Start your engines to tour France’s motoring heritage

The Connexion sets out in search of car-lovers’ paradise – and finds there’s more than one

The Gallic love affair with cars is passionate, intense and ongoing. From the beginning, the French have been petrolheads, and if today they are starting to embrace electric cars, it is only because nothing will come between them and their cars.

Races like the Monaco Grand Prix, the Le Mans 24 Hours, and the Pau Grand Prix draw huge crowds, as do events featuring vintage cars, like the Circuit des Remparts in Angoulême. 

It is no accident, either, that France boasts three internally renowned automobile manufacturers and has produced some iconic cars.

Everyone recognises the Citroën 2CV, Renault 5 (and 4 for that matter), the Peugeot 205 – and what World War Two movie would be complete without a black Citroën Traction Avant nosing through the mist?

Let us not forget that the Citroën DS is one of the sexiest cars ever built. Sorry, all you E-type lovers, but the DS just oozes red wine, Gitanes and seduction. What else do you expect from a car baptised ‘Goddess’? Yes, the French pronunciation of ‘DS’ sounds like the word ‘Déesse’...

It follows, therefore, that France has some of the best automobile museums in the world, and exploring them is a ...

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