Journal: French Car Brochures Are Really Examples For How To Live Well

French Car Brochures Are Really Examples For How To Live Well

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
June 29, 2016

I spend a lot of time looking at French car brochures, given my natural interest in Citroëns, Voisins, Alpines, Renaults, and the like, and it recently hit me that the promotional materials made during the ‘’60s and ’70s have to be some of the most attractive ever made. They’re also—in most cases—perfect examples of how to live the good life.

Take the Renault Floride (Caravelle in some markets), for example. Playing catch-up against the Volkswagen Beetle-based Karmann Ghia Coupé and convertible, the Floride took Dauphine mechanicals and added swoopy Ghia styling to create an attractive personal sporting car. Not Porsche 356 levels of “sporting,” mind you, but certainly a fun car for the time.

In any case, time has been kind to many classic French manufacturer-produced brochures. With documentary-style photo shoots, no computer retouching, and interesting scenery, I find that even the strangest-looking French car often looks as attractive as a centrefold once you take a look at the brochure.

Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Porsche, and others were masters at marketing speed and performance, but don’t  you find these Tricolore-flavored brochures to be beautifully compelling?

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Jim Levittgeelongvic Recent comment authors
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Jim Levitt
Jim Levitt

That White/Red vinyl Caravelle (Floride, whatever) was my first car.
A hand me down from my sister. Great looking but God awful slow, all of 36-38 hp with a 3 speed manual to boot! I think a 4 speed was an option, this was a 1959 or 60. I got it in 1961.


Michael, good to have you back from your seeming absence, again your usual delightful Petrolicious contribution.