Hooniverse Asks- What's Your Favorite French Car?

If you caught this week’s Top Gear, you would might have seen the News segment where Jezza brings up the fact that Citroën’s new UK Sales Director is named Charles Peugeot. That coincidental happenstance was good for a lark, but it did get me thinking about French cars – all suspension like warm brie and Louvre-appropriate styling –  and started the little chin pull in contemplation of which one’s my favorite.

Now I’m saving that for a little later here, but wanted to open the floor to you all in casting a vote for your favorite French car. Of course you may not have a favorite, you may in fact have a general dislike for Gallic rides, considering the French. . . well, there’s lots of stereotypes that we just don’t need to get into right now. However, if you lack an appreciation for French cars due to an unfamiliarity, may I suggest you rent Goddard’s Week End, or perhaps a trip to a serious wine merchant, as they typically like to drive French cars.
As I had said, I wanted to keep my selection until the end, and as we are now nearing that point, I can let on that my favorite French car is the Traction Avant. That car’s sweeping fender line and wheels at the corners stance has always resonated with me. Sure, I know that the French also produced the spectacular Figoni and Falaschi-bodied Talbot Lago T150, as well as brilliant cars from Delage and Delahaye, but the lack of pretense inherent in the T/A makes me gravitate to the Citroën.
Is there such a French beauty to which you feel a similar pull?
Image source: [Hubgarage.com]

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38 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What's Your Favorite French Car?”

  1. engineerd Avatar

    <img width=500 src="http://www.supercars.net/carpics/2705/1936_Bugatti_Type57SCAtlantic3.jpg"&gt;
    I finally saw not one, but two of them at the Meadow Brook Concours this weekend. Pure. Sex.
    The Citroen DS is second, but it's not really that close.

    1. Peter_Dushenski Avatar

      This lustful temptress can Talbot my Lago any day.

  2. rikadyn Avatar

    Venturi Atlantique

  3. Hopman Avatar

    Renualt Espace F1
    V10 mid-engined minivan! Not quite a car, but damn effin' fast!

  4. Armand4 Avatar

    People in North America usually only get exposed to French cars if they're (a) of French descent or (b) a little weird. If, like me, one is (c) both of the above, the French car addiction can be quite strong and, indeed, a bit disturbing. If you're strange enough, you'll even bypass the truly great French cars (Bugatti, Facel, Alpine A110, Citroen SM) for something more mediocre, just because it means something to you.
    My grandfather bought one of these in 1961. Picked it up at the factory, which meant that his first experience with his new car was on the Champs-Elysees at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon. He had it shipped back to New York, and drove it home to San Francisco. He liked it so much that he suggested that my great-grandfather get one too; that car got passed on to my dad, who sold it just before I was born. Someday, I'll have one too. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Peugeot_40

    1. Armand4 Avatar

      Gratuitous Peugeot hoonage:
      [youtube rVRHl1Y8gsM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVRHl1Y8gsM youtube]

      1. Greg Newman Avatar

        great choice, thats my next car, when the avantime finally fails..

  5. dwegmull Avatar

    Where to begin? I was raised in France and now live in California. My view of French car is somewhat biased by the fact that my father was a mechanic who hated working on French cars due to their needless complexity. I'm not talking about things like hydro-pneumatic suspensions, but everything else like the way simple things such as a glove box door is put together with hinges and latches made of 25 different special parts…
    I've been away from France long enough that I'm falling victim of the greener grass on the other side of the ocean syndrome and find myself browsing Ebay motors for Deux Chevaux and Déesses…
    When it comes to pure fantasy and solid unobtanium, Bugatti, Delahaye and Talbot Lago come to mind. SO here is just one picture, to drool over:
    <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4075/4827532347_d2b4eba744.jpg"&gt;

  6. damnelantra™[!] Avatar

    who would not love a citreon van?

