Hey, registering a car is normally straight-forward. It has to pass safety and emissions, but the folks who run the inspections stations around here generally put things into perspective. They don’t hold a 1986 car to the same standards as one from 2006. With that said, it still has to have lights, seat belts, glass, doors, good tires, etc.
Once it’s inspected, you need to apply for a title, which is also normally straight-forward. This one will be more difficult to register because the last owner died in 2002, but it won’t be impossible. I’ll need to jump through a lot of legal hoops, and fill out a ton of paperwork. Of course, the option of getting a clean title from a parts car is still on the table, and it wouldn’t be illegal because it’s over 30 years old.
For years, the most popular cars in France were body-on-frame; the 2CV and its derivatives, as well as the Renault 4 and its off-shoots. They also rusted pretty well. In the 1980s, before safety and emissions were mandatory, folks didn’t think twice about putting a good body on a good chassis and calling it a day. 30-40 years later, you end up with a lot of cars with mismatched documents, hence why it’s okay to have one serial number on the title and another (or none) stamped into the body/chassis if the vehicle is over 30 years old. Whether it’s body-on-frame or unibody isn’t taken into account. Don’t try that with, say, a 2017 BMW 3 Series, though, ha.
Anyway, back to the road: Fueling is simple. I pour 98-octane in all of my classics and they run well. And, there are no restrictions on using classic cars in France, but there used to be (you couldn’t drive out of your department until the early 2010s) and I’m afraid there will be new ones sooner or later. Germany has an annual mileage limit, for example. That’s why I stopped applying for classic titles years ago.
It’s up to the owner; the advantage is that classics are required to go through inspections every five years, versus every two years for normal cars. I don’t mind getting my cars inspected more often if it means I can drive them when I want. And, with a classic title you’re allowed to put vintage-looking black plates on your car, but that law isn’t enforced. I’ve got them on my 1972 Beetle, among others, and I haven’t ever worried about getting ticketed for it because it’s not registered as a vintage car.