French car maker Citroën celebrates its first century this year, marking a rich history since it was founded by André-Gustave Citroën in 1919.
Citroën's cars quickly gained popularity and it established the company's reputation for innovative technology by mass producing front wheel drives. Citroën also made the DS, the first mass produced cars with modern brakes.
Linda Jackson, Citroën's Chief Executive Officer, explained why a wide variety of Citroën models past and present, spanning classics to vintage cars, had gathered in central Paris.
"Why the 15th arrondissement? Because this is where we were born. In fact there was a factory for Citroën where we produced the first vehicles, The Type A for example was produced here back in 1919 and the 1920s. So we're going back to the very very heart, the very very start of Citroën and that's why we've chosen to do this special event here," she said.
The open exhibition presents a wide variety of vintage cars and classics, including racing models that made history in speed racing but also a car that was not made to go quickly, the Citroën 2DV, which is commonly as the "deux chevaux" and began in 1930 before going into mass production in 1948 with a basic aim of transporting four people and... potatoes weighting up to 50 kilos, travelling at a speed that would not surpass 50km/h.
Conceived by Citroën Vice-President Pierre Boulanger to help motorise the large number of farmers still using horses and carts in 1930s France, the soft-suspension 2CV had a combination of innovative engineering and utilitarian, straightforward metal bodywork, as well as being cheap to maintain and low fuel consumption.
In 1934, the company boosted its reputation by using the then innovative technology of front-wheel drive and in the mid 1950s presented the thrilling Citroën DS executive model known for its aerodynamic, futuristic design and innovative technology.
The Citroën exhibition also includes modern cars equipped with state of the art technology, such as electric vehicles and those with artificial intelligence.