Riviera classics go mountain climbing on new run


A new classic run on the French Riviera left the comparative warmth of the seaside and headed straight up into the mountains for some serious winter motoring.

The one-day event was called the Prom' des Neiges and rose to a chilly height of 1670m in the southern Alps on 5 February.

To make things worse for competitors, the run's celebrated convertibles, roadsters and targas and participants were forbidden from putting up (or putting on) their roofs.

Organised by the Automobile Club De Nice (set up way back in 1896), the inaugural Prom' des Neiges attracted 15 classic cars and youngtimers.

Oldest was a 1930 Hotchkiss AM80 brought along by Claude Alquier, while others included Triumphs, TVRs, Porsches, Mercedes and more.


Automobile Club...
Automobile Club...

As drivers and enthusiasts of classic cars, we all enjoy a challenge. And the Prom des Neiges rallye was a perfect event that brought very motivated people together under the sun of the Cote dAzur on one of the coldest days of the year - and headed straight into the mountains!

After a warm welcome beside the beach in Nice with croissants and coffee, all the drivers wrapped up well and headed to Valberg, a ski resort approximately 100kms away in the French Alps. With scheduled stops for refreshments (and a quiz to keep the mid alert in the cold), everyone was greeted with hot mulled wine and exclusive parking in the middle of the village, ready for the sumptuous midday lunch at the Chalet Suisse.

With an early morning start, the 1976 Triumph Spitfire was enthusiastic to get going for the first Prom des Neiges - destination Valberg in the French Alps! We gathered everything we could think off to keep us warm, not knowing how cold it would really be with the challenge of driving with the roof open on the coldest day of the winter. But, with scheduled stops and beautiful sunshine, it was a fantastic drive. The views were breathtaking, with fabulous twisty roads through gorges and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. With a warm lunch in Chalet Suisse in the centre of Valberg, the result was a memorable event and leaving us enthusiastic for 2013!

Brian Duffy,
entrant of the 2012 Prom' des Neiges (Triumph Spitfire 1500 FH)

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