Monday, March 14, 2011

French cars


Don't go thinking this is one of the latest French car models (!) it's a very old one from the 50's - in excellent condition I must say - that I photographed Saturday at rue de Richelieu. Those of you who remember the TV series Columbo (starring Peter Falk) may even have recognized his car (well, his was a cabrio, but same brand and same model: a Peugeot 403). It seems that French cars don't have a super reputation outside of France unfortunately, that's what a survey carried out by several automobile magazines throughout  Europe (and Brazil and China) showed recently. I think it's unfair! (But I don't have a car, so who am I to judge!)

37 comments:

  1. I walked this street every day when I was last in Paris, but never had the pleasure of seeing this car. I have owned a Renault (15) and a Peugeot (504). They were great cars. One day, I'd like a Citroën (DS, of course). ... BTW, happy sixth anniversary!

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  2. Like Lucio said, I would also love a Citroen DS. And the old Citroen 2CV's - I still see them and smile.

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  3. I love French cars! Especially Renault! Love my Twingo GT!

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  4. Oulala!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Une vielle Peugeot 404, ça vaut bien un p'tit commentaire en Français! ;)

    Awww, I love it!!! Love old cars but have to say that most older French cars (2CV and "traction avant" aside) tend to look a bit ridiculous :D

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  5. Wait, it's a 403!!

    You know, funny story but here in California you have to bring your own car the day of your driver's test, so I brought ... a 404 sedan, manual tranny!! (It wasn't mine, but that's what I was given to go take my test!) Ironic ;)

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  6. what an adorable little car! I love the golden lights against the light grey.

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  7. OK, I'm back. I realize that the 2CV might look ridiculous to some... maybe it's what people call "an acquired a taste." ;)

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  8. Ohhh..j'adore!! I love old cars...love the smell, the leather, the heavy doors..all good! But what is going on with everyone watching old movies or TV shows with cool cars in them ehhh?? "Columbo".."Bullitt"..."Dirty Harry"...is this a new trend I missed?? Okay...speak ET and TF...is there something in the cosmos??...LOL!!!

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  9. My family had a Renault when I was a kid. My dad loved that car.

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  10. Though my family was a Chevy family re: autos (my gramps loved his Impalas...large trunk for fishing gear--yes, quite pragmatic) and Harley Davidsons re: my dad's motorcycles, I went to the dark side and find myself driving a '91 BMW 325ix with only a 100k on the odometer. I get teased a lot by my students who claim it's an "old man" car (too square you see), but I love it with all its dings, scrapes, oil drips, & bruises because it still keeps running and getting me from point A to B. Kind of hard to part with it after all these years, too. Probably a guy thang! Oh, and yes, a 4 piece drum kit will fit in it just barely. ;-) Beep, Beep! Cool photo, Eric. Merci.

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  11. Sorry, still worrying about Japan.

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  12. I just watched what looked like a 50's movie with Alec Guinness driving a beautiful old mint green convertible(I don't know what kind). The film is To Paris With Love. (Netflix - can anyone recognise the car?) Of course the whole film takes place in Paris and I was beside myself for being able to recognise the side steps (nothing more!) of St. Etienne du Mont!! The little buggy in this photo looks very cool too. There's nothing like a good dose of nostalgia in Paris, is there!

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  13. Thanks for this one- my father's first car, a 403, in 1965! Long hours for me in the back seat as a young child while he drove us through the Greek countryside in the summer holidays...

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  14. @ Tonton "Okay...speak ET and TF...is there something in the cosmos??...LOL!!!"

    Yeah, Tonton, there is! The world f'n sucks lately, or haven't you noticed?!!! Japan is melting down, Lybia is at war with their own people, gas is over $4.25 out here, let's see, what else am I missing this week?... Seems like every time you turn around, there is another freaking disaster happening, lately.

    (well, in Eric's case, it was probably just luck he ran into that car ;)

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  15. What I wanna know is why Columbo had one! Odd choice of car, for an American policeman, no?

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  16. Well, Columbo was an odd duck himself, non?!?! Perfect fit for him and his rumpled trenchcoat!

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  17. This is one cute car.

    I drive a French car ;o)

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  18. Well, as much as I like France and everything French, the truth is that the best in the whole world are Japanese cars!
    I am a total fun of Toyo :)

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  19. I mean "fan"not "fun". I am devastated about Japan and the effect it may have on the world economy, hence my mistake...

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  20. French cars in the past had a reputation for being idiosyncratic and over complicated. No further comment required. :)

    Coltrane, nice to see you back (Beemers are the best)

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  21. It's a classic, Eric—thew photo and the car! Years ago, in Spain, my brother and I had a car we called the "magic yellow Citroen"—when you started the engine, the whole chassis moved up and then back down. What was that?

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  22. Eric, we´re always here!

    I may comment from time to time nowadays, but I check PDP everyday. I´ve been having trouble with the log in, so for the past weeks I´ve been commenting "anonnymously". Weel, sort of.

    ;)

    Monica

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  23. Talking about familiar faces, where´s our dear UK Lynn??!

    Jeff, I know what you mean.

    Monica

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  24. What a lovely car. (One of my favorite TV cars: a Citroen driving by Simon Baker on the Mentalist. Don't really care too much about the show, but the car! Ooh, la, la!) I have to admit, I'm a huge fan of the Mini Cooper. But I could probably be persuaded to drive a Peugeot or a Citroen as well...:)

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  25. @ Tonton BTW, I see my comment today and it looks like I was biting your head off or something. My apologies! I'm mad at the world events (sorta) lately, not you.

    So, a little mental time traveling to get away from all this mess isn't a bad thing now and then . (shrug)

    That's all I was trying to say.

    Hope that one was clearer.

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  26. Love the photo Eric. Perfect background for the car. And the color of the car adds to the vintage feel. Creative engineering in these old Peugeots. Columbo's car -the 403 cabrio was quite rare even when new. I believe only a few hundred of the cabrios. Thanks for the photo. Bill in Vermont.

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  27. Forgot to mention RE Alexa's post, the car was likely a Citroen DS (another great French car), which had air suspension that self-leveled when one started the engine. ~Bill of VT

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  28. @TF...pas problème! You know me...I hardly ever watch TV, except for those French movies on TV5 at 00:35hr when I get home from work. I was actually looking for the ION channel last night and of course I couldn't find it! But to answer your question...the world just sucks "lately??"...you are really more positive than I am after all! ;-)

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  29. i would like to live inside your photographs, Eric... a zillion years ago, i lived in UK & owned a Citroen. when i started it in the morning, we had to wait for the hydraulics to warm-up and lift the entire car up! my friend, Franco, would say, "i am ready, you are ready, but the car is still not ready!
    thank you for the memories!

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  30. Nice and good picture, i use to drive a Mercedes when i was going to have a test for my driving.

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  31. Sooo lovely! If you are into vintage cars, you should visit Meilenwerk, if you ever come to Berlin.

    http://berlinsketch.blogspot.com/2010/05/meilenwerk-berlin-showing-off-vintage.html

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  32. I grew up in France in the 50's and 60's (on a farm)we had no car, but i always wanted a 403, my favorite. Thanks for the memories Eric!

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