LANCIA FULVIA SPORT: Designed and built for Lancia by Zagato, the Fulvia Sport made its debut in 1965. This Series II car was built somewhere between 1970 and 1976 and is powered by a DOHC, 1584cc V4 engine.
CADILLAC: If you’re going to have a classic Caddy, this 1959 example is the one to buy. One of the most extreme American cars ever built, the ’59 Caddy is famous for its ludicrously oversized fins and almost comical amounts of chrome.
FIAT 124 COUPÉ: Fiat has just reintroduced the 124 Spider, but this is where it all started. This early coupé is much prettier than the redesigned car that appeared in 1973.
LANCIA FLAVIA: This early Flavia coupé is virtually unknown in the UK; a convertible was sold alongside, both bodystyles being offered with 1.5 or 1.8-litre engines. This car was launched in 1962; a facelifted model was sold between 1970 and 1974.
CHEVROLET EL CAMINO: Vying for the title of coolest vehicle taking part in the event, this El Camino is one of the original models from 1959.
BMW M3 E30: These first-generation M3s are getting valuable now, which is why many owners are mothballing them. So it was great to see this one being properly exercised.
DODGE PICK-UP: This unmistakably American machine was one of the stars of the event. The 1957 Dodge Power Wagob sounded as good as it looked, too, with its 3.76-litre straight six rumbling away.
GINETTA G32: First shown at the 1986 British motor show at the NEC, the G32 was intended to be sold in turn-key form only. Around 100 coupés were built and 20 or so convertibles, powered by a Ford 1.6-litre CVH engine in normally aspirated or turbo forms.
JENSEN 541: Seen pulling into the lunch stop in Reims, this plastic-bodied Jensen 541 is one of just 226 examples built between 1954 and 1959. Austin provided the engine: a 4.0-litre straight six.
CITROEN MEHARI: Almost 145,000 examples of the 2CV-based, plastic-bodied Mehari were made between 1968 and 1988. Most were front-wheel drive, but some had power going to each corner.
PORSCHE 356: One of the featured marques at Laon this year was Porsche. This UK-registered 356A coupé was one of two 356s there, both fitted with a 1582cc, air-cooled flat four.
LANCIA APPIA: It’s reckoned that just 35 or so of these very pretty Vignale-built drophead Appias are left worldwide, from a production run of 1584. Power came from a 1089cc V4.
TRIUMPH STAG: Known as the Snag in period, this V8-powered Triumph featured a 3.0-litre engine exclusive to this car, four seats and an exhaust note to die for. Just over 25,000 were made between 1970 and 1977.
RENAULT SPORT SPIDER: The Sport Spider launched the RenaultSport brand when it first went on sale in 1996. Of the 1800 or so cars built, just 100 right-hand-drive examples were sold in the UK, each powered by a 148bhp 2.0-litre Clio engine.
TOYOTA LAND CRUISER: The original Toyota Land Cruiser appeared in 1951; this J40 was an updated version of the earlier car that made its debut in 1960 and remained in production all the way through to 1984. Power came from a range of four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.
DKW 3=6: The weirdly named 3=6 arrived in 1953 and was also known as the Sonderklasse or F91. This is an example of the cabriolet, but it was also available as a saloon, estate or coupé. Power comes from a two-stroke, 896cc three-cylinder engine.
CITROEN VISA LOUXOR: Citroën showed this prototype at the 1985 Salon du 4x4, but unsurprisingly it never made production. The car is now in private hands.
RENAULT FLORIDE: It sounds more like a toothpaste than a car, but the Floride, launched in 1958, was the predecessor to the Caravelle seen elsewhere here. The 845cc rear-mounted powerplant was donated by the Dauphine.
LOTUS ELAN +2: For years the +2 was the unloved Elan, but values have shot up as word has got out that despite not being as pretty as the regular two-seater, it’s actually a rather lovely thing to drive.
TRIUMPH SPITFIRE: Laon was awash with Triumph Spitfires over the weekend, but this was the only really early example. Most were the later MkIV and 1500, but this MkI features a much prettier design.
CITROEN AMI: Introduced in 1961 and offered in saloon form until 1969 (an estate survived until 1971), the Ami 6 was a rebodied 2CV. That meant a 602cc air-cooled flat twin in the nose and up to 65mph with the right conditions.
ALPINE A110: It’s an A110, but not as you probably know it. Just 112 examples of this unusual early Alpine, known as the coupé GT4, were made. It was, in effect, a crossover model – a revamped A108 with A110 running gear.
RENAULT RODEO: Built on behalf of Renault by ACL, the Rodeo came in front or four-wheel drive forms and was produced between 1970 and 1987. Around 60,000 were made.
PEUGEOT 402: With its art deco styling, the Peugeot 402 looks futuristic even now. Launched in 1935 and current until 1942, Peugeot offered a coupé-cabriolet as well as this long-wheelbase saloon. Early cars got a 1991cc four-cylinder engine; this became a 2142cc unit in 1938.
CITROEN SM: With the SM's marriage of Citroën and Maserati technology, it's no wonder it's known as the S&M in certain quarters. Built with left-hand drive only, the SM initially came with a 2.7-litre V6. A 3.0-litre unit was offered as an alternative from 1973.
RENAULT 4CV: France’s rival to the Morris Minor, the rear-engined 4CV arrived in 1946 (two years before the Minor) with rack-and-pinion steering, all-independent suspension and 747 cubic centimetres of raw power.
