“My greatest pleasure is to find them, like mushrooms!”, Meeting with collector Alain Marietta

Do you know Alain Marietta? We can’t separate him from old cars, his passion from an early age. Next to François, in the Doubs, near Besançon, we embark next to him in his Panhard convertible. Overview of this fascinating enthusiast and chatterbox.

In 1975, when he was 19, Alain Marietta bought his first classic car. Then he wanted to be noticed, not to be like the others.

I liked having a fringe car. However, he was not from a family of car enthusiasts …

Alain Marietta, collector of vintage cars

But as soon as he puts his hands behind the wheel of his brilliant Citroën traction, his finger gets caught in the gears. His passion will never stop. He tells us about the trap of such a hobby, without limits.

Looking for a weird car for months, finally getting it, pampering it, discovering that it’s the prettiest, flipping it around and having your eyes set on a new, weirder or even prettier car. Sells to be able to buy again …

The greatest pleasure I have is to find them … like mushrooms …

But the comparison stops at the diligence that needs to be implemented to unearth the rare pearl. Real collectors do not advertise. Cars are word of mouth. Like mushroom corners.

Alain Marietta is the permanent owner of about ten cars. In his garage you can currently find a DB Panhard n ° 58, a Renault Frégate from the 50’s, a Mercedes cabriolet from 1964, a Triumph TR6 from 1969 …

It is a reservation that allows you to borrow some during the exhibitions. Sometimes he has to sell two to get one. But for Alain Marietta you shouldn’t have any more collection vehicles, because you have to keep them all. Roll them up regularly so they don’t lose value. Of all these cars purchased, one is especially liked by Alain Marietta. A car he has bought three times. He sold it and immediately regretted it. So much so that he bought the same model shortly after. This is the Panhard PL17 Convertible.

It is not the most expensive but it is original and rare. I’m stuck with it.

Let’s go for a walk that afternoon with your favorite car. A tour of the neighborhood for the pleasure of the senses. At the first keystroke, the roar. The smell of thick leather interior, the smell of hot oil vapors, the purring of the engine well tuned, the vintage controls … A pleasant and timeless moment.

I like to break down the speeds, there is a blow that needs to be given. We feel the mechanics, we live with the mechanics. When I break up, I know why.

Alain Marietta only drives his Panhard on weekends, otherwise he admits to driving a normal Citroën. Don’t get me wrong, in today’s traffic it’s hard to drive an old car.

The older it is, the less suitable it is for current driving. Lying gendarmes damage exhaust pipes, cars are too low, especially English ones.

Not to mention that with his Panhard, Alain Marietta is forced to stop to pass the first, which forces other riders to stop as well. It has a moderate acceptance, this hobby is a bit strange now.

Alain Marietta has been president of an antique car association since 1979. In 1983 it was renamed the Old Vehicle Amateur Club. The ACP. It currently has 85 members.

The first time I was president of an association, I knew it was for life.

He says no one wanted the place, but this paper fits him well like a glove. Counting the number of calls received before the large concentration of old vehicles at the Micropolis fairgrounds in Besançon, we understand that everything happens through it. As many calls as tips given. Retropolis, launched by its association, has just celebrated its 10th edition with an exhibition of 350 antique vehicles, cars, trucks, motorcycles and tractors. 40 clubs have exhibited this year.

Alain Marietta believes the movement will slowly fade away. The office of his association is old. He is 66 years old, his secretary 76 and his treasurer 71. Young people can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

The world of vintage cars has changed in the last 45 years. It just went up in people’s minds and prices and now it’s stagnating. There is disaffection.

At the Doubs, Alain Marietta is looking for a foal to take the torch of his association. In the meantime, keep looking for the weird car.

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