There are many uses for the fabulous fabric that is tartan and car upholstery is just one of these, so we are quite used to dealing with enquiries to match up the checks for a vintage Porsche or classic Chrysler. But when Nicolas from Machine Revival in France contacted us we did get a little bit excited about his project and the famous Tour de Auto Optic 2000. Not just any old race!
The “Tour de France Automobile” dates back to 1899 and as such is the oldest classic car race still running today. At it’s inception the Tour was a unique event as it mixed open road, classic race track and hill track across France. The 2000km route this year starts in Paris at the Grand Palais and winds it’s way via Besançon, Megève, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence to finish on the Cote d’Azure in Nice. Only classic cars of a model that competed in the original Tour de France Automobile between 1951 and 1973 are allowed to participate and today you can see the them on display in Paris before the rally heads out on Tuesday to take on the 10 special stages.
Nicolas at Machine Revival was given a challenge late last year by Direct Auto to totally re-build a Porsche 911 in time for the race, filming the entire process to share with vintage car enthusiasts around the world. This included re-instating the tartan upholstery from the original car and matching it with the bright metallic green. Car fanatic, presenter for C8 and Direct Auto, Grégory Galiffi came over in February with Nicolas to learn how the tartan is woven and to choose the best match for the upholstery. We had lots of fun filming at our shop in Edinburgh and down in the factory, with Anna’s French being tested to the max describing the weaving process and quality control that every piece of tartan goes through. The Ross Hunting Ancient provided the perfect lime green match to the car exterior and the orangey red stripe through it co-ordinated to a tee with the rich camel interior leather. The driver must also look his best so we also made a matching Tie and Pocket Square for Gregory to wear.
We will report back tomorrow as the drivers head out at dawn to the Château de Courances for the official start of the event and as soon as the film airs we will of course share the link so you too can see the journey.