Journal: These Films Celebrate The Best Of French Cars

These Films Celebrate The Best Of French Cars

By Michael Banovsky
April 1, 2016

Our film this week on the Renault 5 Turbo 2 hot hatchback must have made you wonder, “What other cool cars have come from France?” Though it’s a completely unanswerable question—and would fill a few dozen textbooks–I will still try to pique your interest in some of the designs to come from our tricolore friends. There’s a lot of ground to cover, but enjoy a look at Citroën, the incredible Alpine sports cars, a Bugatti workshop…and a few surprises.

Attaining Nirvana is an earlier film of ours, but presents the iconic Citroën DS in exactly the right light: that of a beautiful, revolutionary machine.

Does posting Climb Dance ever get old? In the context of celebrating amazing French cars, no—this Group B monster had its way with the Pikes Peak hill climb.

Fun fact: the 1979 French Grand Prix was the first time a turbocharged car won in Formula 1, and it was a Renault. You know this race for another reason: the almighty battle between Gilles Villeneuve and René Arnoux that saw Villeneuve’s Ferrari valiantly fight a Renault 1-2.

Back when Citroën was owned by Michelin, the tire manufacturer developed a DS into a very-well-engineered beast that lived at its test track. This car, the PLR, could test transport truck tires to destruction, at high speeds. One thing’s for sure: if I saw it coming in the rearview, I’d drive straight off the road.

Want to see some of the best-performing sports cars to ever come from France? Prepare to fall in love with the incredible cars from Alpine.


In these days of throwaway-replaceable everything, Garage Novo does the impossible: it fixes, it repairs, and it crafts.

French driver, French car, and an (almost) French event—this is the Rallye Monte-Carlo, on-board with Sébastien Loeb.

What’s the best-sounding vintage racing car? My vote goes to the Matra MS50 V12.

Thumbnail image by Jeremy Heslup

Join the Conversation
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Peter J Smith
Peter J Smith
5 years ago

I have only owned one French car, a 1978 Peugeot 504 wagon, with a diesel. It was a boring car, because, it always just WORKED. It was seriously like a little tank. It was slow, not much to look at, handled like a flaming dumpster, but, it was just about the most reliable car I’ve ever owned.

Petrolicious Newsletter