Eye Candy: Le Premiere Mai à Cassel, a different style of garden party picnic

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AC Ace and a Bentley 3-liter

Since most of Europe is on holiday May 1 (International Workers Day), French classic car dealer Christophe Pund from the Galerie Des Damiers decided a few years ago to throw an informal picnic party in his garden for friends and clients.

Although still an invitation-only affair, the event has grown with people often driving their classic cars in groups toward the town of Cassel, France, arriving around noon to unpack picnic baskets and to fire up the BBQs.

Since this is France, the baguette’s, French cheeses and obligatory French wines cannot be missing from the blankets and tables.

Although it’s still considered as just a social get together, the classics that everybody shows up with act as a conversation starter, and more than a few formal car shows would be jealous at such an amazing variety of vehicles parked in the garden.

How often do you get to see more than a dozen Bugattis or a Jaguar XK140 with a Farina body, of which only two ever existed?

And so the list keeps going from the more “normal” regularly seen cars to cars never even heard of previously.

There are no real entry lists, people tend to bring what they have or what actually starts without a problem that morning and depending on weather conditions. So you can be in for a few surprises at what actually shows up.

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But it’s not about showing off, getting the car cleaned and parked straight, just about having some driving fun in the morning and then enjoying good food and meeting new friends in the afternoon.

I can’t really think of a better way to spend the holiday.

Photography by Dirk de Jager

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A racer's son, Dirk de Jager is a Belgian-based photographer raised in a family of car enthusiasts. While his passion started out with classic Italian cars, it has expanded to include other nationalities with a preference for cars of the 1930s to 1950s. Dirk can often be found at top classic car events in Europe and the United States, whether on a racetrack, rally or concours field. For the past decade he has photographed numerous rare classic cars either for international magazines, commercial work, auction company's or private collectors. In addition to photography, he tests classic cars and assists collectors in managing their collections and showing cars at leading concours.