HomeNews and EventsParade in Paris caps FIVA's 50th anniversary celebration

Parade in Paris caps FIVA’s 50th anniversary celebration


More than 100 classic cars from around the world drove through cold and rain in Paris | FIVA photos
More than 100 classic cars from around the world drove through cold and rain in Paris | FIVA photos

‘A Century of Mobile Heritage” display at UNESCO’s headquarters and a tour of Paris by more than 100 classic cars were highlights of “Paris Week,” the finale of the World Motoring Heritage Year celebrated by FIVA, the Federation Internationale des Vehicules Anciens, which staged several events through the year as part of its own 50th anniversary.

“The exhibition aimed to illustrate, through a selection of two- and four-wheeled vehicles from disparate eras of our international automotive history, how historic cars and motorcycles are a crucial part of our human heritage,” a FIVA news release said of the display at the UNESCO offices. “The historic vehicles were chosen not only for their ages, their importance, and their international provenance, but also for being strikingly original and well-preserved, rather than restored.”

The Bugatti that won the first Monaco Grand Prix
The Bugatti that won the first Monaco Grand Prix

The display ranged from an 1892 Panhard et Levassor Type P2D, believed to be the oldest running car in the world, through the 1928 Bugatti Type 35B that won the first Monaco Grand Prix, to cars such as 1937 Delahaye 135 Competition, 1938 Packard Eight 1602, Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ and more recent Peugeots and Porsches. Motorcycles ranged from a 1930 Majestic to a 1969 BMW R75/5.

In addition to the open-to-the-public display of cars, some 500 people attended a special Thursday evening event featuring Francesco Bandarin, UNESCO’s assistant director general for culture, who noted the link between the United Nations group and the classic car group: “We have a key word in common, and that is heritage, and it speaks of protection, restoration and conservation. The other common word, which can be felt strongly in this historic hall, is passion.”

Khalil Karam, Lebanon’s permanent ambassador to UNESCO, added that, “This exceptional exhibition showcases the biggest revolution of the 20th Century – one that was best described by French philosopher Roland Barthes, when he said that the automobile is almost the exact equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals.”

“The preservation of all heritage is a priority for UNESCO,” said Laurent Stefanini, French ambassador to UNESCO.

Posing for a photo in front of Sacre-Coeur
Posing for a photo in front of Sacre-Coeur

And FIVA president Patrick Rollet noted,“The theme of this very special exhibition on ‘A Century of Mobile Heritage’ is preservation, which involves skills, sophisticated technologies and a respect for heritage, as well as authenticity. These are the shared missions of UNESCO and FIVA, although FIVA is of course focused solely on mobile heritage.”

The week concluded early Sunday morning with more than 100 historic vehicles gathering at Polo de Paris in Bois de Boulogne for what turned out to be a wintry weather drive through the heart of the city.

A quarter of the participating cars arrived from outside France, coming from the Americas, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

The oldest vehicle doing the tour was a 1900 De Dion-Bouton driven by 27-year-old Rupali Prakash, of Bangalore, India. Also receiving considerable attention was an ex-maharaja Delage D8 with a Figoni body returning to Paris for the first time since it was displayed at the Paris Salon in 1930. Another vehicle of note was a Lorraine-Dietrich that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the 1920s.





FIVA photos

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Thanks for this nice pictures:
    The 1980 Porsche 928 S above -besides the Vace Vega- is my car. My partner Ruth Iseli and I drove her from the central part of Switzerland to Paris and back home, 1’300 km (808 miles) without any problem. I’m a member of the FIVA Events Commission and the Board of the Swiss Historic Vehicle Federation which represents FIVA in Switzerland. More pictures of the ‘Tour de Paris’: http://goo.gl/Hi7sbr
    Kind regards from Switzerland
    Ruedi Mueller

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