Our neighbour, Jean-françois, a 56-year-old mechanic, went to Paris for the first time last weekend. He went with his son, Antony, a handsome fellow who always puts me in mind of the Chilean actor Santiago Cabrera, complete with a shock of black hair and beard like a spear.

I vaguely assumed that Antony would take his dad to see the sights — the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, the Arc de Triomphe. But not a bit of it. They steered clear of tourist Paris confining their trip to an exhibition of classic cars, styled as the Salon Rétromobile, just inside the Péripherique by the Porte de Versailles.