ALPINE A110: The quintessential Alpine, the A110 was produced between 1961 and 1977. Powered by Renault R8 and 16 engines, the A110 enjoyed huge success in international rallying (it won the first World Rally Championship in 1973) and inspired the new A110 that heralds the relaunch of the Alpine brand.
TOYOTA CELICA: Toyota built seven generations of Celica. This is the first, introduced in 1970 and current until 1977. Clearly inspired by the Ford Mustang, the Celica was pitched against the Ford Capri and used the floorpan and running gear of the contemporary Carina.
ALPINE A310: Introduced in 1971 to sell alongside the A110, the A310 was initially fitted with a 1605cc four-pot engine in the rear, but from 1976 the PRV 2.7-litre V6 was fitted instead. This is one of the V6 models.
LM BEACH BUGGY: We’re not sure about this oddity, because it’s so obscure. The LM lettering on the nose suggests it’s a SOVRA-built machine, but those tended to be Beetle-based and therefore rear-engined. This one seems to be front-engined; if you know more, let us know.
MINI MOKE: After Moke production ceased in Australia in 1981, it was moved to Portugal. Then in 1990 the tooling and brand was sold to bike maker Cagiva, which kept the Moke in production until 1993.
AUDI F103: The original Audi was a direct development of the DKW F102. The latter used two-stroke engines, so when the move was made to four-stroke powerplants, the DKW brand was replaced by Audi.
PEUGEOT 403: A French staple back in the 1950s and 1960s, the 403 came in saloon, estate and ultra-desirable cabriolet forms, with a 1.5-litre petrol engine.
BONNET MISSILE: Considering how few of these were made, the Bonnet Missile has quite a convoluted history. Also sold as the Le Mans, it originally came with Panhard engines, but Renault units were fitted from 1962.
LANCIA AURELIA B20: The Aurelia line-up was complicated, with an array of bodystyles and no fewer than six different series. This is one of the very desirable GT coupés with a 2.5-litre V6; the Aurelia was the first production car to be fitted with a V6 engine.
ALPINE A610: The A610, sold in the UK as the Renault A610, was the last car to be built by Alpine before it closed down in 1995. The brand is poised to return to the UK next year, though – hopefully with more success than before.
RENAULT 5: Launched in 1972, the original Renault 5 was a massively popular hatchback, with more than 5.5 million made. Few of those are now left, though, making this tidy early example a rarity.
MINI MOKE: In the 1960s you could buy your Mini Moke in Austin or Morris forms. Once UK production had ended in 1968, the Moke was built in Australia, still by British Leyland.
TOYOTA WILL VI: Only ever sold in Japan, Toyota’s experimental Will project wasn’t a great success. The Vi was produced only in 2000 and 2001, for example. All cars have a 1.3-litre engine and four-speed automatic transmission.
BMW 628 CSI: The E24 BMW 6 Series is becoming very sought after, especially in 635 CSi form. This 628 edition had a smaller engine, but it’s still a very capable GT.
MATRA M530: Named after Matra’s air-to-air missile (the R.530), the M530 was the French company’s first sports car. The plastic-bodied sportster was powered by a Ford 1.7-litre V4, mounted in the middle.
RENAULT JUVAQUATRE: One of the most charming cars seen over the weekend was this fabulous Renault Juvaquatre, also known as the Dauphinoise in this utility form. Production ended in 1960.
TRIUMPH VITESSE: The Triumph crowd was out in force, with plenty of Heralds and Vitesses in evidence. This is one of the last of the line: a 2.0-litre Mk2 convertible, one of around 3500 built.
RENAULT CARAVELLE: We had the MGB and Triumph Spitfire; France got the Renault Caravelle. The rear-engined 2+2 sportster came with either 956cc or 1108cc engines and was built between 1962 and 1968.
MGA: Not all of the cars taking part were pristine. This British-registered MGA had plenty of patina but was in superb condition mechanically.
TVR GRIFFITH: In the past, the Laon event has been supported by large numbers of TVRs. But this year, this Griffith was one of the few examples of the Blackpool marque to turn up.
DE TOMASO LONGCHAMP: Sold alongside the Pantera throughout the 1970s and using the same 5.7-litre V8, the Longchamp was built in tiny numbers in both coupé and convertible forms.
PEUGEOT 504 COUPÉ: We’re more used to seeing the more prosaic 504 saloons and estates, but Pininfarina came up with some rather fetching coupé and cabriolet editions. This is one of the former.
DKW 1000S: One of the featured marques of the weekend was Auto Union, which comprised Audi, Horch, DKW and Wanderer. There were no Horches or Wanderers here, but there were a few DKWs, including this very pretty 1000S.
CORVETTE: There were numerous Corvettes thundering around the course over the weekend, most of them C3s like this one.
For the past 26 years the French town of Laon has hosted one of the best classic car weekends in Europe.
With a 100-mile road run on the Saturday (this year taking in the derelict Reims circuit pits), a display on the Sunday morning and the chance to hoof it around the town’s streets on the Sunday afternoon, the Circuit Historique de Laon is a petrolhead’s dream.
This year's event was themed 'German cars in the spotlight', with a focus on pre-1987 Auto Union and Porsche machinery. But the field of around 800 cars came from a whole range of makes and countries and included a whole raft of rarities.
Check out the gallery for some of the finest machines from the event. Go full screen for the full glory.