What to do for a 100th birthday? Citroën, Bentley and Zagato have all been pondering the question for 2019. Citroën is first to break cover, starting this weekend at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, UK, where the C3 WRC car will be unveiled in its new centenary livery. Then there’s a big celebration at the Rétromobile show in Paris, February 6-10 with 30 vehicles on show, within a 1200 square metre stand. More on that in a moment because there’s also going to be a ‘Street Burst Day’ in Paris in June, where 100 historic Citroëns will be parked on a cordoned-off street. But the big one will be Le Rassemblement du Siècle on July 19-21, in la Ferté-Vidame, Normandy (roughly halfway between Paris and Le Mans), where an estimated 11,000 collectors, 5000 cars and 50,000 spectators will gather at the legendary test drive site that the 2CV was developed at. More on the website.
So, back to Rétromobile, because we know exactly what will be display there. Expect to see ten production vehicles, including the early Type A 10HP, C3 5HP and Traction Avant, along with the Type H van, a historic 2CV of course, a super-luxurious DS 21 Pallas, the Mini Moke-like Méhari, a CX 25 Prestige, a C6 and a New C5 Aircross SUV. That’s all good but the more exciting ones will be the ten concept cars: C10, GS Camargue, Karin, Activa 1, Xanae, Osmose, C-Métisse, GTbyCitroën, Tubik, CXPERIENCE. And there will be also be ten rally vehicles, including some real gems: the Scarabée d’Or, Rosalie, DS 21 from the 1969 Rally of Morocco, SM from the 1971 Rally of Morocco, 2CV Africa Raid, ZX Rally Raid, Xsara Kit Car, C4 WRC, C-Elysée WTCC and new C3 WRC. There will be a special centenary collector’s catalogue at the show telling the story of these 30 models.
What else? Well, you’ll be able to rent historic Citroëns in Paris throughout the month of April under the exisiting Citroën Rent & Smile new car rental service. There will be films and interviews with Citroën owners across social media, two new concept cars unveiled, the first “demonstrating urban mobility” at the Geneva Motor Show in March and the second in Paris in May, which will “embody Citroën’s take on ultra-comfort”. We’re guessing it’s not a DS21 Pallas… And there’s more, with centenary special editions of new cars of course, more content on the Citroën Virtual Museum website, children’s toys (we’re not joking) including a Citroën Monopoly game, a new book, “100 Years of Citroën Advertising” by Jacques Séguéla and a free exhibition of 100 Citroën photographs at la Monnaie de Paris (the Paris Mint, in the sixth district) in July and August 2019. And that’s it, more or less. See you in Paris? Or, better still, the Ferté-Vidame test ground in July.