Dodge Challenger Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I decided to take my new SRT down to the south of France from my present home in Stuttgart, Germany over the 4th of July holiday.

I picked up my girlfriend and her little 6 year-old daughter at Lyon Airport. She's European; and she loves Mustangs. At least design-wise. Regardless, she was a little concerned when I mentioned I was getting rid of my Audi Q5 and replacing it with a muscle car. See, she has grown to appreciate the quiet, the comfort and the no-drama ride quality of the Q5 whenever they came to stay with me in Germany. Even her little daughter loved that Audi.

So after six hours on the road (half of them spent in heavy traffic on the Autobahn), I finally got to introduce the new car to my skeptical ladies...

Their initial reaction was precious---

"It's huuuuge!"
"It looks very angry."
"It's very loud!"
"I love the interior...that leather!"
"The back seats are very spacious."
"It's very...American."
"We LOVE this car. Can I drive it?"

As we hit the open road from the airport, my girlfriend finally grasped the reason why I decided to choose this one over the Mustang "Warrior Roush" we both initially looked at (and liked) a couple of months back. The ride quality was superb, her daughter was not crammed in the back like a hostage, all their luggage fit nicely in the trunk, and it was as fast (faster, really) as the Mustang.

Fast forward ten days later---

I was trying to make up for lost time stuck in horrendous traffic right outside Marseilles. My ladies' flight was in two hours and we were still 50 or so miles away from Lyon Airport. So I may or may not have been speeding.

"You were speeding," declared the French police officer as he asked for my license and registration. I was gonna argue but I could barely understand French. As per regulation, I handed over my NATO license along with my registration document. He took one look at it, waved his buddy over, and gave me a very reassuring grin. "We're brothers-in-arms," he declared as he gave me back my stuff. "Nice muscle car! Very fast. How many horsepower?"

At this point my girlfriend was very confused, the little girl was smiling, and I was feeling all right. I quickly rattled off the specs, as they nodded "wow, oui, oui" at each one. Then they asked me to turn the engine back on, and proceeded to record the noise with their cell phones! Really. They were chattering away excitedly in French, smiling and joking with each other, making teenage boy noises. "We have never seen this car before. Very, very cool." Seriously, they said "cool" so many times I lost count.

Finally, they asked me why I was speeding (which even to this day, I dispute). I told them about the bad traffic in Marseilles and the impending flight from Lyon which we were desperately trying to catch.

"OK. Try to keep it under 160 kph (100 mph). And follow us," they instructed me. They pulled out of the rest stop with my SRT right behind them. My girlfriend and I started laughing when we noticed they were getting faster and faster while waving at us from the passenger side to follow them in their unmarked Renault. Then the driver waved me off from his side; he clearly wanted me to pass him. So I did...at about 100 mph. They were smiling and waving at us as we zoomed past them. They took the very next exit soon after.

We made it to the airport in time, needless to say.

The French love this car. Especially their LEO folks.

So I ask you, my fellow Dodge folks, to disregard whatever negative connotation of the French you have been harboring. Any group of people who appreciate American muscle cars, especially Challengers, they cannot be that bad.

Vive la France.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,198 Posts
Enjoyed reading about your experience and glad you didn't get a ticket. Liked the line about " try to keep it under 100 mph."
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,447 Posts
I LOVED that story! Are you and American GI? There is a fairly new guy here who lives in Germany and is a native. Says he rarely sees other Challengers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: er15Matuka

·
Administrator
2016 Challenger Scat Pack Shaker
Joined
·
55,655 Posts
What a great story, very cool. Lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
That's cool story indeed.

I was back in France in June/July (4 weeks in all) and I was staying at my mom's place.
In those 4 weeks, I saw:

1 Mustang (may have been the Ecoboost)
1 Late model Camaro which could have been the V8 but I couldn't really tell

I was driving a small Citroen DS3 and I was thinking that having a Challenger in France would be totally awesome but also totally inconvenient: The fuel economy is crap and at almost $2 per liter (1US Gallon = 3.78L) it would cost quite a bit of money. Also, while the highways are super nice (the ridiculous amount of tolls see to that), in a lot of smaller towns, the streets are very narrow (sometimes your mirrors are almost touching the ones from the car coming the opposite direction, and that's with narrow ass EU cars). Some parking garages are also incredibly narrow and navigating a Challenger in there would be nigh impossible.

Lastly, the OP was extremely lucky. Probably so because for one, he's American and secondly because the Challenger is rarer than a Bugatti, and those guys must have been amazed. I've heard stories of foreigners (Europeans) getting caught for speeding on the highway and if they can't pay the fine on the spot, they have to find a ride back home, and then it's a total hassle to get your car back.

The Gendarmes are actually a part of the army, not the police, so being a vet probably also helped the case. Those dudes are usually pretty strict with the regular joes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's cool story indeed.

I was back in France in June/July (4 weeks in all) and I was staying at my mom's place.
In those 4 weeks, I saw:

1 Mustang (may have been the Ecoboost)
1 Late model Camaro which could have been the V8 but I couldn't really tell

I was driving a small Citroen DS3 and I was thinking that having a Challenger in France would be totally awesome but also totally inconvenient: The fuel economy is crap and at almost $2 per liter (1US Gallon = 3.78L) it would cost quite a bit of money. Also, while the highways are super nice (the ridiculous amount of tolls see to that), in a lot of smaller towns, the streets are very narrow (sometimes your mirrors are almost touching the ones from the car coming the opposite direction, and that's with narrow ass EU cars). Some parking garages are also incredibly narrow and navigating a Challenger in there would be nigh impossible.

Lastly, the OP was extremely lucky. Probably so because for one, he's American and secondly because the Challenger is rarer than a Bugatti, and those guys must have been amazed. I've heard stories of foreigners (Europeans) getting caught for speeding on the highway and if they can't pay the fine on the spot, they have to find a ride back home, and then it's a total hassle to get your car back.

The Gendarmes are actually a part of the army, not the police, so being a vet probably also helped the case. Those dudes are usually pretty strict with the regular joes.
When I checked in at our AirBnB place in Marseilles, our host BEGGED me not to take "this beautiful car" downtown. You may be a good driver, he warned. "But drivers around here are crazy!" I followed his advice and squeezed my Challenger in the spot he provided me. Didn't move that car until our last day in Marseilles.

I saw a late model silver Camaro SS by the waterfront, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
20180714_133006.jpg
View attachment 143512

Some inside parkings are just as wide as this. About 2 meters from post to wall...
This was the parking spot in Marseilles...three levels down from the street. Imagine maneuvering my car down that 2-meter wide twisty ramp then reversing it into this 2-meter wide slot. I had to tuck in the right side mirror to avoid whacking it against the pillar.
View attachment 143562
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,627 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,922 Posts
Enjoyed the story and glad that the french can appreciate an American Muscle car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
View attachment 143564 This was the parking spot in Marseilles...three levels down from the street. Imagine maneuvering my car down that 2-meter wide twisty ramp then reversing it into this 2-meter wide slot. I had to tuck in the right side mirror to avoid whacking it against the pillar.
View attachment 143562
LOL yeah. The picture I posted was an underground parking at a hotel in Toulouse. Luckily I was driving a tiny French car. The Challenger would have been a different story. Especially getting out with those doors that are so darn long. Good job parking that thing though, gets kinda nerve racking.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top