The 2018 Tour Auto from the cockpit of Rémi Dargegen’s Abarth
What an amazing week that was. The route was absolutely fantastic — proof once again that Peter Auto devises the very best routes through France’s most beautiful landscapes. The week certainly wouldn’t have been so thrilling without any breakdowns, and we were no exception. To be honest, we’d worried about the reliability of the Abarth beforehand, as the car hasn’t left the Möll Collection for the last 10 years and was conceived as a hill-climb queen rather than a long-distance warrior. But after a few unexpected obstacles, including a flat tyre, a broken steering wheel, and a loose rear axle, we made it to the finish in Nice. In fact, the car has no fuel gauge and we ran out only once — literally as we engaged reverse gear to park in Parc Fermé in Nice.
Would I sign up to do the whole thing again? Well, the car is extremely loud, not especially comfortable, and makes your clothes smell so badly of fuel that you turn into a walking fire risk. On the other hand, it’s a true beast to drive, with beautiful handling both on the special stages and closed circuits. And believe me, she stole the show everywhere we stopped — so many people came to take photos and ask about the engine and other details. So, for all these reasons, I’d sign up to do it again in a heartbeat. I’d like to say a very big thank you to my friend, who gave me the incredible opportunity to spend the week in the car with him, and to the mechanic, who did an amazing job in making sure the car arrived in Nice with no major issues. And you know what? We’re already thinking about an Abarth team with multiple cars for the 2019 edition!
Photos: Rémi Dargegen for Classic Driver © 2018