A vintage car “happening”

Do you recall something called a “happening,” in the 1960s? I remembered the term, however vaguely, to mean something like “an event that just sort of spontaneously happens.”

But no — according to Wikipedia, “A happening is a performance, event, or situation art, usually as performance art. The term was first used by Allan Kaprow during the 1950s to describe a range of art-related events.”

Anyway, I like my definition, and I’m sticking to it. And it’s a term I would use to describe the collection of vintage cars that appeared yesterday (Sunday) in Daglan’s main square, without any advance publicity that I was aware of. In the morning, we had the usual Sunday market; in the afternoon, a bunch of cars.

I can’t say that the subject of vintage cars is of immense interest to me (okay, it’s really of no interest), but just in case you like this sort of thing, here’s a visual review — starting with a small car that looks like it would belong in a rally:

Ready for a rally?

A number of cars had been lined up in a row, and backed carefully into place. Here they are:

A row of old beauties.

And here’s a close-up of one of them. The badge on the front says it’s a Dyna, which I had never heard of. But this is what I learned, through my old pals at the Internet: “The Dyna was made production ready and was emerging in commercial quantities from Panhard’s Ivry plant by 1948: it set the pattern for Panhard [originally called Panhard et Levassor] passenger cars until the firm abandoned automobile production in 1967.” Anyway, here you go:

Something called a Dyna.

Then there was this little beauty being offered for sale. The sign says it’s a 1950 Singer:

A Singer for sale.

A group of men wanted to see what was inside, and so the owner obliged, providing this view of the engine:

Oh, so that’s what the engine looks like.

One of the sleekest cars in the “show” was this Lotus, which looks as if it could race out of the square at any moment:

How sleek can you get?

Now, how did all of this happen? Why were the cars congregating in Daglan’s main square? No one really seemed to know; one Daglan resident (owner of the Singer) said that one of the vintage car collectors had simply phoned fellow collectors and suggested that  they meet in the centre of the village.

On the other hand, maybe the starting point was a journey undertaken from Normandy, as the sign on the front of this car suggests:

A sign of a journey.

As it turned out, by this morning all the cars were gone, and the village square had returned to normal. Whatever prompted the happening had, it seemed, happened.

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