Long before YouTube and the GoPro were invented, one man decided to make a car film that had never been attempted before. The year was 1976, the man in question was Claude Lelouch, the renowned French film director. The film was C’était un Rendez-Vous, a highly illegal early morning high speed run through the streets of Paris at breakneck speeds.
C’était un Rendez-vous became a cult classic, thought lost for many years until the digital age. The original 35mm film was re-mastered in 2003 and finally released on DVD for a whole new generation of petrolheads to marvel over.
During LeLouch’s breakneck drive, many of the famous Paris landmarks are blown past as Lelouch carves his way through the streets. Red lights are simply ignored at near triple digit speeds; he even traverses a one-way street in the wrong direction all so he can make his rendezvous at the famous Sacré-Cœur Basilica.
Now four decades on Ford have worked with Lelouch himself to produce a tribute to this iconic film with a slight twist in the closing seconds.
Since 1976 camera technology has evolved somewhat so Ford has given us their tribute in stunning 360-degree Virtual Reality, the choice of car for such a tribute, the iconic Ford Mustang 5.0-litre V8 GT Fastback.
The Ford Mustang GT 5.0-litre V8 is surely a worthy tribute car to LeLouch’s original choice, his own personal Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9. Both cars feature V8 motors as well as huge power outputs and both are iconic models in their own right.
Lelouch has been quoted as saying: “I had goose bumps watching ‘C’etait un Rendez-Vous’ 40 years later in virtual reality. At the time, my movie was about the feeling of freedom and the pleasure driving generates. I knew that Ford would do more than just a tribute to the original in this new version.”
Whilst Ford’s film is not a complete tribute, given that four decades has passed since the original film was shot, this is down to the simple fact that some of the roads Lelouch used are simply not there anymore.
Regardless of this, it’s a great way to capture the spirit of the original film while bringing it up to date with the use of modern camera tech that’s now available.