I have An Idea, Pierre…


I have an idea, Pierre, pass the bottle. We will work through lunch. After all, here at the Citroën works we have a 4-hour lunch and one does get thirsty? Have we any more brandy?


See, my idea is that we make a combination of the most sensible luggage carrying space in the world with the most impractical and quirky motor vehicle and promote it as a national statement of elegance. No, stop laughing, Pierre – you are attracting unwanted attention….


You observe that we take the shape of a simple box with a rounded top, make it of sturdy steel that has been fluted for longitudinal strength, and put some practical windows on the sides and rear. The rear door should be split, capable of opening fully on a simple set of hinges, and have a railing to assist with putting packages in. The interior of the box should be square and have a practical floor. Thus we make all merchants, farmers, and delivery couriers into happy people – surely a blessed and rewarding act. Pass the brandy. We should eat something before this starts to take effect…


Too late.. toooo late…hahahahahaha…Oh kiss me, my little Pierre, for now we shall design the front of this glorious vehicle. We shall take our professional pencils and make curves everywhere, and mate them with straight lines where no-one expects them to be! We shall specify visible spot welding to assure people of our proletarian roots and we shall not be bothered by bourgeois concepts like having the panels fit closely. We are French – We are free – we want to see the roadway through the door gaps.

Whiteman 2015 164

An engine? You want an engine, my little Pierre? Pass the brandy. We shall have an engine. Here is one I have prepared earlier on another vehicle. It has everything that suggests engines to those who know how to look. There is an air cleaner and inside it is air. There is a crank case and inside it is oil. There is an exhaust pipe and inside it is the best of French engineering design. No-one will need more. Do not try to trace out the electrical system, my little Pierre – it will not do you good after all that brandy.



Will there be seats? Zut Alors! While there is plastic mesh and exposed springs and bent tubular steel, there will be seats! And French bottoms will be on those seats, and grateful for them. Think of that, my little Pierre…French bottoms…flexing up and down in the springs and tubes. Ahh…the brandy is working.


Now for the colour. Something dignified. Subdued, yet suggesting the traditions of French art. I know, my little Pierre, I have it…pass me that orange. And the brandy.


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