Caterham – Coupe des Provinces 1964

This is a pack of 19 skins based on the liveries of the “Coupe des Provinces” organized in France in 1964. They are not meant to be an exact reproduction of the real cars for several reasons: the Caterham Academy mod for Assetto Corsa is slightly different from the 1964 Lotus Seven used in the series; and there is very few publicly available photographic material about these cars, almost no color picture and there is a couple of cars for which there is no picture at all. To fill in the blanks I used the sketches that were released in the French motorsport magazine Sport-Auto at the time.

Caterham - Coupe des Provinces 1964 - Assetto Corsa (5)

A few words about the series: it was called “Operation Ford Jeunesse” and was meant to bring young new drivers to automotive competition. It was sponsored by Ford, BP, Europe 1 (radio) and Kleber-Colombes (tyres). There was in fact two championships: the “Coupe des Provinces” on eight race tracks including for instance Reims-Gueux, Montlhery, Magny-Cours or Albi; and a hillclimb trophy including classic climbs such as Mont Dore and Limonest.

Caterham - Coupe des Provinces 1964 - Assetto Corsa (4)

The cars were prepared and operated by regional automobile clubs. Those regional clubs were also in charge of testing and selecting young drivers. Several hundred young guys passed those selections and about 60 of them were retained to compete in the series. Automobile Clubs such as the Lyon association chose to engage nearly 10 drivers while others, like Paris, retained only a couple of drivers for the whole competition.

Caterham - Coupe des Provinces 1964 - Assetto Corsa (3)

It was the first racing opportunity for drivers like Henri Pescarolo, Patrick Depailler, Jose Dolhem and Johnny Servoz-Gavin who made it to Formula 1. It also started the career of drivers like Jimmy Mieusset who dominated French and European hillclimb during the 70’s, or talented drivers like Denis Dayan whose career was ended by fatal accident in the early 70’s. In this respect the series clearly reached its goal.

Caterham - Coupe des Provinces 1964 - Assetto Corsa

The championship was continued in 1965 and then stopped. Other promotion series like the Gordini Cup and the Formula France (precursor to the Formula Renault) would in their turn help young French drivers start their careers.

Caterham - Coupe des Provinces 1964 - Assetto Corsa (2)

The liveries are mainly based on the regional colors and coats of arms of pre-Revolution French provinces. They might appear simple for today’s racing fans. But remember that at the time most racing cars only wore national colors and stripes were still rather new at Le Mans.

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