The Cars of Lefranc, by Xavier Chimits
We don’t know much about it, but Jacques Martin took his first steps in the comic world through the automotive section of the Tintin’s Diary† Subsequently, his heroes Alix and Lefranc allowed him to satisfy his passion for antiquity on the one hand and for travel and research, on the edge of science fiction on the other. The car is not so much central to the subject as with Spirou or, even more, with Michel Vaillant, but Jacques Martin was a connoisseur and carefully chose the models behind the wheel of which he placed his characters.
Casterman, who publishes the adventures of journalist Guy Lefranc, has just published a book about the cars featured in this series. The text, signed by the distinguished pen of Xavier Chimits, recounts the author’s first steps like a rubricard, where realistic drawings were accompanied by technical descriptions. Then each part of the series is presented under the spectrum of the models that appear there. The archives are numerous, the print quality, the price reasonable. An indispensable choice for comic book lovers.
Lefranc .’s cars by Xavier Chimits, Casterman editions, 112 pages, ISBN 9782203241558, €25
24 Hours of Le Mans 1970-1971, code nine-a-seven
The Porsche 917 was one of the most legendary cars to drive during the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Designed by Ferdinand Piëch, the future boss of the Volkswagen Group, it stood out for its incredible speed, beating a record for distances of more than twenty-four hours in 1971, unmatched in more than forty years. Short body to improve road holding, “long tail” version to optimize top speed on the Hunaudières straight and “pink pig”, which tries to combine the advantages of the two silhouettes in somewhat awkward proportions, there are several versions available. contest. The year 1970 marked the beginning of a real hegemony of the German manufacturer in endurance.
Glénat’s Plein Gaz collection focuses on the most memorable moments of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This album, which focuses on the two victories of the Porsche 917, is one of the best in the series. The dramatic intensity of the screenplay, carried by the powerful and realistic design of the stormy 1970 edition, transcends the history of this mythical car. To the point of wanting more: It would have been easy to draw two parts about the 917, focusing on the design and its more chaotic beginnings in 1969, as well as the years on the other side of the Atlantic, after the European sporting regulations that I had banned.
24 Hours of Le Mans 1970-1971, code nine-a-seven by Youssef Daoudi and Christian Papazoglakis, Glénat editions, 48 pages, ISBN 9782344049976, €14.50
My Dad’s Peugeot 305, by Laurent Berreterot
The Peugeot 305 is slowly entering the world of collecting. Born in 1977, this wise sedan will have stood still much longer than most of its contemporaries in this purgatory, this gray area that makes an old car just an “old used car” and not yet a car that deserves to be saved . She probably owes this disinterest to her wisdom. Aesthetic wisdom, with a classic sedan silhouette, at a time when others imposed the tailgate. Technical embarrassment, then, as the undersides were largely taken over from its predecessor the 204. To the point that a major update was made in 1982 to modernize the platform and mechanics… almost invisible, unfortunately, due to minor retouches on the outside.
The author could not have mastered his subject better. If Laurent Berreterot has investigated the case of this forgotten museum, it is because he himself owns the copy that adorns the cover. Regular contributor to the magazine Youngtimers, dedicated to young vintage cars, it unfolds with application and precision the history of the Peugeot 305, from its conception to the smallest of its evolutions. The details of little-known models, such as a rally version that nearly raced in Group B, add enlightenment to what seems to be a veritable bible of this model. Always with the excellent price-quality ratio of the “my father” collection from ETAI.
The Peugeot 305. from my fatherby Laurent Berreterot, ETAI, 120 pages, ISBN 9791028304027, €29.90
Hellé Nice, a fast life, by Giuseppe Manuta
Born in 1900, Mariette Hélène Delangle first became famous as a cabaret dancer and model, under the pseudonym Hellé Nice. Attractive and fearless, she multiplies the conquests and passes her driver’s license at twenty, which is then unusual for a woman. She soon became interested in speed sports. Alpine skiing, but also and above all motor racing, where she quickly made a name for herself thanks to her speed. At the wheel of an Omega-Six, she won the first women’s Grand Prix in which she competed, in Montlhéry in 1929. She then drove Alfa Romeos and Bugattis in Grand Prix alongside the greatest of the time. such as Tazio Nuvolari, Rudolf Caracciola or Louis Chiron. The latter bears responsibility for the tragic end of Hellé Nice’s career. Because she allegedly refused his advances, he openly and falsely accused her of being a Gestapo spy after the war.
In the form of a comic strip, Giuseppe Manuta tells the extraordinary life of Hellé Nice. The movement of the drawing, the rhythm of the screenplay, fits perfectly with the hectic life of this too long forgotten pilot. The generous size and beautiful paper make reading this graphic novel very enjoyable.
Hellé Nice, a life in speedby Giuseppe Manuta, Félès editions, 136 pages, ISBN 9782491483104, €25
Generation 80 in 80 cars, by Patrice Vergès
Some consider the 1980s to be one of the worst times in the auto industry. During this time of crisis, manufacturers as famous as Austin or Talbot died and economies of scale came to destroy the creativity of engineers and designers. In the eighties, however, a number of endearing models were born, such as the Peugeot 205, Citroën BX and Renault Espace. Precisely the ones that are the essence of the wave of young timers, these young collectors cars that arouse zeal for their historical interest and their still reasonable price, in most cases.
Patrice Vergès is the author of many books, this one is a real success. This author has a habit of contextualizing his stories and bringing them closer to history. Generation 80 is a true dive from forty years back, highlighting the GTI’s nostalgia as much as the Craven A. Specialists in these models probably won’t learn much from them, so much has already been said about cars presented on these pages. But we enjoy immersing ourselves in time travel. Undoubtedly the best book about youngtimers that has been published so far.
Generation 80 in 80 carsby Patrice Vergès, ETAI, 208 pages, ISBN 9791028305000, €45
Michel Vaillant, Cannonball
Who would have thought a few years ago that Michel Vaillant would embark on a Cannonball, this completely illegal challenge to cross the United States from side to side as quickly as possible? The famous paper pilot albums are always halfway between fiction and reality, and this work features POG, one of the most famous auto influencers, and regular participant in the Gumball 3000, one of the craziest supercar rallies in the world. Here he challenges Michel Vaillant to fight him in a cannonball. The driver drags his feet at the start, but for Vaillant this is an excellent way to demonstrate the endurance of the MontlHéry, his new hydrogen sports car.
It’s been over ten years since the Michel Vaillant series was turned upside down, with new authors and characters showing off more depth. Again, the sauce takes. The integration of the character of POG is a nice wink, and the action that takes place on a beating drum recalls the rhythm of the most beautiful races drawn by Jean Graton, in the good old days. Added to this is the aesthetic pleasure of a MontlHéry signed Thierry Métroz and Ugo Spagnolo, from the DS design team.
Michel Vaillant, Cannonballby Denis Lapière, Marc Bourgne and Olivier Marin, Graton publishers, 56 pages, ISBN 9782390601074, € 15.95