Driving fast in any city is dangerous and we DO NOT condone it
Rumour has it that in August 1976, the French film director Claude Lelouch adapted a gyroscopically stabilized camera in the front of a Ferrari 275 GTB and invited a friend who was a professional Formula 1 driver, to make a trip in the heart of Paris, at the highest speed he could. The plan was to film the whole journey in one take.
Filming the journey only took 8 minutes and the route planned was from Porte Dauphine, through the Louvre to the basilica of Sacre Coeur. Lelouch did not obtain permission to interdict any street on the dangerous road to be traveled. According to Google Maps the route in 2017 takes on average over 30 minutes, but the pilot completed the circuit in 8 minutes 7 seconds, reportedly reaching 240 km per hour at times.
Scary as well as irresponsible driving
Running through numerous red lights, making early morning pedestrians jump out of their skin and scaring pigeons off the streets you will note that the sun had not yet risen on one of the smallest capital cities in Europe.
Who was the driver?
Rumours still persist that the pilot was possibly René Arnoux, Mario Andretti or another Formula 1 driver of the era. When he first showed the film in public, Claude Lelouch was rumoured to have been arrested and unwilling to disclose the identity of the seemingly reckless driver. In a “making of” documentary in 2006 Lelouch indicated that the driver was himself, but also never clearly admitted it.
Ferrari or Mercedes?
Also during the 2006 documentary Lelouch indicates that the car itself was a Mercedes 450 SEL 6.9 with the Ferrari sound track dubbed over.
However, the film is worth enjoying if only for the excitement of driving at ridiculously and dangerous speeds in Paris, as if you were aboard a Ferrari 275 GTB.
Fast, but not smooth
In no way was this a smooth run given the tyre squeal round most of the uneven surfaces, including cobbles. However, the driver clearly knew the route and had perhaps practiced it many times before at more conventional speeds.
Safety is our number one priority
Yet again we at Marot Pro Driving strongly reiterate that if you want to drive your performance car smoother and faster, then the best place to be is on a race track with a professional instructor guiding you. Buses, pigeons and early morning pedestrians rarely frequent a race circuit, so you will be able to test your car in the safest possible place.