Many strange things are associated with France. Some are unique, some deservedly so and some should remain there.

Citroen Visa dash. Citroen went their own way when it came to deciding how a dash and its controls should be. Think that’s odd? Look up the BX and CX.

Snails. Most of us try to exterminate them from the garden. So do the French, by eating them, often with garlic.

Frogs’ legs.


The Citroen M35 and GS Birotor (at the back)

Rotary engine, hydropneumatic suspension, manual gearbox with torque converter and automatic clutch (shared with the NSU Ro80). The Birotor was a production model but only a few hundred were sold. I saw one for sale last year for €7,000.


The Cri-Cri. Smallest manned twin engine plane in the world.

Napoléon Bonaparte

A small excitable chap of foreign extraction with a tendency to megalomania. Would have been unique but then Nicolas Sarkozy arrived.


The Citroen ID. Based on the Goddess, the Idea was a cheapo model with sticky out headlights, manual clutch and gearbox and conventional brakes.


Monsieur le Pétomane. Joseph Pujol was able to do anal inhalation, followed by exhalation. He made quite a living from this singular accomplishment, unlike those others who merely act as if they talk through their lower regions.

The French language has two genders and everything is a boy or a girl.

A car, par example, is a girl. But not if he is a coupé. The Renault Clio, she is a girl. The Captur, he is based on the Clio but nonetheless is a boy.


Violent things, like “war”, “battle”, “rifle” and “machine gun” are girls. “Breast” and “vagina” are as you would expect boys.

The Citroen 6 Ami, unquestionably the ugliest thing in creation. Just to its left is a Talbot Samba convertible.


The Citroen BVH gearbox, used on the DS and nothing else before or since. Centrifugal clutch with hydraulic over ride and a hydraulic gearchange. To start, you put the lever in the neutral position between 1 and 2 and pressed it against a spring. Prevents you from starting in gear. D is for start.