Presidential simca The unloved
VSChosen by René Coty, whom it had caught the eye of at the 1957 Motor Show, the Simca Présidence finally fell to a less enthusiastic Charles de Gaulle, who nevertheless took delivery in 1960 of a convertible version extended by 18 cm compared to the sedan. This very special model is also equipped with a partition behind the driver incorporating an electric window, and a support bar to stand up during parades. Assembled in Poissy, this presidential Simca is powered by a modest 2.4-liter V8 of 84 hp, sufficient, however, to go up the Champs-Élysées at a senator’s pace.
Citroen SM Chapron The favorite
Commissioned from Citroën in 1971 by President Pompidou with a view to a visit by Queen Elizabeth II, the presidential SM Cabriolet built by coachbuilder Chapron in Levallois-Perret is monumental at 5.60 m in length. It is equipped with a seat placed rearward facing in the center of its cabin to install a possible interpreter. Much appreciated by presidents, it was used until 1995, successively by Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac. Powered by a 178 hp V6 Maserati, it is fitted with a special gearbox with a shortened first gear to drive smoothly at 8 km/h.
Peugeot 607 Paladin The most spectacular
If the car used by Nicolas Sarkozy on May 16, 2007 to greet the crowd seems straight out of a designer’s studio, it is because it is indeed the rolling version of a concept car presented by Peugeot at the Geneva Motor Show 2000. Manufactured by Heuliez and baptized Paladine, this 607 stretched out to more than 5 meters is a unique example. Its body is what is called a landaulet, of which only the rear part can be discovered, here by means of a complex retractable rigid roof. Equipped with a minibar and Hermès upholstery, it is powered by a 210 hp 3-litre V6.
DS7 Crossback The bet
While François Hollande’s DS5 had to be transformed in an emergency, the French luxury brand took the risk of anticipating the next election. The design of the 2017 presidential DS7 Crossback began three years before Emmanuel Macron came to power, who ultimately chose it. Manufactured in Mulhouse, its panoramic roof has been replaced by a custom-made opening system, with grab handles to facilitate balance when standing up to greet the crowd. The initial diesel engine model was replaced in 2021 by a plug-in hybrid version extended by 20 cm.
AFP POOL/AFP – Hervé GLOAGUEN/GAMMA-RAPHO – ETIENNE LAURENT/AFP – DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP