Things to do in Paris when you’re bored AKA, yes, French drivers are nuts

Yes, the French are completely insane, we all know this, but that doesn’t make them bad people. It does make them legendarily bad drivers, or should that be ‘inconsiderate’. Perhaps they are beaten by the Italians for legendarily bad driving, and I’ve been in a coach going around clifftops in Majorca as a child with some quite, quite death-wish laden drivers, but this wins over everything I’ve seen so far.

On an August morning in 1978, French filmmaker Claude Lelouch mounted a gyro-stabilized camera to the bumper of a Ferrari 275 GTB and had … all » a friend, a professional Formula 1 racer, drive at breakneck speed through the heart of Paris. The film was limited for technical reasons to 10 minutes; the course was from Porte Dauphine, through the Louvre, to the Basilica of Sacre Coeur.

No streets were closed, for Lelouch was unable to obtain a permit.

The driver completed the course in about 9 minutes, reaching nearly 140 MPH in some stretches. The footage reveals him running real red lights, nearly hitting real pedestrians, and driving the wrong way up real one-way streets.

Upon showing the film in public for the first time, Lelouch was arrested. He has never revealed the identity of the driver, and the film went underground until a DVD release a few years ago.

Highlights are the Arc Du Triomphe at 1min 20sec, into oncoming traffic at 4mins 15secs, and on cobbles from 7mins 35secs onwards.

I’m not sure whether ‘enjoy’ is the phrase, more likely ‘fear’.

Have you seen better online? Let me know!

(Thanks to my friends at Ladybird’s for the link.)

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