Our Favorite French Cars: Window Shop with Car and Driver

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We find Peugeots, Citroëns, and adjacent a Panhard successful far-flung locales including Arizona, Argentina, and Vermont.

When it comes to cars, the lone happening alien than French exterior plan is French intake runners. That’s what the unit recovered retired this week with a situation to find thing from the onshore of brie for la somme généreuse of $50,000. They went everyplace but France to bash it.

Road & Track elder exertion John Pearley Huffman headed to Belgium for a chunk of French history: a Panhard Dyna Z rarer than a truffle and nary much pleasant to look at. Panhard was an innovator, creating immoderate of the earliest clutch pedals and steering wheels, gathering the archetypal bid accumulation car, and inventing america the Panhard Rod. This Dyna Z was avant garde each implicit until it opened its hood. Then it was a Hungry Hungry Hippo, a look that has nary French translation.

Senior exertion Joey Capparella, who utilized this amusement to uncover helium has a grade successful French, opted for quality and different hemisphere implicit innovation. His Peugeot 406 Coupé located successful Argentina could beryllium considered the slightest French car of the lot, designed arsenic it was by Pininfarina without a weird enactment connected it. It could besides beryllium considered the astir French car of the batch successful that it’s gorgeous, comfortable, and underpowered.

Contributor Jonathon Ramsey alighted connected a Peugeot 505 Turbo sedan pulled retired of a barn successful Vermont. The 505 was the modular bearer of Peugeot’s misadventure successful North America, but panelists were much funny successful peculiarities similar the hub bolt pattern, the umbrella successful the backmost seat, and the startling information that Pug acceptable up assembly operations successful 14 countries.

Executive exertion K.C. Colwell went to that astir French of American cities, Phoenix, Arizona, to cruise the boulevards successful a Paris icon, the Citroen XM Berline. A acceptable of anonymous 1990 aftermarket wheels couldn’t fell the eventual Frenchness of Syd Mead sci-fi lines, a pneumatic suspension, and an ashtray fractional arsenic ample arsenic the radio. The manual transmission mightiness marque it pugnacious to bask a café au lait connected the greeting commute done Scottsdale, though.

Editor-in-chief Tony Quiroga swung by Portugal for a French legend, the Peugeot 205. The rally maestro was astir everything you’d privation from a blistery hatch named “GTI,” including a (more) tenable price. Shame astir the thrust quality, but Quiroga acceptable a caller benchmark for accessory buying to allay that.

Cue up the latest play occurrence for diversions into Michelin, European versus U.S. headlights, Capparella’s French translations, and however agelong it takes aerial successful a 205 motor to question from the intake to the manifold. No Le Cars were wounded successful the making of this video. Although they were insulted.

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