  7. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    In the late 70's our neighbor had a "Le Car" which I thought was pretty cool. He was evidently the president of the regional Renault 5 car club, and on random Saturday mornings I would emerge from watching morning cartoons to find the house surrounded by these tiny Le Cars in every color imaginable. I even remember seeing Turbos once or twice.
    <img src="http://www.superfunpatrol.net/images/lecar.jpg"&gt;
    My only real experience with a French car however is this one. I gotta say, I'm surprised how much I actually like it.
    <img src="http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs106.ash2/38662_1540820204996_1369652107_1420158_4332757_n.jpg&quot; width="500" />

    1. packratmatt Avatar

      I think I'm more impressed with the bike. Is that a Mongoose with Moto Mags?

      1. ZomBee Racer Avatar

        Ha-ha, Good eye! It's a '78 JAG BMX, Licorice-Black with Pineapple-Gold Moto Mag II wheels. I bought it new in 78 and just liberated it from storage this week. I plan on restoring it over the winter.
        Even sharper eyes will notice the ass-end of the infamous Killer Bee Lemons racer sticking out between the smart and the orange MGB. I hope to have the JAG in service as my next pit-bike.

  8. Alff Avatar

    Voisin C20 Mylord Demi Berline
    &lt;DIV style="OVERFLOW: auto"&gt;
    <DIV style="OVERFLOW: auto"><img src="http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/images/large/2926/Voisin-C20–Mylord–Demi-Berline_1.jpg&quot; width=500>
    Apparently taken at the same Concours as Engineerd's

  9. scroggzilla Avatar

    I'm sorry….but you're all wrong. The correct answer is the Alpine A110.
    <img src="http://www.classicandperformancecar.com/front_website/octane_interact/modelpicture.php?id=3142"&gt;

  10. muthalovin Avatar

    <img src="http://www.thecartorialist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/renault_5_turbo2_angle_front_2.jpg&quot; width=523.5 height=288.5>
    I really, really like the Le Car. A lot.

  11. Feds_II Avatar

    Good enough for Schumy, good enough for me:
    <img src="http://www.carspage.info/images/Bugatti09.jpg&quot; width=500>

  12. LTDScott Avatar
  13. tonyola Avatar

    Yeah, I know that owning an SM is just begging for trouble, but I still love it.
    <img src="http://www.automovilismoblog.com.ar/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/1970_citroen_sm.jpg&quot; width=400>

  14. BGW Avatar

    At least I'm not the only 505-loving weirdo around here. I always wanted a diesel 505 Wagon, which I think would have made me the Most Hated Man In Virginia.
    And I'd have been OK with that.

  15. dustin_driver Avatar

    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/48/MatraSimcaBagheera.jpg&quot; width="500">
    Matra Simca Bagheera.
    But of course, the DS is the best French car ever.

  16. alcology Avatar

    Ever watch the Disney movie Ratatouille? Watch it again, or for the first time, and just watch the cars they use. You see them all!

    1. joshuman Avatar

      I have it loaded on my phone at all times just in case I need to bust out a movie for the kids. I do enjoy the cars and, for some reason, always want a snack part way through.

  17. Mark Goddard Avatar
    Mark Goddard

    Bugatti T35.

  18. packratmatt Avatar

    Citroen 2cv. Everything you need in a car and nothing you don't.

  19. JoeDunlap Avatar

    Ha, pikers! Ah speet een yaor general dierectzion! Zer ees only won French pastree zat will do! Er naam ees…..__Caravelle!_____

    1. Alff Avatar

      Le Caravelle iss for smelly circus people. Sofeesticates like me prefer ze Princess.

      1. JoeDunlap Avatar

        Ahhh, but doos zee Princess maylt in zee mouth, like say, zee cottayn candee? Eh?

  20. Greg Newman Avatar

    avantime, avantime, avantime, avantime…
    this is my one, and i love it!

  21. David Avatar

    Citroën BX 4TC. “4TC” is French for “WRX STi.”

  22. dr zero Avatar
    dr zero

    When I was growing up, on trips to Indonesia to see my Grandmother, we would stay at my Uncle's place. He had a 505 which was forever breaking down, so much so that they had their own mechanic to look after it (this was Indonesia, with low labour costs, and my Aunt was a doctor). It was magnificently comfortable though, and I have fond memories of that car.