Seven years ago, he was already saying that he was slowly preparing for retirement, ready to set sail to circumnavigate the world on his sailboat. At 66, Jean-Marie Galipon is still faithful to rue Denis-Papin. “My wife runs a creperie in Rennes. I give myself a few more years”concedes the pilot Mad’in Autos the ultimate garage in the Mabilais district, 200 meters on foot from the new metro line B station.
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Here, the neighbors have their habits of having their cars serviced and repaired, but the clientele often comes from much further afield, from Brest to Normandy, even Paris. To understand, just take a look at the row of open hoods in front of which work the two mechanics of this garage whose facade has nothing ostentatious: Aston-Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini and other brands upscale and luxury. “Here, we repair both a Twingo and a Ferrari”, smiles Jean-Marie Galipon. The great house specialty is the German brand with the famous propeller, BMW, “it has been our hobbyhorse for three decades”. Matter of passion.
Up to 46 garages in the neighborhood!
At one time, the Mabilais district was like an automotive temple in Rennes. “There were as many as 46 car garages in the areahe recalls. Peugeot, Fiat, Range Rover were at the end of the street. Not far away, on the François-Mitterrand mall, there was Opel, General Motors…” This was before many mechanics went under the banners of car brands and moved to business areas outside the city center, a time when the holiday route was still a journey. Jean-Marie Galipon knew her. “Kid, I lived in Paris. When we went on vacation to Loctudy (Finistère), it was a trip of nearly thirteen hours by road. In Rennes, there was not yet the ring road, so all motorists passed by the mall and stopped to take a break in a café. We could come with our sandwiches”.
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Subway tickets for customers
Himself, a young adult, had joined the Breton capital on the saddle of a moped. “I started working in my aunt’s garage, place Hoche. I opened mine on May 2, 1980, rue Denis-Papin, I was 24! »
Will the opening of the metro station change the life of the garage? “I have many clients who work in Cesson-Sévigné. When they need, we provide them with one of our six courtesy vehicles, explains Jean-Marie Galipon. With the opening of line B, we will surely be able to reduce this car fleet a little and give our customers a metro ticket that will allow them to reach their offices in about twenty minutes. They can even start working on their computer already. »