Celebrating 100 years of Citroën at the London Classic car show

<i>Image: London Classic Car Show</i>
<i>Image: London Classic Car Show</i>

2019 marks the 100-year anniversary of French automobile manufacturer Citroën. 

The daring brand will celebrate its centenary at the London Classic Car Show on 14-17 February with a showcase of vehicles that have made the boldest marks on the automotive industry since its launch in June 1919.

READ: SA's first international classic car auction: More than 80 vintage vehicles to go under the hammer at 2018 local Concours show

Having produced more than 300 models during its rich history, ten of its prominent vehicles will be shown at ExCeL London at the London Classic Car Show, from the 1920s Citroën B12 through to its new 2019 Citroën C5 Aircross SUV, including:

Citroën B12 Taxi

The only surviving example of its kind in the UK and one of the very few left in the world, this 1926 Citroën B12 Taxi was found in 2002 in a chicken shed on a farm just outside Paris.

Citroen B12 Taxi

                                                                 Image: London Classic Car Show

The barn find was transported to Kent where a complete restoration was undertaken. The B12 was manufactured using mass production technologies, which were still unique to Citroën in the 1920s.

Citroën Traction Avant

Although criticised at launch on 19 April 1934, the Citroën Traction 7 was the first of the Traction Avant (front-wheel drive) line that eventually ran all the way through to 1957.

Citroen B12 Taxi

                                                                 Image: London Classic Car Show

It was deemed revolutionary for its many innovations, including being the first mass-produced car with a monocoque chassis and the first car in the world to lose the running board, which changed the way you got into a car – rather than 'mounting' it, you descended into its cabin.

The specific example at the London Classic Car Show was built in 1939 and registered 15 days after the outbreak of the Second World War, making it one of the last cars to leave the factory.

Citroën Type H Van

The first front-wheel drive van in wide circulation, the Type H launched in 1947 and lasted decades without any major change up until the arrival of the C25 in 1981.

Citroen B12 Taxi

                                                                   Image: London Classic Car Show

It was deemed to have an innovative design for a commercial vehicle of its time and modern vans still take inspiration from its architecture and functional design.

Citroën 2CV

In 1935, Maison Michelin took over Citroën and proposed a 'people’s car' for rural drivers. A national survey was commissioned to determine the right price, speed and capacity – this led to the 2CV in 1948.

Citroen-2CV Berline

                                                                    Image: Net Car Show

The 2CV went on to be a hugely successful model with almost four million cars being manufactured until it was phased out in 1990.

The model on show will be a 1964 2CV AZAM, which is one of only five of this specification left in the UK.

Citroën DS

Its eye-catching 'drop of water' design, courtesy of Flaminio Bertoni, caused it to stand out when it was launched at the 1955 Paris Motor Show.

Citroen-DS 1956

                                                                    Image: Net Car Show

This futuristic design earned DS the nickname the 'Flying Saucer'. The hydropneumatic suspension combined with power steering gave the car its famous handling that allowed the DS to ride on only three wheels.

In fact, the DS19 of General de Gaulle was able to save the President during the attack of the Petit-Clamart, in spite of its punctured tyres.

Citroën Méhari

The first French production vehicle with a body created solely out of thermoformed plastic (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), the Citroën Méhari debuted in 1968.

Citroen B12 Taxi

                                                                   Image: London Classic Car Show

As a result, the car wasn’t susceptible to scrapes, small blows or corrosion and was easy to maintain and entirely spray washable, including the interior!

The 1985 example appearing at the London Classic Car Show was registered in the Netherlands, with its hatchback shape making it a popular model.

Citroën BX

Citroen BX

                                                                       Image: Citroen

In production from 1982-1994, the Citroën BX set a new standard for the brand; it’s one of the best-selling Citroën cars of all time and credited with saving the company from bankruptcy during the ‘80s.

Citroën SM

Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 1970, the SM was the first Citroën to have a five-speed gearbox.

Citroen SM 1972

                                                                      Image: Net Car Show

The model on show was one of 1 500 vehicles that were exported to Italy, which was one of the best export markets for the model.

Citroën CX

Launched in the summer of 1974, it was voted Car of The Year in 1975. Famed for its curved windscreen and a boot without a tailgate, it sold nearly 1.2 million units during its 16 years of production.

Citroen CX

                                                                 Image: London Classic Car Show

On display will be a 1985 eight-seater Citroën CX Familiales in full 'Prestige' specification.

2019 New Citroën C5 Aircross SUV

Moving into the latest era of mobility, Citroën will show its New C5 Aircross SUV, reflecting today’s driving preferences.

Citroen B12 Taxi

                                                                              Image: Citroen

Classically SUV-shaped, it offers strong style choices and a range of personalisation options along with the latest in driver assistance and connectivity technologies to bring the exhibit up-to-date with a true Citroën vehicle in design and character.

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