Iconic models, racing legends and concept cars for the 100th birthday of Citroën at Rétromobile
This year, the 44th Rétromobile classic car show celebrates the 100th anniversary of an Icon of France’s car industry, the Citroën brand (more about the show itself is encapsulated in this introductory article). For the past years, Citroën was always preparing with something special (along with the PSA Group), but this year the stage is exceptionally promising.
For its centennial celebrations, Citroën built a brand new stage, right by the PSA booth to showcase 30 iconic models. The stage is divided into 3 hubs, and the first batch includes 10 iconic production cars from the past 100 years.
The cars include are lined up in chronological order: Type A 10 HP, C3 5 HP, Traction Avant, Type H, 2 CV, DS 21 Pallas, Méhari, CX 25 Prestige, C6 and the new C5 Aircross SUV. The selection encompasses all epochs and categories, like the boxy Type H Van or the Méhari crossover and the iconic Traction Avant, 2CV and DS.
On the left flank, 10 concept cars illustrate 100 years of visionary spirit: C10, Camargue, Karin, Activa 1, Xanae, Osmose, C-Métisse, GTbyCitroën, Tubik, CXPERIENCE.
My level of tolerance was significantly lifted by the Peugeot Museum earlier this year, but each of these cars is particular, even by French standards.
The GT, for example, was designed for the GranTurismo game series, and I was surprised to see in real life, whereas the Tubic I could witness several times as it stole the show at many international car shows.
On the right side, 10 racing vehicles commemorate 100 years of unrivalled sporting achievements.
This segment includes the desert cruiser mini tank Scarabée d’Or, along with other road cars that were used to cross the desert, as the Petite Rosalie, DS 21 from the 1969 Rally of Morocco, SM from the 1971 Rally of Morocco, 2 CV Africa Raid, and the ZX Rally-Raid.
Others commemorate Citroën’s success in the world rallye championship, like the Xsara Kit Car that beat the WRCs (driven by Philippe Bugalsky), the C4 WRC (that earned a constructor title and one of many titles of Loeb), the C-Elysée WTCC (championship title also for Lopez), and the C3 WRC (another constructor title and one of many titles of Ogier).
By the way, there is another PSA booth next to the anniversary stage, where the brands of the PSA group celebrate anniversaries of various models of Peugeot, Citroën, DS, and the E-Legend confirms that Peugeot is still great at designing concept cars.
The booth also but also commemorates forgotten brands such as Talbot.
In Hall 1, visitors can also find a large area with dozens of unique DS models redesigned by the legendary coachbuilder and DS specialist Henri Chapron, who worked with French luxury brands, like Talbot, Delage, and Delahaye.
Following the regulated collapse of the French luxury car industry in the 50s, he built over 1300 cars for Citroën distributed via the factory dealerships worldwide. His work was also appreciated by the presidents of France, as it was well illustrated by PSA’s 2018 special exhibition showcasing presidential parade limos of 50 years.