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Retromobile 2015: What the Manufacturers Brought

Jim Yu February 17, 2015 Hooniverse Goes To... 10 Comments

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Hooniverse’s Retromobile coverage continues with what the manufacturers brought to the Parisian car show. A handful of carmakers brought cars for their displays. For the most part, the cars were rare classics from the companies’ heritage collections. Mercedes had a substantial presence, and this beautiful C111 blew me away. Make the jump to see what else Mercedes (and other European manufacturers) brought.

The 1-of-1 1938 Mercedes aluminum-bodied 540K Streamliner was truly ahead of its time. Aerodynamics was the goal. The grill sat flush with the body. The three pointed star ornament was replaced with a star painted onto the hood. The coupe had a lower profile than the standard model and the body and undercarriage were smoothed out to improve airflow.

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Even Skoda, which is not exactly known for its provenance, had a display. This very Japanese-looking 110 R rear engined compact caught my eye.

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Citroen’s grand display was different. Every car it brought (SM, GS, CX, DS, etc.) actually belonged to local club members. Since I’ll be sharing my visit to the factory’s Conservatoire later, I will forego photos of Citroens on display at Retromobile here. In addition to actual cars, Citroen had an incredible gift shop on site, offering dozens of different memorabilia for sale, including diecast models, backpacks, and even umbrellas.

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Peugeot, the second of France’s Big Three, also had a significant presence. Here is a cute picture of a little boy lecturing a Peugeot rep on what the boy’s father’s thoughts are on cars.

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Peugeot 205 rally car.

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Renault had a half dozen R16s scattered all over the convention hall floor. I took a picture of this one because of its Washington plate.

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Here is a Renault Alpine Vision Gran Turismo (as in the video game). It has a 450 horsepower V8 and weighs less than a ton. Mon dieu!

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We’ll end this tour with this big Peugeot 604. It harkens back to the days when French cars were actually quirky and desirable. To quote Japanese Nostalgic Car, “Kidney, anyone?”

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Images source: Copyright 2015 Hooniverse/Jim Yu