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Gréoux-les-Bains 7th - 14th of June

Day 4 ... Thursday - Cassis et les Calanques
Today´s rally best showed the diversification of the Provence ranging from the lovely open lavender fields, the twisty mountain and forest roads to the méditerranée of the Cote d´Azur. After passing Rians the Bugatti left the departement Var towards Bouche-du-Rhone and after the capitol of the canton Trets the road climbed up the hill to the Col de l´Espigoulier. Already part of several Tour Auto in April when in the region this was the first real highlight of the day as the crossing of the Massif de la Sainte Baume offers a superb foresight over the entire region from the north to the Mediterranean. But not just the landscape is spectacular but also the sweeping serpentines offered real driving fun in the small sports cars. After descending towards the coast the cars were lined-up in the harbour of Cassis. Unlike the big industrial city of Marseille or the posh Cannes and Nizza Cassis can still deliver the romantic atmosphere of the Cote d´Azur. Although touristy as well it still has the charm of the old colourful houses near the harbour with the small boats at the jetty. Whereas the drivers and their passengers climbed aboard of a small cruise vessel to explore the coastal line the tourists had the time to inspect the cars on the harbour mole. Coming directly from the beach the bathers had a closer look at the intruders on four wheels and not few went straight back to the hotel to pick up their camera. One could see that even amongst those less into classic cars the technique and the design of the 1920s and 1930s has a magical appeal that gives the bystanders a smile apart from the value (they might not even know).

After the return of the vessel and the lunch at the beach restaurant the cars left Cassis over the Route des Cretes. Just opened 45 years ago this scenic mountain road along the coast over the Cap Canaille known for its splendid sight over the coastline. Unlike the days the day was completely sunny and the ride back was covered in the warm mediterranean evening light on the way to Gréoux-le-Bains.

Report & images … Peter Singhof

Chassis numbers compiled with the help of the Bugatti Register