The Joy of Ego Distancing

There it is, the Alpine. But only for a moment. Because, of course, we want to get in and race off. A brief demonstration of how quickly one can succumb to this automotive manifestation of France’s cultural heritage, abandoning all free will to an intoxicating rush of the senses.The Joy of Ego Distancing
Text Matthias Mederer
Photo Matthias Mederer ·

This is a story of true love, animal passion, real desire and longing, dreams and aspirations of the sort that almost every Frenchman from Paris to Marseille, from Strasbourg to Le Mans can tell you about. And this story begins something like this: “I first saw an Alpine when I was a little boy. My neighbor had one.” Depending on the story – which in turn depends a bit on the age of the person telling it – the Alpine in question was an A106, an A108, an A110 or, in some cases, an A310 or a V6 Turbo

French race car driver Vincent Capillaire once put it this way: “Alpine and Le Mans are on the same level for me.” His remarks carry even more weight if you know that Capillaire was born at Le Mans and grew up right next to the racetrack.

But it was always a blue Alpine. With this first encounter, the boy was hopelessly in love. He then spends hours, days, whole months marveling at his neighbor’s car; he starts helping him “wash the Alpine”. The first touch establishes an emotional bond that will last a lifetime. Other highlights include starting the engine, the first ride, the feeling of acceleration. And then there’s that very special day in the boy’s life, the day just after he gets his driving license. “That’s the day I held the key in my hand. And then I got to go for my first drive.”

full story can be found in ramp #50

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