The people who own these cars looked as if they would be having an interesting time over the next few years, as the city moves to ban the more polluting type of cars from central Paris. Beginning in July this year, trucks and buses registered before 2001 will be banned from entering the city during the day (8.00 - 20.00). Next July, the ban will extend to all cars registered before 1997 and motorcycles registered before 2000. By 2020 the bans will extend to 24 hours and will include all vehicles built before 2011.
Both the cars were seen in the Marais area of Paris earlier this month, and appear to be in daily use. Until last Friday the Mayor had been quiet about the possibilty or otherwise of allowances being made for classic cars, which was a pity. Seeing these cars in use cheers a lot of people up, and brings back a lot of memories. When we are in Célestine or Claudette we have a lot of conversations with people whose families owned similar cars. It also meant that Paris would have lost more of its identity as the city began to look increasingly like any other city filled with plastic blobs.
However, last Friday Madame Anne Hidalgo (the Maire) issued a statement to say that VL (light vehicles - that's cars and motorbikes to you and I) built before 1984 will be exempt as "l’impact environnemental, en mobilité et en accidentologie des véhicules de collection est infinitésimal dû au km parcouru" (basically they are saying that people in old cars don't drive far enough or have enough accidents to make any difference). Which is good.
The main change is that the Autolib and other electric car rental schemes should become incredibly popular, and scenes like this increasingly familiar.
For those people who want to see more old cars, our RetroMobile album is here.
PS - Simon's advice is buy any cheap but functioning pre 1984 Renault 4l you see, as these will now increase in value.