car was purposefully modified though, the body was completely seemwelded and reinforced, a modern Ford 2 litre DOHC fuel injected engine, 5 speed gearbox, RS 2000 front struts and ventilated disc brakes, lowered and stiffer suspension, Koni shocks, larger fuel tank, tow bar and full rally instruments , bucket seats, 4 point harnesses and so on. We carried some 400 kgs. of tools, parts and fluids and yet many rallycars had trouble keeping our pace!
      A later version built by my mate, the owner, featured a complete Ford Sierra Cosworth Turbo 4×4 floorpan, suspension, engine, dash etc. Due to the increased track width this Cortina now has flared wheel arches. We can now enjoy the comforts of aircon and power steering plus an unbelievable amount of HP and torque !! Mistubishi EVO 6 are not a challenge……

  2. paul

    That 4A probably IRS is very nice.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie P Staff

      Actually, it’s a TR4 (solid axle) based on the badge and front light placement. But, more importantly, you’re right, it’s VERY nice :-)

  3. Richard V

    The first car I drove was my folk’s Peugeot 403 which they bought new in 1960, it was bullet proof. What a great car! It took our family on a trip from Glendale, CA to visit family in NE Kentucky without a problem. Much of the trip was on old Route 66, as I recall.

  4. Dave

    Would love to have that truck with the curved front end.

    • rancho bella

      diggin’ on pickup as well. Perhaps someone knows the name?

      • MikeH

        The vehicle is a Peugeot 202. Now whether it started life as a pickup or a car, I don’t know. There were 202 pickups and vans made.

    • jim s

      i think the truck is a car that had the back of the body cut off.

  5. Georgemia Member

    Would love to have the Panhard wagon just to have fun making American friends try to pronounce it correctly!

    • Han Kamp

      jim s is spot on! This is a converted car.

  6. Dolphin Member

    I’m with Richard V and his experience with his family’s Peugeot 403. My father worked mostly on US vehicles because European cars were so scarce back then, but I tagged along when he replaced a head gasket on a Peugeot 403 once and he was impressed with the design and build quality.

    From that I still think of the 403 as THE rugged French family sedan of the 1950s. The one in this entry is even the same French blue as the one my father fixed. It looks fairly complete and restorable and could be a good project for someone who wants a solid vintage European sedan.

    • Don Andreina

      Those Peugeots were very popular with the pastoral gentry down here. Very durable cars.

  7. William H

    Growing up with American iron I’ve always been intrigued by the body styles of the cars from across the pond. I would love to have a few of these that were shells only so I could install drivetrain I am more familiar with. It would be great to keep them looking as stock as possible from the outside with a modern drivetrain lurking under the old tin.

  8. rancho bella

    oh………and those big vans………turn em’ into Lotus haulers with sleeping quarters.

    • Han Kamp

      These square shaped and ribbed large volume vans are Citroen HY’s. Front wheel drive vans, many of these still around in various wheelbase lengths, pick-ups, box vans etc. The one I liked in particular is the black Peuqeot van (behind the Cortina)
      which was actually a low mileage hearse, in good shape, ready for the road. FWD too by the way. I remember the police in Rotterdam (Holland, my home town) used these to transport prisoners…. A decade later the police had a fleet of Chevy C10 Suburbans running on LPG as patrol cars. Those were the days ! Oh, but they also used VW Beetles and DAF 33’s….

  9. jim s

    a peugeot diesel or a van would be nice. he gets to see a lot of nice stuff in his travels. thanks for sharing

  10. jim s

    yes here is the car for you. has a ton of british history, all the carbs you could ever want, and you two don’t mind the ” pain at the pump “.

    • koolpenguin

      What the hell?? Amazing what people will piss away there money on.

    • William H

      Interesting combination choice. I read an article the other day about a guy putting two, yes two, V12s into a ’55 or ’57 Chevy. I like the oddball combo. The engineering to make it all work correctly is what I like.

  11. MikeH

    A french car lovers paradise. There are some semi rare cars here. I saw a Citroen DS, a Renault Juvaquatre, a Peugeot 202 pickup?–note the headlights behind the grille, a Panhard break, a Peugeot 203, a Peugeot 301, and a Simca 7?? And lots of vans and 20s cars I can’t identify.

  12. Big Frank

    as i’m only living 4 hours away from this little village, i will check it out and let you know more about this salvage. theres a famous hillclimb race not to far away from this place, so i will have a awesome weekend checking out those cars and seeing the race !

  13. Rick Rothermel

    Might be neat by themselves in their own homeland but the foreign stuff just doesn’t impress me that much. Sorry.

    • jim s

      i used to go to canada at least once a year just to see the cars/truck/motorcycles that they got and the USA did not get. it was always fun.

  14. cowboy

    I have a couple of Peugeots in Wyoming that I’d consider selling… 1963 404 with race history in East African Safari in Kenya, then brought to the US and raced in Baja 500 and 1000 in late 60’s and early 70’s, factory supported … Also have a 1970 504 with fresh engine, 5 speed … was going to take the drive train and put it all in the 404…

  15. Lionel

    Found it on Google Earth. Exact location: 47°26’54.50″N, 6°12’23.05″E
    The street view on Google is pretty cool, many cars not shown on the pictures here can be seen there.
    There is a very long closed building behind the open one, probably hiding more cars in there……

  16. Brad L

    Bingo! 47 26′ 55.38″N, 6 12′ 23.29″E

  17. JanW

    Off topic, but as a Jensen Interceptor owner I was intrigued by the reference to Hans driving a Jensen for pleasure. Any idea what model?

    • Josh Staff

      Like Han said, keep an eye on the site. We while be featuring Han’s Jensen 541 and its restoration in the days to come!

  18. Han Kamp

    In answer to JanW’s question”any idea what model?”
    5 to be precise, a Jensen Healey, Jensen GT, Jensen Interceptor 4 litre (1951), Jensen Interceptor 4 litre (lhd!!) 1954 and last but not least a 1957 Jensen 541. Watch this space…

  19. Jim Williamson

    Two Simca aronde’s in the first photo. They were imported here in Australia in the early 1960’s, but not in great numbers.

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