Retromobile 2015: What the Manufacturers Brought

Hooniverse’s Retromobile coverage continues with what the manufacturers brought to the Parisian car show. A handful of carmakers brought cars for their displays. For the most part, the cars were rare classics from the companies’ heritage collections. Mercedes had a substantial presence, and this beautiful C111 blew me away. Make the jump to see what else Mercedes (and other European manufacturers) brought.

The 1-of-1 1938 Mercedes aluminum-bodied 540K Streamliner was truly ahead of its time. Aerodynamics was the goal. The grill sat flush with the body. The three pointed star ornament was replaced with a star painted onto the hood. The coupe had a lower profile than the standard model and the body and undercarriage were smoothed out to improve airflow.
Even Skoda, which is not exactly known for its provenance, had a display. This very Japanese-looking 110 R rear engined compact caught my eye.
Citroen’s grand display was different. Every car it brought (SM, GS, CX, DS, etc.) actually belonged to local club members. Since I’ll be sharing my visit to the factory’s Conservatoire later, I will forego photos of Citroens on display at Retromobile here. In addition to actual cars, Citroen had an incredible gift shop on site, offering dozens of different memorabilia for sale, including diecast models, backpacks, and even umbrellas.
Peugeot, the second of France’s Big Three, also had a significant presence. Here is a cute picture of a little boy lecturing a Peugeot rep on what the boy’s father’s thoughts are on cars.
Peugeot 205 rally car.
Renault had a half dozen R16s scattered all over the convention hall floor. I took a picture of this one because of its Washington plate.
Here is a Renault Alpine Vision Gran Turismo (as in the video game). It has a 450 horsepower V8 and weighs less than a ton. Mon dieu!
We’ll end this tour with this big Peugeot 604. It harkens back to the days when French cars were actually quirky and desirable. To quote Japanese Nostalgic Car, “Kidney, anyone?”
Images source: Copyright 2015 Hooniverse/Jim Yu

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  1. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
    Dean Bigglesworth

    Out of those I find the 604 most lustworthy. I suspect I might be broken. In my imaginary garage, it would be parked between the Fiat 130 Coupe(with red/orange velour interior) and the brown SM.
    There might a Skoda rally car in there too somewhere..

    1. Maxichamp Avatar

      Get help.

    2. dukeisduke Avatar

      I love the 604, too. So much so that I've found myself looking at used ones on French car for sale sites, on more than one occasion.

  2. skitter Avatar

    Your photo of the R16 is lovely. Too bad the back end is so… unfortunate.

  3. FerdinandP2 Avatar

    MB C111 is a sad piece of motoring history:
    Hussein I (aka King of Jordan) was back then a counselor of MB. Hussein was a real car guy and knew what he was talking about.
    He advised MB to skip the 450SLC and build the C111 instead, even if C111 did not sport the originally intended rotary engine. Mercedes did not listen. Maybe because it was oil crisis time and Hussein was an arab King.Or maybe it was not Opposite Day.

    1. Maxichamp Avatar

      I had no idea the old man was a car guy.

      1. FerdinandP2 Avatar

        You bet! Hussein was a good guy. Very wellknown in Stuttgart at the time.
        Nowadays the press tells us to admire crap like Saudis -and other filth- for buying(!) supercars.
        Hussein had nothing to to with this trash. He was involved in construction of supercars- and in racing them.

    2. OttoNobedder Avatar

      FerdinandP2: Thanks for refreshing my memory of the C-111-The Germans should have listened to the King.
      In 1978 a DIESEL C-111 cruised at 200 m.p.h. at 15m.p.g. over a 12 hour period..
      Photo album link:

  4. dukeisduke Avatar

    Wow, all those Citroen diecast cars – I wonder where else you can find those (beside Citroen dealers in France)?