Les Belles Champenoises d’Epoque 2016

Every year, in the first days of March, Reims, in France, becomes an unavoidable meeting place for the classic car owners. The show, aka Salon Champenois du Véhicule de Collection, is best known by its organisers’ name : les Belles Champenoises d’Epoque.

If you expected to see Mercedes 300SLs, Ferraris, Aston Martins and such, you are too late. You had to go to Rétromobile, another major event, but for very different standards.

Les Belles Champenoises d’Epoque is considered beiing THE reference of popular shows. There, part sellers allow you to find whatever you need to  refurbish your carn and the populars take the most part of the cars exhibited. Let us show you around.

Luckily, the weather is fair, sparing the crowd that gathered at the entrance more than one hour before the opening of the doors. It’s a real rush since the opening, no one wants toi miss THE part they are looking for,, before someone else gets it. The aisles are filed at an incredible speed, and one hour after the opening, you have to pay attention not to push someone, either inside or outside !

There is a lot of sellers offering a wide range of parts, no pro would miss this event. You can hunt bargains for used parts, and even find body parts to restore at the “scrap sellers”. Some stalls look more like a bric-a-brac though, the appeal for old stuff associated to the automotive universe allow you you find whatever you can imagine. For example, you could find a large amount of scale models (old ans new), manuals, history books, old toys, or even decorative objects.

For those of you who just want to see classic cars, Les Belles Champenoises d’Epqoue is an interesting show as well. Two halls are dedicated to the clubs, exhibiting thei cars of their members, in compliance with the theme proposed by the organisers (who set a stand contest). This year, the the was “Cinema”, several stands had set demonstrations, while others had just decorated their stand. There is however a little drawback, the clubs tend to close their area with cords, preventing you to take the best pictures and not really inciting you to go and talk to the people there. There is a lot of cars exposed, nevertheless, and the populars have are highlighted, that is refreshing.

There was a motocycle exhibition too, because Les Belles Champenoises d’Epoque is not exclusively starring cars. There was a wide range of models and stands available for the visitors.

The other exhibition is not inside the site, but on the car park where were gathered the classic cars owend by the visitors. It is not the biggest park you can visit, Automédon has a far bigger one, but we can see really beatiful/rare models, sometimes coming form Belgium, the Netherlandsor even the UK ! You can meet a small group, here and there, they are the membmers of a forum or a club, enjoying the moment. It is a quite cheerful atmosphere.

To sum it up, Les Belles Champenoises d’Epoque is an unavoidable event for the popular car lover (mainly french cars, but you can find parts for english and italian cars quite easily). We recommend it to you if you missed it. See you there next year, especially if the weather is as clement as it was this year !

You can see all the pictures in this gallery

Pictures: Joel, Pierre et Bertrand.

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