Martin Gegg visits a captivating event in the Loire Valley town of Puy Notre-Dame
The 22nd Grand Prix Retro Le Puy Notre-Dame, showcasing pre-war vehicles, took place over the weekend of July 21-22, and UK participants included the Brooklands Museum Motorcycle Team, who sponsored the transport of museum motorcycles to the idyllic town of Puy Notre-Dame, nestled among the vineyards and sunflower fields of the Loire Valley.
I decided to go along after hearing about this delightful excuse to tear around the roads of the little French village, where apparently the locals don’t worry about noise until late into the evening and are quite happy to have the village roads closed for two-and-a-half days.
The proof of this statement is the fact that this event has now been running for 22 years.
On the Friday evening, the village hosted a street party for participants, and next day the entrants with road-registered machines took part in a 30km tour of the wine region with a stop for lunch.
One of my compatriots, VMCC Abingdon marque specialist Bill Whiteley, emulated the racers of the past by riding his 300cc 1930 Abingdon King Dick both on track and back to his base 13km along the road. Just two weeks before, the little AKD had been just another static exhibit at The London Motorcycle Museum.
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