Next stop Bel-Air
Nationale 6, the holiday route
Once, this route would give travellers a completely different opportunity to appreciate an endless variety of holiday itineraries. At that time, setting off for a trip meant admiring landscapes, passing through cities and villages, driving on a "real" road and not on a monotone motorway of today. It was a promise of beautiful surprises. Thus in France, the emblematic Route Nationale 6 was and is still associated with the route of the sunand holidays. It links Paris with the Alps via Burgundy but a lot of travellers exit the RN6 in Lyon to continue on the famous Nationale 7, La Route Blue (The Blue Route) towards Côte d'Azur. This axis RN6-RN7 has become an ultimate symbol of ‘The Route of Holidays’.
Next stop, Bel-Air
The Bel-Air plateau in La Rochepot on the Nationale 6 used to be an inescapable "rest stop" on the Route of holidays in the 50s – 70s. The highest point between Paris and Lyon would bring to the end a long ascent and would signify that one had crossed Morvan. Situated 310 km from Paris, it was necessary to stop to fill up the car tank. It was a good opportunity to give cars and lorries a break and to have a bite: two petrol stations and two garages, one classical road restaurant and the famous "Relairoute de La Rochepot" where The Red Circle (Le Cercle Rouge) by Jean-Pierre Melville starring Alain Delon was shot. This place used to be a veritable automobile city.
Winning back the RN6
The opening of the A6 that joined Paris and Lyon in October 1970 put the end to the activities of Bel-Air. The RN6 had been abandoned for 40 long years until the fans, followers and devotees of that Golden Age (known as "The Thirty Glorious Years") started taking the Nationale 6 again. Since then it has been downgraded to the D906 in Côte d’Or. Today, "Station du Bel-Air" (situated close to the future site of Vintage Bel Air) is being renovated by the Agglomeration Community of Beaune Côte & Sud and is passionately animated by the AOC association. It is already a well-known rallying point for old car collectors and amateurs.
Unique in its nature, Vintage Bel Air® project will not only give a boost to this place but will also contribute into bringing back to life the Nationale 6.