Home » It’s Time To Watch A Frenchman Hoon The Crap Out Of Some Fiats

It’s Time To Watch A Frenchman Hoon The Crap Out Of Some Fiats

Drivein Fiat Stunt Top
ADVERTISEMENT

When we came up with the idea of doing a (mostly) daily Autopian Drive-In post, my thinking was that these could act as sort of automotive inspiration posts. The current state of the world is, let’s be honest here, pretty shitty, and sometimes just to keep going you need a little injection from Vitamin Little Cars Going Batshit. Maybe also zinc. And boy do I have a potent tincture for you today! These are all from a series of ads Fiat did in the 1970s with French stuntman and rallycross/motocross champion Rémy Julienne. He worked on the Italian Job, and the planned the now-legendary Mini chase through Turin and on the Fiat rooftop test track.

What made Rémy Julienne’s work so special was that he had a real knack for wringing some extraordinary things out of ordinary cars. You know that famous car chase in the Bond movie For Your Eyes Only with the Citroën 2CV? That was one of his, and he got a hell of a lot out of a very unlikely car. Hell, let’s watch it, why not, this is the Drive-In, after all, and what are you doing? Working? Pfft.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Man, they loved rolling that little Deux Cheveaux. I think I read for this they put the flat-four from the GS in there, so it was extra quick. Or maybe extra less-slow.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Fiat had some manner of contract with Julienne, and that collaboration produced these amazing, seemingly long-form commercials for Fiats like the 127, 126, and 124, the point of all the commercials seeming to be that if you’re looking for a new car that you want to do some absolutely batshit things with, things that will likely beat the absolute pickles out of every bit of your car, then you should consider a Fiat!

ADVERTISEMENT

 

Check out this ad for the 127, a very basic but charming little FWD econobox that was said to handle pretty well for a car of its class:

Holy crap, right? These little cars were a very rational design (80% of the space was available for people and stuff, which is some tight packaging) so it’s especially fun to see one doing very irrational things, like driving over that car-hauling railcar.

For Fiat’s more upmarket 124 family sedan, we see Julienne in a more cinematic context, like a chase scene from some ’70s European spy thriller that never actually happened, but involved a lot of jumping onto ferries:

ADVERTISEMENT

The wagon hauling ass down those stairs is glorious, and the near-miss with the truck, with just inches – sorry, centimeters to spare between the 124 and that truck showcases a real master at work. Dude’s a motherbuttering surgeon with that Fiat.

This last ad has clips of the other two, but also adds some great hoonage in one of my favorite Fiats, the tiny rear-engined 126:

We get more car on stairs action, too! If I was looking for a cheap little car in 1970s Europe, these would definitely have sold me, because why wouldn’t I want to drive my new tiny car down every staircase I could find?

ADVERTISEMENT

Anyway, I hope these inspire you, with their incredible results from humble hardware. If this guy can squeeze those kind of feats out of a little tinny Fiat, imagine what you can do! Be Rémy Julienne, and make your life’s challenges those Fiats! I believe in you!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
21 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Starhawk
Starhawk
8 months ago

Sorry I’m late, but… aren’t there faster and more effective ways of doing a suspension system delete?

Or Some
Or Some
8 months ago

Jason

When isn’t it time to watch a Frenchman hooning the crap out of some Fiats?

Goblin
Goblin
8 months ago

It’s time to watch a classic moment with a classic (and cute, and forgotten, and the car with the cutest door handles in history) Fiat then 🙂

Here:

https://youtu.be/coMk4fwRTDY

Last edited 8 months ago by Goblin
Chronometric
Chronometric
8 months ago
Reply to  Goblin

I met a guy on Sunday who had owned a Strada. He bought it because it was cheaper than a Golf and well, not a Golf.

Scott
Scott
8 months ago

Mentioning this only because it’s a Citroen 2CV there in the first video, supposedly being piloted by a lovely young brunette with Roger Moore in the co-pilot’s seat. Which also reminds me that up until I was 12 or 13, I was convinced that Mr. Moore was the superior Bond… with age (hopefully) comes wisdom, and of course, since about 14 or 15 I’ve been convinced that Mr. Connery deserves that honor.

But back to cars: I was at the “Best of France and Italy” car show this past Sunday, which is held in Woodley Park in Van Nuys (in Los Angeles) located roughly where the 405 and 101 freeways intersect. This park is also used for the annual “Queen’s English” car show earlier in the year, and these two shows are my absolute favorites in SoCal, and not just because they’re outdoors and dog-friendly, with free parking and admission. I saw SO MANY Citroens on Sunday: several 2CVs including the most adorable Michelin-themed Vanette, a literal bunch of Traction Avants, an SM, and a number of fantastic DSes, including a survivor wagon in the most appealingly faded shade of pumpkin. The lake bed land speed record DS with matching trailer didn’t make an appearance this year though.

I strongly recommend both the “Best of France and Italy” show http://www.franceanditaly.com and the “Queen’s English” show http://www.queens-english.org/closed.php to ANYONE even vaguely interested in these cars… and if you’re an expert on a particular make, chances are very good that you’ll see a few things you didn’t even know existed.

