The Car that went to Menton France

Written by on August 26, 2015 in Guest Blogs, Provence-Alpes


Menton is one of my favourite towns in France and I have spent and still do spend much time there. The famous Lemon Festival is one the highlights of my year….

So says Peter Jones, Francophile, who in the 1980’s was managing a Building Society branch office in Stratford on Avon, England (Shakespeare country) where many of his clients were very affluent. He tells us the story of one his clients who had a very nice car that needed to go to France:

Lady Monica. Even though there was 30 years between us we had a very flirtatious but professional relationship. She spent much of the year in Menton, where France meets Italy.

One morning my secretary called up to my office and said Lady Monica wanted to speak to me on the phone. A bit odd I thought, as I knew she was in Menton.

“Mr. Jones, good morning, I have a proposition for you. My husband’s car is in Stratford and we really would like it in Menton for the summer. Would you like to drive it down, you could stay a couple of nights with us and I would pay for your flight back from Nice”.

I thanked her for the kind offer but advised that work and family commitments would make it difficult if not impossible.

“It is a white convertible Aston Martin” came the response…

…Two days later I drove off the ferry at Le Havre with nearly 800 miles of France ahead of me.

Crossing the River Seine via the mighty bridge at Tarcanville I stopped for breakfast in Pont Audemer. Here I experienced the mighty pulling power of an Aston Martin as a crowd surrounded the immaculate white DB6. They all clapped as I fired up the engine and sped off with a throaty growl.

I am and have always been a bit of a motor racing nut so rather than blast down to Menton the quickest way I planned to go via Le Mans and give the car a tour of its historical home.

As I left the city centre of Le Mans and headed south I headed the inimitable sound of a French police car. A quick glance in my mirrors revealed looming up large behind me was a Renault 4 police car – headlights and blue lights flashing, horn blaring, the driver waving at me to pull over.

I racked my brain to think what I’d done wrong. The gendarmes in the car were motor racing fans and were keen to know if I was driving down the infamous Mulsanne straight.

Read what happens next and how Lady Monica’s dog comes into the story… (P. 58)

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