Note: I was recently asked to scribble 200 words about ‘the greatest classic car ever’. This is what I came up with.
The Greatest Classic Car
The greatest classic car of all time didn’t just push the envelope, it charged at with a battering ram. Styled by an automotive designer with a passion for sculpture, its low-drag, avant-garde shape was the perfect fusion of modern art and physics.
And if it looked striking then the technology it packed was even more impressive. It was the first mass-produced car to feature front disc brakes, and its self-levelling suspension handled the rutted roads of contemporary Europe (and 21st century Britain) with aplomb. It had power-assisted steering and brakes, clutchless manual transmission, unstressed, easily removable outer body panels, a lightweight fibreglass roof to help keep the centre of gravity low and an interior that made extensive and innovative use of synthetic materials.
That’s an impressive specification even today, but in 1955 it didn’t just change the game, it rewrote the rulebook. Six decades on, its impact has yet to be matched, let alone bettered.
But the significance of this car wasn’t limited to the motor industry. In a France ravaged by two world wars, it became a national symbol of technological and economic recovery. It even saved a President’s life.
The greatest classic car? It can only be the Citro