NOV 7, 2013

Citroen’s Conservatoire: A Mecca for Enthusiasts

Situated in Aulnay-sous-Bois, just north of Paris, you’ll find Citroen’s C£ factory. Within this factory, tucked away in a corner, behind a pair of nondescript grey fire doors sits Citroen’s Conservatoire.  A room roughly the size of four football pitches and absolutely packed to the rafters with an array of classic Citroen vehicles. The Conservatoire truly is a Mecca for any Classic Citroen enthusiast.

The vehicles now housed in the Conservatoire were once cherished by families, wowed the crowds at the world’s motor shows, or used to ferry film stars and French presidents around town. There are around 500 vehicles in this epic room; examples of every vehicle that has ever carried the Citroen badge.

Walk around the room and you’ll be met by endless rows of gleaming DS models, including the world’s oldest DS, with their iconic sleek silhouette and dart-like tail lights. Fans of the 2CV won’t be disappointed either; the famous yellow one driven by Bond in For Your Eyes Only is there in all its glory, complete with fake bullet holes.

This Aladdin’s cave of classic Citroen cars is also home to a plethora of shiny, immaculate Traction Avants, several Type A Torpedo models and even a few perfectly preserved 1930s Rosalies. As well as cars, the Conservatoire is also home to a two-seater 1971 Citroen helicopter, several Citroen tractors, a couple of fire engines, and of course plenty of examples of Citroen’s quirky H-type vans!

One of the most impressive sections of the Conservatoire is the presidential section which is home to the DS5 Hybrid 4 that carried the newly-elected President Francois Hollande along the Champs-Elysées in May. The vehicle that will really turn your head is the 1968 DS21 Presidential. At 21ft long, 7ft wide and more than 5ft tall, with walnut veneer, chrome, carpets and a cocktail cabinet, it is Versailles on wheels. Its luxurious seats have been graced by two French presidents, namely Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and Georges Pompidou.

Unfortunately the Conservatoire is not open to the general public, but requests to view this slice of history can be made. So if you’re a true Citroen enthusiast why not apply for the guided tour of a lifetime! 

Created on 7th November 2013
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