April 2, 2010 was a wet dismal day but it didn't dampen our spirits
To me as a cyclist it is quite amazing to see the roughness of the cobbled street surface and the incline leading up to the Arc de Triumph. Watching on television, you don't get the whole impact of what these cyclists endure after around 3000 kms of cycling around France.
It wasn't the only reason to walk the length of the Champs - the main showrooms of the great French automobile marques are there. Citroen, Peugeot and Renault. Being both Citroen and Peugeot owners, we (read as I) took a bee-line to these showrooms.
|A bike, a road sign - It tells it all, PARIS.|
|Leaning on the lamp post - it reminds me of a 60's song. Who sang it?|
|My arty farty foto in black and white|
|A close up of the sculptures on the Arc|
|It was wet and windy but it didn't dampen our spirits.|
The company began business in 1810 producing coffee mills and then bicycles.
Peugeot introduced their bicycle range to Australia during the 70s after their successes in the Tour de France. I believe they did the same in the USA and so Peugeot bicycles became a household name for a decade before becoming lost in time.
We even have a Peugeot pepper grinder in our kitchen.
|Peugeot won the Indianapolis in this racing car in the early 1900s|
|Peugeot's mascot - the lion is soooo cute, isn't it?|
|Bikes and cars from the early Peugeot days in their showroom.|
|And cars of the future|
|Plus bikes of the future|
|Time for lunch and how appropriate on my birthday trip to France.|
|Did you know that Renault started production in 1899 - one of my first cars was a Renault Dauphine and then the versatile R16.|
I left my favorite to last - Citroen is my automotive passion, I've owned one before I had a licence to drive. The Light 15. big 6, the DS and the Xantia have sat in the driveway at various times. Andre Citroen was an innovative marketer from the beginning and it was to prove his downfall. Paris commemorate his legacy with a parkland in his name.
The man, Citroen was a master of marketing - the company started in 1919 and became the most innovated car manufacturer of all time. The first to mass produce a monocoque steel body, that is no separate chassis took Citroen to being the fourth largest automotive manufacturer in the world. Andre studied the production processes of Henry Ford to achieve these targets.
The company was also the first to produce the monocoque body with a front drive engine, radial tyres and all of this sent Andre into bankruptcy before Michelin saved the company financially.
Poor old Andre never lived to see the success of his brainchild, the Traction Avant become successful over the next twenty plus years.
|Looking out of the Citroen Showroom windows, it was still raining around peak hour traffic time and the rain wasn't helping things. All we needed to do was hop back on the Metro to our apartment to another wonderful home cooked meal by Sue.|