When you think about cars, it is likely that the first country that comes to mind is Germany. But France is also one of the key points in the automotive world. Not in vain will motor lovers find in this charming country an excellent destination to delve into some of the most emblematic French car brands. Would you like to take a tour to get to know classic French cars? Get on our Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation high-speed trains and we will take you to the main attractions of France.
The French automobile classics
Among the French car manufacturers, there are three that stand out: Citroën, Peugeot and Renault. From their origins to the present day, these brands have become known throughout the world.
Peugeot 203 manufactured from 1948 to 1960
Peugeot is considered a pioneer in the French automobile industry. Its origins seem to date back to the beginning of the 19th century. In 1889, the brand presented the first Peugeot car at the Universal Exhibition in Paris. It was a steam tricycle. However, the manufacturer's first car itself was the Peugeot 203. Another classic was the Peugeot 404, a model with angular lines and equipped with a larger glazed surface. The Peugeot 403, for its part, followed the elegance that characterized American cars.
Renault Caravelle, one of the iconic cars of France
In 2018, Renault celebrated 120 years of history. Today, it represents one of the three essential pillars of the French automotive industry, along with, of course, Peugeot and Citroën. The company was created on the initiative of the Renault brothers Louis, Marcel and Fernand. Some of the classic models are Caravelle, Celtaquatre, Juvaquatre and, of course, the emblematic R-5.
The third pillar of the French automotive industry is Citroën. It was founded in 1919 by André Citroën. In the same year, the Citroën type A was launched, a 4-cylinder car with a top speed of 65 km/h. For the manufacturer, this model brought sales of 10,000 units in its first year. From then on, the brand would launch the B2, a more powerful and improved version of the first; the 5HP, much more compact than its predecessors; or the B10, the first vehicle made entirely of steel. In addition to these, other classic Citroën models include the legendary 2CV, Méhari, Traction Avant…
Automobile museums in France
If you are on a trip in Paris, you could get to know the Citroën and Renault museums. The Conservatoire Citroën is an area of 6,500 m2 that houses around half a thousand historic vehicles. It is located in Aulnay, a stone's throw from the French capital.
In the Boulogne-Billancourt district of Paris you can find the Renault Museum, considered a temple for motor enthusiasts. There, you can get to know the history of the brand while contemplating some of its most iconic models.
Finally, if you want to visit the Peugeot Museum, you have to travel to the town of Sochaux in Franche-Comté, very close to the Swiss border.
Our Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation trains connect several Spanish cities with the main destinations in France. Hop on, you’re going on a journey!