back on all the cars made in France back then!

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By searching curiously in old magazines from the 1950s, we found some gold nuggets in the car market of that time, and we thought it would be good to share them with you.

We thus encountered an intriguing review of the car show in 1954, where the Citroën 2CV was still the queen of popular cars in France, and where Peugeot produced only one model, the 203.

It was a time when President René Coty proudly displayed a cigarette in his hand in a ceremonial costume at the Elysée Palace, and where driver Jean Behra spent his final year in Gordini before coming to Maserati. .

Some brands, forgotten by ordinary mortals, but which today delight collectors like Talbot, Salmson or Simca, were still in operation and offered some great looking models.

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Illustration photo - Renault 4Start slideshow
1954 Auto Show | Pictures of cars available in France
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Illustration photo – Citroën 2CVCredit Photo – RM Sotheby’s

In 1954, Renault had the mythical 4CV in its catalog available in five variants, from the basic commercial to the much more sophisticated “Grand luxe convertible” version. The prairie and frigate models could also be ordered.

At the time, the Sochaux manufacturer Peugeot had only one model in the catalog; 203. A vehicle that the following year was to be accompanied by the all-new 403. All those who are nostalgic for Nationale 7 remember this great family sedan, of which more than 1.2 million were produced. Peugeot’s one-model policy at the time was an unfortunate legacy of World War II, which allowed the manufacturer to stay afloat financially. This was followed by a new rise in power for the Lion brand during the period of the Glorious Thirties.

Finally, the manufacturer with chevrons, Citroën, 2CV, 11CV and 15CV, offered a series already well developed before the arrival of the revolutionary DS the following year.

Other small producers producing in France also had their place at the time: Lucien Rosengart’s eponymous brand, founded in 1928, offered a single coupe for sale. In 1954, this little manufacturer began its final year of in-car production before disappearing.

The very entertaining Rovin D4 was also on the Auto Show in the mid-1950s, the company in 1958.

The richest French could turn to French luxury productions (Delahaye, Salmson, Talbot) or a few Americans made in France, such as the prestigious Hotchkiss (Monceau and Agay).

Ford had a good selection of models, with a whole range spread across the old continent: Vedette, Vendôme, Comette and Monte-Carlo.

Below you will find the list of vehicles for sale in France in 1954 and their corresponding price (in old francs). As a reference point, consider that the guaranteed minimum wage (or SMIG, ancestor of SMIC) at that time was about 20,000 old francs a month.

French-made French passenger cars

  • Citroën 2CV: 341,870 francs
  • Citroën 2CV AZ 425 cm3: 366,000 francs
  • Citroën 2CV AZU 425 cm3: 361,500 francs
  • Citroën 11 BL: 629. 230 francs
  • Citroën 11 B: 664,330 francs
  • Citroën 11 family: 729,330 francs
  • Citroën 15-Six H: 940,000 francs
  • Citroën 15 family: 934,920 francs
  • Delahaye 235 Chapron: 2,750,000 francs
  • Panhard Dyna 54 special luxury: 785,000 francs
  • Panhard Dyna 54 special luxury + radio, white tires: 833,000 francs
  • Panhard junior roadster: 595,000 francs
  • Panhard junior convertible: 660,000 francs
  • Peugeot 203 Business Sedan: 570,000 francs
  • Peugeot 203 luxury sedan: 625,000 francs
  • Peugeot 203 Family 6-seater: 740,000 francs
  • Peugeot 203 2-seater convertible: 790,000 francs
  • Peugeot 203 commercial limousine: 710,000 francs
  • Renault 4 CV commercial: 399,000 francs
  • Renault 4 CV business: 399,000 francs
  • Renault 4 CV sport: 479,000 francs
  • Renault 4 CV sports sunroof: 499,000 francs
  • Renault 4 CV grand luxury convertible: 562,000 francs
  • Renault 2100 break: 558,000 francs
  • Renault Prairie service: 769,000 francs
  • Renault Prairie luxury: 835,000 francs
  • Renault Frégate business: 747,000 francs
  • Renault Frégate business soltag: 768,000 francs
  • Renault Fregat Admiral: 858,000 francs
  • Renault Fregate Admiral sun roof: 879,000 francs
  • Rosengart Sagaie FT1 coupe: 698,000 francs
  • Rovin D4 3CV: 361,592 francs
  • Salmson 2300 sports coach: 1,975,000 francs
  • Daily Simca: 585,000 francs
  • Simca Aronde luxury sedan: 639,000 francs
  • Simca Grand Large: 720,000 francs
  • Simca Châtelaine break: 698,000 francs
  • Commercial Simca: 679,000 francs
  • Simca Coupe de Ville: 998,000 francs
  • Simca Coupe Sport: 1,675,000 francs
  • Talbot Lago record: 2,390,000 francs
  • Talbot Lago-Sport: 2,775,000 francs
  • Talbot Lago-Grand Sport: 2,775,000 francs

Passenger cars of foreign origin manufactured in France

  • Ford-SAF Vedette Trianon: 798,000 francs
  • Ford-SAF Vedette Versailles: 898,000 francs
  • Ford-SAF Vedette Régence: 1,045,000 francs
  • Vistadome option (sunroof) for Ford Vedette: 45,000 francs
  • Ford-SAF Vendôme sedan: 1,148,000 francs
  • Ford-SAF Coupé coupé: 1,620,000 francs
  • Ford-SAF Comète coupé 4-speed electromechanical gearbox. : 1,725,000 francs
  • Ford-SAF Monte-Carlo coupe: 1,730,000 francs
  • Ford-SAF Monte-Carlo with Pont-à-Mousson 4-speed gearbox. : 1,790,000 francs
  • Hotchkiss Monceau: 2,900,000 francs
  • Hotchkiss Agay: 2,975,000 francs

Prices are in old francs including VAT, ex works, excluding local tax.

Shortly said

In 1954, almost ten years after the end of the Second Great War in Europe, car manufacturers gradually revived their industry and already offered many models to suit all budgets. Citroën imposes its 2CV as a reference on the popular vehicle market, with an appeal price that defies all competition and is about to launch its biggest revolution: the DS (Salon 1955). Peugeot continues its single-model policy, which was adopted after the war with the 203 available in all its variants, a year before the presentation of the much more modern 403 sedan. Renault is betting on diversity with 4CV, Prairie and Frégate, while the many other manufacturers are still in the game (Panhard, Salmson, Delahaye, Talbot, etc.).

Paul Niocel

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