The Japanese Classic Car show in Long Beach https://japaneseclassiccarshow.com is also a wonderful outdoor show, though you do pay handsomely for admission and parking at that one. Still: so many kei cars in one place is worth it. 😉

PS: the first thing I thought of upon seeing the 2CV in the clip from “For Your Eyes Only” was watching Chris Harris flog the crap out of his personal 2CV on Top Gear (or maybe it was Extra Gear?). He was having a lot of fun driving a (very) slow car fairly quickly and it showed. This is not the exact bit I recall, but it’ll suffice as an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQTgwJ6pLHE

I still yearn for a 2CV myself, but alas, I’ll probably never even get a ride in one, let alone own one. They look great though, and of course they all seem to have that fantastic old car smell too. 😉

ES
ES
8 months ago
Reply to  Scott

was a passenger in a 2CV once, before i knew what a 2CV was. felt tremendously insecure riding around the streets of Cincinnati. the combination of flimsy-feeling seats, sides and top, and lack of acceleration turning onto the parkways overwhelmed any sense of wonder. strange, as i grew up in beetles, darts, and pintos, and my first personal motorised vehicle was a passport (cb70). maybe i’d be more openminded today.

Scott
Scott
8 months ago
Reply to  ES

No ES, I’m sure your impression was well-founded: they seem flimsy by even small/foreign car standards and I’d not be surprised if a survey showed them to be statistically more hazardous to occupants in an accident than a Honda Goldwing (or any big bike). I’d never willingly drive (or ride in) one on a freeway, even just for a couple exits… they were never made for that. 🙂

Still, they’re so charming… especially the vans, with their cube-shaped tin boxes on the back. 🙂

Geoff Tuck
Geoff Tuck
8 months ago

I remember watching some of Remy’s incredible driving on the craptacular early 90’s masterpiece “Stuntmasters” hosted by Jack Scalia.

The dubbing to English was Iron Chef levels of hilarious.

I might sound like I’m shitting on Stuntmasters but 12 year old me really enjoyed it!

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
8 months ago

My first car was a ’71 Fiat 128 sedan. I found a nearby railroad crossing that had just enough runup room to get to a speed to get airborn, and I did multiple times. Lots of evidence on the landing side that many folks hit the pavement with something that wasn’t supposed to greet asphalt. Great car for that. There are a series of arroyos in Arizona where with enough speed I got our ’80 Vanagon Westfalia airborn. Bonus, the kids were with us!

Chronometric
Chronometric
8 months ago
Reply to  Knowonelse

My college friend and I ran a TSD rally in his Fiat 128. I sucked at navigation so we were always getting behind and having to “catch up”. We flogged that Fiat hard including some air jumps. Amazingly, we won the the event.

He called me the next day to tell me that the engine had seized on his way to school because we cracked the oil pan and it all seeped out overnight.

Chronometric
Chronometric
8 months ago

The Bond 2CV is one of my favorite scenes. And not just because of the incredible Carole Bouquet.

And a note that my Fiat 500 looks exactly like the stunt car in Mission Impossible 7, Dead Reckoning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyWIEIFxbnQ

Jeff Diamond
Jeff Diamond
8 months ago

In the speed and van shop I worked at in high school ( a very long time ago ), the manager referred to any stunt like driving as a “Yakima Canutt” move. So… this is very “Yakima Canutt”!

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
8 months ago

I’ve never been to Italy, but from what I’ve heard, the average Italian driver would look at those stunts and think “Okay, so a Fiat can handle my normal commute.”

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
8 months ago

A Rockford in a 2CV. I have officially seen everything.

Dodsworth
Dodsworth
8 months ago

Who are you?
He killed my parents.
So (arching eyebrow), is there a Mister He killed my parents?

Beer-light Guidance
Beer-light Guidance
8 months ago

That one on the train is just madness. He has what, maybe 6 inches on each side to work with and the back end is sliding around on every one of those jumps. Plus the exit from the train is just cool as hell.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
8 months ago

And done with panache!
Makes me miss my shitboxes: there’s a certain freedom to hoonage when you’re really more concerned with having to walk home than the value ( lol ) of what you’re hooning…

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
8 months ago

Those commercials and his stunt work in “The Italian Job” are classics. Sadly, we lost Remy to COVID at age 90 in 2021.

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen
8 months ago

My favorite is the ad where he yeets a twin to my X1/9 off a cliff then comes stumbling out upon landing. Honestly, I’ve long wanted to approach Fiat and be like “hey, you guys should try a new set of commercials with modern cars doing the same stunts and I would like to volunteer as the driver.”

Yes, I am aware that I have the self preservation instinct of a crack addled lemming.

AssMatt
AssMatt
8 months ago

Yeah, between this and the Cars & Coffee fails, it sure is a banner day for Autopian irresponsibility!

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen
8 months ago
Reply to  AssMatt

My willingness to give life and limb for Fiat based idiocy is extensively documented

21
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x