"Umm. I know it's somewhere southwest of Paris."
Cale had arranged for an Avis rental car—a Peugeot station wagon, the biggest car they offered but still only about two-thirds the size of Cale's Grand National stocker. We leave Betty Jo and the girls encircling the luggage and wander off to find the station wagon; the process involves a complicated switch of terminals. The Avis lady is not about to produce any upsets at this time in the morning: She's just as snotty as everybody else. The wagon is over there in the lot, she says, with a vague wave of the hand.
"Uh, Miss? Excuse me. How do you get to Le Mans?"
"Allez sud," she says.
The family and luggage are piled into the wagon. There's a road map of France in the glove compartment. Urn, let's see, it looks like there's some sort of, you know, like a beltway, around Paris. And then you catch good old A-11 and....
"You read any French?" Cale asks.
"Well, uh, not much. Maybe enough to order ham and cheese and stuff. Poulet means chicken, you know."
"Sounds fine to me." And the ex-world stock-car racing champion slips behind the wheel of the Peugeot and fires it up. "I'll tell you what. You read and I'll drive."
WEDNESDAY MORNING, June 10
The Camaro looks as if it might have been picked up from some raggedy-pants U.S. trackside and plopped right down in the infield paddock at Le Mans, smack in among the sleek Lolas and glittering Ferraris and some Porsche prototypes so functionally streamlined that they look like horizontal teardrops. Spectators and other drivers are strolling around to look at the Camaro. There is a great deal of Gallic shrugging and rolling of eyes. The car is, urn, how you say....
Hurley Haywood, the card-carrying preppy sports-car and road racer from Jacksonville, Fla., has a word for it. "Junk," he says scornfully.