“The greatest pleasure I have is finding them, like mushrooms!”, Meeting with collector Alain Marietta

Do you know Alain Marietta? We can not separate him from old cars, his passion since a young age. On the side of the Franois in the Doubs near Besançon, we board with him aboard his convertible Panhard. Overview of this fascinating and talkative enthusiast.

In 1975, when he was 19, Alain Marietta bought his first classic car. At the time, he wanted to be noticed, not to be like the others.

I liked having a marginal car. However, I did not come from a family of car enthusiasts …

Alain Marietta, veteran car collector

But as soon as he puts his hands on the steering wheel of his shiny Citroën traction, his finger is caught in the gears. His passion will never stop. He tells us about the trap of such a hobby, without limits.

Looking for a rare car for several months, finally getting it, pampering it, finding out that it is the most beautiful, walking around it and looking at a new car, rarer or even more beautiful. Sell ​​to be able to buy back …

The biggest pleasure I have is finding them … like mushrooms …

But the comparison stops at the tenacity that must be implemented to uncover the rare gem. Real collectors do not advertise. Cars are found by word of mouth. Like mushroom corners.

Alain Marietta permanently owns about ten cars. In his garage at the moment you can find a DB Panhard n ° 58, a Renault Frégate from the 1950s, a Mercedes convertible from 1964, a Triumph TR6 from 1969 …

It is a reserve that allows him to lend some during exhibitions. Sometimes he has to sell two to get one. But for Alain Marietta, you do not have to have more collection vehicles, because you have to maintain them all. Roll them regularly so they do not lose value. Of all these cars acquired, there is one that Alain Marietta is particularly fond of. A car he has acquired three times. He sold it and immediately regretted it. So much so that he bought the same model shortly after. This is the Panhard PL17 Cabriolet.

It is not the most expensive, but it is original and rare. I’m attached to it.

We take a ride that afternoon in his favorite car. A neighborhood trip to the delight of the senses. At the first keystroke, the roar. The scent of the thick leather interior, the smell of hot oil fumes, the spin of the well-tuned engine, the vintage controls … A pleasant, timeless moment.

I like to break down the speeds that are a blow to take. We feel the mechanics, we live with the mechanics. When I collapse, I know why.

Alain Marietta only drives his Panhard on the weekends, otherwise he admits to driving a regular Citroën. For we must not deceive ourselves, it is complicated in today’s traffic to drive an old car.

The older it is, the less suitable it is for today’s driving. The lying gendarmes are destroying the exhaust pipes, the cars are too low, especially the English ones.

Not to mention that Alain Marietta with her Panhard is forced to stop to pass the first one, forcing the other motorists to stop as well. It is moderately accepted, this hobby is now a bit offbeat.

Since 1979, Alain Marietta has been the chairman of an association of vintage cars. In 1983, it took the name Club of Old Vehicles Enthusiasts. AVS. Today it has 85 members.

The first time I was president of an association, I knew it was for life.

He says no one wanted the place, but this role suits him like a glove. When we count the number of calls received before the large collection of old vehicles at the Besançon Micropolis exhibition center, we understand that everything goes through him. As many calls as advice given. Retropolis, launched by its association, has just celebrated its 10th edition with an exhibition of 350 old vehicles, cars, trucks, motorcycles and tractors. 40 clubs exhibited there this year.

Alain Marietta believes the movement will slowly die out. His association’s office is getting older. He is 66 years old, his secretary 76 years old and his treasurer 71 years old. Young people can be counted on the fingers of a hand.

The world of vintage cars has changed over the last 45 years. It only went up in people’s minds and in prices, and now it’s stagnating. There is dissatisfaction.

In Doubs, Alain Marietta is looking for a foal to tackle his association. Meanwhile, he continues to look for the rare car.

Leave a Comment