(A little non-MINI related automotive content today)

For years the word “Rendezvous” meant one thing to auto enthusiasts; a Ferrari 275GTB screaming through Paris in the early hours of the morning. I first learned of Rendezvous as a kid when my uncle introduced me to his (then new) VHS copy back in the late 80s. At the time I was just floored by the concept. Today I’m inspired by it. For those who aren’t familiar with it, here’s an explanation from hypertextbook.com/facts/2005/Rendezvous.shtml:

>C’etait un Rendezvous is the creation of the French filmmaker Claude Lelouch in 1976. Using a Ferrari 275 GTB early one August morning, Lelouch attached a camera to the bumper of the car and sped through the streets of Paris. He gave the driver a set route from Porte Dauphine, through the Louvre, to the Basilica of Sacre Coeur, which is straight through the heart of Paris. The driver is still unknown to this day, because Lelouch was never able to obtain a permit to close the streets. The driver, who Lelouch told officials was an F1 racer, went over the speed limit and blew off many red lights. When this film was first shown, Lelouch was arrested, and because of this, the footage has spent many years underground before it began to resurface on DVD a few years ago. Lelouch used a new technology of the time, a gyro stabilized camera mount, in order to mount the camera on the car. The problem with this is that the technology of the time only allowed for a ten minute film with this mount. Lelouch told his driver to rush because of this time limit, and the video itself is only about nine minutes. In our velocity graph, we used all footage of the car when it was in motion.

The resulting ten minutes are priceless.

Until a few years back it was only available in the US on VHS for something near $80. A few years back the film was remastered and sold on DVD in the UK and Europe. Then about a year ago it finally made it’s way over to North America, first via the grey market, then finally by official means.

Due to the story behind it and the length, I always thought this would be a perfect film for internet distribution. Now that it appears to be widely available on the web I thought it was finally time for a C’était un Rendez-vous MotoringFile post.

Now you may be asking yourself, how does this all relate to the Mini? Well at the 6:50 mark our hereo in the 275 GTB almost side swipes a white classic Mini. In fact, he doesn’t even lift.

[ C’était un Rendezvous (QT) ] (35MB)

Since everyone loves maps these days, below is a link to a detailed Google Map illustrating the route in the film. If you know Paris, it makes the film even more fascinating.

[ C’était un Rendezvous via Google Maps ] renegadetourist.com

You can buy the official DVD here:

[ C’était un Rendezvous DVD ] Bentley Publishers