The Piollet 315 was the French sports car dream that never came true

If we’re totally honest, when we happened across photos of the Piollet 315, we simply had no idea what it was. However, some time (spent researching) later – admittedly with the help of an online translator – we’d unearthed a little more about this intriguing French 1960s sports car…

Perseverance prevails

As was so often the way with independently built sports cars back then, the Piollet 315 was the vision of one man – Jacques Piollet. Piollet had always been fiercely passionate about cars, and he experimented with building karts and cars from a very early age. It was during his military service in Algeria that he devised the rakish Grand Touring coupé you can see here. Sure enough, when he returned to France, he spent five years – from 1961 to 1965 – realising his vision in a barn in Auvergne. It was an exercise in will and perseverance, and when he finally displayed his prototype at the 53rd Paris Motor Show in 1965, it proved the darling of the French press.

The number 315 does not denote anything specific about the car as such, rather the sum of the years Piollet spent designing and building it. A quick look at the sporting Grand Touring cars of the period from Ferrari, Maserati and the like and it’s easy to see where inspiration was drawn for the sleek and sexy glassfibre bodywork. Underneath, the 315 comprises a then-innovative tubular-frame chassis and predominantly Peugeot mechanicals – an engine, driveshaft and gearbox from the 404, and a front axle from the 403, for example. Sadly, it’s not clear why no further examples were produced but we can only imagine Piollet’s thrill and elation at driving his very own sports car around Paris for all to see. Kudos, Jacques… 

Photos: Jean Tesseyre/Paris Match via Getty Images © 2016

You can find hundreds of classic cars from the 1960s listed for sale in the Classic Driver Market.