One man, one collection. Retromobile owner’s garage [+ vidéo]

The new boss of Salon Rétromobile, Romain Grabowski, is passionate about collecting and cars. For a day, he opened his garage doors to us and made us explore Berry’s roads behind the wheel of his cars: Citroën 2CV, Peugeot 304 Cabriolet and Fiat 850.

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Romain Grabovski has been appointed head of the Retromobile Show in October 2022. He opens his garage doors to us like an old car enthusiast.


Romain Grabovski was fond of cars from a young age. It must be said that he attended a good school with his father, a Fiat-Alfa Romeo-Lancia dealer in Picardy. In our first meeting with the new manager of Salon Rétromobile, we mentioned his great interest in old cars. He then informed us that he had several collector cars. for the greatest pleasure and his wife Constance. This piqued the interest of the editorial board Argus and take the direction of Berry village Discovering Romain’s “magnificent garage”.

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Romain is the owner of the Citroën 2CV6 Club, awarded to him for work done while a student.


Back to the 50s and 60s

As soon as we arrive at Vierzon station, the host puts us in the mood. It was in 1966 that he came to pick us up in a shiny red Fiat 850. The cabin is small but we manage to fit our videographer (1m95 same), his gear and…me! After a few kilometers, we stop in front of a big wooden door. When it fades, there is another leap into the past. Here we are immersed in the bistro atmosphere of the 50s and 60s.I’m kind of nostalgic for this era that I had no way of knowing Accepts Romain. “I think there was real production, real quality in France back then “. No detail is left to chance in this piece with a beautiful surface. Romain and his partner look for things all year round to decorate the decor of their garage. This space is not just a counter, old bottles and a formic table. A two-tone Renault Estafette Alouette decorates one of the back walls.

Renault Estafette Alouette

Romain, who cannot buy the “Volkswagen Combi” whose prices have already reached the peak, turns to the “Estafette Alouette” he bought from a friend. Initially, the glass car, which is red, is used to transport the firemen. It is equipped with benches that Romain will remove in favor of the “Star” kit purchased for leboncoin! This equipment allows you to convert a van into a mounted van. It has everything you need: bed, kitchen, storage… The ideal combination for spending weekends under the stars!

Due to the lack of time, we will not have the opportunity to follow them behind the wheel of these two-color cars. But that’s just a delay, because we haven’t even had time to get behind the wheel of the 1974 Renault Rodeo. Romain had just received the keys a few days before our arrival. ” I have equivalents in Renault as there is no Kombi and Méhari! she laughs.

The Fiat 850 of his childhood

In another part of the garage, The Fiat 850 catches our eye with its beautiful red dress. Romain does not hide it, his taste for old cars was born with him. ” It’s quite a symbolic car for me.” leaves it to someone to admire “as soon as he can This car was bought by his father’s business partner.

Twenty years later, during a discussion, this famous partner offers to buy Romain the racing car that marked his childhood. Then he seizes the opportunity. ” It is an unknown machine with few copies remaining. admits. It values ​​not its rarity, but what it spreads. This spirit of “Dolce Vita” with Italian subtitled counters, ” instantly makes you want to travel “he assures!

2CV: his first car!

Another car, another story. It’s time to sit in the 1980 Citroën 2CV 6 Club, a model that Romain is very attached to. It was the first car he could afford, “it was offered to me,” he corrects. While attending business school in Amiens, he presented a business project to an insurer. The latter welcomes his work and wants to thank him. ” And there, it came to me without having to think about it “, he explains. He then told his tutor of his desire to compete in the Rallye des Deuch’s, competing in the 4L Trophy, adding, ” look for sponsorsetc”.

Romain says this this boss offered to buy a car, put it in his name and refund the money. The model he still owns after 20 years is in his prime with the stamp that made him so attractive. This 2CV allows him to buy his bread, as well as go to the recycling center or go for a walk with friends. this is the car” Comprehensive with great capital of sympathy.

304 Convertible from Constance

There is also a convertible in Romain Cabriolet’s garage. This is a 1971 Peugeot 304 with his partner in Portugal…during the arrest! ” We couldn’t move Says Romain, explaining that he judges the condition of the car with a camera placed thousands of kilometers away. ” Suffice it to say, I wasn’t too confident ” he continues. then ” actually clapping hands together put the car in the truck with the mechanic. “ He told us that it has not been driven for 20 years Romain explains, I confirm that it has not been driven for 20 years ! “.

He and his girlfriend had to redo the brakes, the cooling system, the fuel supply, the tank… And that kept them busy “b”well beyond confinement Romain laughs. After the restrictions were removed and the car was ready to go, Romain and Constance have covered more than 3,600 km behind the wheel of the 1971 cab. Via France, Switzerland or Italy.

A garage of other interests

Romain Grabowski has other vehicles in his incredible garage, including a flatbed truck, a huge vintage van or even Lada Niva with a unique history. His father Denis Grabovski participated in Dakar in 1982. Unfortunately, he had to retire due to a mechanical failure. Never mind, Romain wanted to continue the adventure where he left off. Forty years later, he and his friend Constance participated in the second edition of the Dakar Classic with a fully restored 4×4, which became a must-have addition to the couple’s collection.


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