What up, nerds? We've got us a new roundup this month for a little challenge called The French Connection, which surprisingly has nothing to do with undercover cops shooting Nicoli The Hitman in the back while he ascends the subway stairs. No, this challenge was simply about French cars such as Citroens, Renaults, and Peugeots. Those French have manufactured some beautiful cars. Maybe our crackerjack team of LEGO car makers have built a few of them. So sit back, pour yourself a 2011 Chateau Lafitte Laujac and take in the sophisticated aroma of all things French.
Johnni D starts us off with an old school entry in the shape of the Citroën Mehari in happy yellow. Ohh la la, so very French, indeed!
Lino Martins also goes the old school route with this Delahaye 136...uh, I mean 165. You see, I was using a new computer whose new functions aren't quite as intuitive as the old functions, so I made the typo, hit save, and the best photo was forever ruined. The hilarious part? None of the bloggers that featured this car corrected the error.
That's OK. I never check the claims of all y'all neither. The things I still don't know about cars can fill entire libraries. One case in point, apparently back in '34 Citroen liked what Ford was doing so much, they put a Ford V-8 flathead in their Citroen 22CV Traction Avant Cabriolet. That's what Peter Blackert said, so you know its got to be true.
Then he went on to say like three dozen other engineering type things, most of which went right the hell over my head. Like "oleopneumatic suspension", which apparently is a thing in all the Citroens. The Citroen GS X2 is chock full of oleo pneumatic goodness.
How do you go about transporting the whole...um...familiale if you're French? Why, you all hop into the Peugeot 504 Familiale, of course. That's right, as Peter illustrated, you can fit grandparents, mom, dad and the kids in this 7-seater.
When you think French automakers you think Peugeot, Renault, and Citroen. But back in 1954 they also had Comete, based on a Ford platform. Here is the Comète Monte Carlo in stunning red and white.
Peter tells us that Peugeot is perhaps the most conservative of the large French manufacturers. I'm sure he meant conservative as in styling, but around here conservative has come to mean bigoted and homophobic. So here's the possibly bigoted and homophobic Peugeot 406 Saloon in a very sassy (but not in a gay way) red.
There was a time when Chrysler had its greasy mitts in France as evidenced by this 1970 Chrysler France 180 Saloon. Later Chrysler was sold and became the Talbot-Simca brand and later the 180 became the futuristic Talbot Tagora.
When I think of Europe, I think of burly, hairy men in Speedos, cobblestone streets, contempt for Americans and the subcompact car. This cute little 1972 Renault 5 MkI in green fits that bill. Not included: Burly, hairy man in Speedo.
If you like your lemons shaped like a pear, you can't go wrong with this lemony yellow 1976 Renault 14 . The advertising team even emphasized this pear shape. This model features grandpa and his hear-shaped honey about to get busy in the car. Boom-chicka-bow-wow!
Citroen even has a sub-brand called DS where they have a bit more artistic freedom to make wacky cars such as the 2011 Citroen / DS Automobiles - DS5. The shape is somewhere between a hatchback, wagon and an MPV and it has odd chrome highlights and a very spaceship-like interior.
Next we're kicking it old school with the 1964 Facel Vega Facel 6, which was conceived in a time where Facel was struggling and so they created a car that only movie stars can afford. In a similar business model, Wu-Tang Clan produced only one copy of their latest album and sold it for 2 million dollars to the guy who made the AIDS vaccine so expensive. True story, bro.
Also, as per contract, the album cannot be released to the public for 88 years but the buyer can offer free listening parties, which apparently he has not done due to the high value of the item. Considerably cheaper and more accessible is this Renault Captur in lovely orange and white. I believe there are called the Nissan Juke around here.
But this story has a somewhat happy ending. Upon hearing about the dick move the buyer made with jacking up the price of the vaccine, the Wu-Tang Clan decided to donate a large portion of the proceeds to several charities, one currently researching alternate cures for cancer. Here's a 1972 Alpine A310.
It turns out old, tired and disheveled Detective Columbo had himself an old, tired and disheveled 1959 Peugeot 403 Cabriolet. I barely remember that. I only remember that Columbo was rather persistent albeit polite in his line of questioning. And he was squinty. No movies were ever made of the 70's series as no one wants to watch a tired, disheveled squinty old man ask polite questions.
A young, immature Lino enjoyed the Lamborghini Countach. A young, immature Peter enjoyed the Renault 25. This explains a lot about our later development. However, the two are related as the interior of the Renault 25 was designed by none other than Marcello Ghandini, of Countach fame.
A young, immature Lino also thought that a guitar wasn't cool unless it breathed fire, was shaped like a medieval battle axe and had no less than five necks. I would have loved GWAR as a kid. Thankfully our tastes become more refined as we get older. Case in point, this lovely 1957 Bugatti Type-252 Roadster in blue.
The 2014 Renault Twingo GT MkIII, according to Peter, has Gaelic charm. Hmmmm, it seems to be lacking Celtic knots, the color green, a twinkle in thine Irish eyes a'smilie' and any resemblance to an elven sword maker from Lord of the Rings. But it has Gaelic charm somehow, lads and lasses.
Even Renault has a sub-brand called Renault Sports, which specializes in racing cars. Here's the adorable MotorCity Renault Sport Spider.
You're going to need an awful long hood to accommodate a 3.3 liter straight 8 engine. Luckily, the Bugatti Type 101 Antem Coupe was specifically designed to showcase this massive engine. Here's one in all its black and red glory.
An even bigger 14.7 litre straight eight engine was outfitted for the Type-41 Coupé Napoléon - 41100. The hood ornament is a silver chicken LEGO part, but if you squint, its supposed to be an elephant rearing on its hind legs with its trunk raised in an aggressive fighting stance.
Speaking of aggressive fighting stance, the Allemano Panhard Crepardi Dyna 750 Coupe was pretty ideal for racing. Panhard made the drive train and chassis easily obtainable to anyone wanting to build their own racer.
The most iconic French cars in the history of the world ever is the Citroen 2CV Charleston. This one is a 1982 done up in a yellow and black Art Deco design scheme. It was a comfortable albeit very slow ride.
And finally Peter shows us what to do if you wanted to schlep the entire familiale across France with this 1975 Citroen CX Familiale. It seats seven and still looks rather sporty.
PauloD shows us what French rally racing is all about in the form of this Peugeot 206 WRC. It is light, compact, swift and probably had its share of speedo wearing hairy men with contempt for Americans behind the wheel.
Lasse Deleuran begs the question; Why am I posting a car from a Japanese company which is made in Cologne, Germany? Where is the French connection? You got us, Lasse, why? Turns out it is a contender for a little race in France you might have heard of called Le Mans.
Tim Inman makes France great again with this all white Alpine A110. It is chock full of American contempt and the way things are going now, rightfully so. It may be decades before that is ever made right.
And that's how we end our roundup, not with a bang, but with a whimper in conceding that even North Korea thinks the US is being run by a senseless dictator. Man, way to bring the room down! Luckily, no one reads this far anyway, and if you do then we have a challenge for you. Next month, we're doing Pickups and Vans. There's lots of versatility here so let's see what we come up with. See ya next month!