The weird and the wonderful of Citroen’s hidden treasure trove

Conservatoire Citroen might just be the world’s most intriguing manufacturer car collection

154843 Jpg
Gallery31

Click through the gallery above to read about Citroen's weird and wonderful treasure trove

AS RECENTLY as 2003, PSA’s Aulnay-sous-Bois factory north-east of Paris churned out over 447,000 cars per year.

Some 5000 employees were employed there at its peak, and production of Citroen CX, AX, Saxo and C3 models each topped over a million units. It was France’s industrial juggernaut, but since its closure in 2013 it’s now just brownfield real estate opportunities, windswept car parks and, tucked away inconspicuously on one corner of the complex, the home of the Conservatoire Citroen.

From the outside, you’d probably never take note of this inauspicious low-rise, but housed cheek-by-jowl within its confines is a priceless collection of the most fantastically eclectic cars created by any manufacturer. It’s at the same time, joyous, disorienting and slightly sobering. Above all else, it’s a reminder that Citroen has long been a pioneer rather than a follower and that alone is cause for celebration.

This isn’t a museum per se. There are no interactive displays or cars on spotlit pedestals. You’ll search in vain for any kind of virtual reality experience or audio guide to the wares within. The best you can hope for is a walkaround with the collection’s curator, the laconic Denis Huille. It took Peter Robinson fifty years to finally wangle an invite to this hidden gem, as featured in Wheels magazine’s August 2015 issue. You get to see the goods right now in this gallery tour of the best of the Conservatoire Citroen.

Click through the gallery above to read about Citroen's weird and wonderful treasure trove

 

How are you finding our new site design? Tell us in the comments below or send us your thoughts at feedback@whichcar.com.au.

 

Subscribe to Wheels magazine

Subscribe to Wheels Magazine and save up to 44%
Get your monthly fix of news, reviews and stories on the greatest cars and minds in the automotive world.

Subscribe

 

We recommend

NEWS

2021 Musso
News

Updated Ssangyong Musso pricing and features

SsangYong's budget ute gets an overhaul

3 hours ago
Jordan Mulach
Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.