Presidential cars: French luxury for political authorities


We take a look at the list of cars that made history in the 5th Republic of France

Object of representation, communication, protection… the vehicle of the President of the French Republic is much more than a car. For more than half a century, Peugeot has been one of the main suppliers of the Elysée with the PEUGEOT 604 by Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and up to the PEUGEOT 5008 by Emmanuel Macron. For this reason, we make a brief review of the cars that made history in the 5th Republic.

First of all, we have the most recent story, which is really just getting started. President-elect Emmanuel Macron arrived in a Peugeot 5008 at the ceremony on July 14, 2017. Macron used that vehicle throughout the 5 years of his first term in office, making it arguably the most filmed and photographed car of the past five years. But despite that, it is an unknown vehicle. For obvious security reasons, the presidency of the republic hides its features.

All we know about this PEUGEOT 5008 is that, like all PEUGEOT 5008s, it was manufactured at the Rennes factory and then entrusted to Centigon, a specialized Breton company, which armored the vehicle. The only information communicated concerns the arrangement of the rear seats (two seats instead of 3 with a specific center console), the installation of emergency headlights on the grille and the addition of the emblem of the Presidency of the Republic on the body. Everything else is top secret.

The “prehistory” of Peugeot and of the French Republic begins in the 1920s. Elected President of the Republic -the third- on September 23, 1920, Alexandre Millerand traveled in a Peugeot Type 156 from 1921. The first car produced in Sochaux, The Type The 156 was the top model of the brand at the time with an impressive 5,954 cc 6-cylinder in-line engine that developed… 25 hp.

More than half a century later, the French chose a lover of motoring and Peugeot cars. Valéry Giscard d’Estaing took Peugeot to the Elysée in 1975, the year in which the brand’s new flagship, the PEUGEOT 604, was launched. be black to take on a “moss green” color.

The Elysee ordered four copies of the Peugeot 604 over the seven-year period. Three of these were standard units in the top-of-the-line SL version, equipped with the 136 hp 2.6-liter V6 engine that the president personally has several times. controlled. The fourth unit was a PEUGEOT 604 Presidential Limousine reserved for ceremonies and parades. Built in collaboration with coachbuilder Heuliez, a 62 cm longer wheelbase that increases the space in the rear seat had a luxurious finish. It also had a black vinyl covered roof.

The Elysee never approved the project for the PEUGEOT 604 “landaulet” (convertible rear seat) proposed by coachbuilder Chapron. The only unit built in 1979 was delivered to the President of Niger.

In 1991, the Elysee bought a PEUGEOT 605 which was lengthened and armored by the Breton company Labbé (later to become Centigon, the company that produced the presidential PEUGEOT 5008). This model, equipped with the 170 hp V6 engine, was equipped with high-strength steel armor and windows made of bullet-resistant glass and polycarbonate composite. The result on the scale: 2,500 kg, which is 1,000 kg more than the standard 605 V6. This limousine mainly served heads of state visiting France, such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Hosni Moubarak or Pope John Paul II.

During the 12 years he spent on the Elysée, Jacques Chirac regularly used the Peugeot 607s that were added to the fleet of the presidency of the republic. But the Peugeot that undoubtedly left the greatest impression on the French of the time was the red PEUGEOT 205 SR from 1984 that the president’s wife drove on the roads of Corrèze…

The PEUGEOT 607 Paladine was without a doubt the most spectacular and the shortest of the 5th Republic’s presidential cars. In 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy’s team was looking for a car that would embody innovation and modernity during the parade on the Champs-Élysées that the new president would stage on the day of his inauguration. Then someone remembered the Peugeot 607 Paladine concept car presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 2000. This spectacular 607, made for Peugeot by coachbuilder Heuliez, is a limousine over 5 meters long transformed into a landaulet with a retractable roof. of steel and glass that discovers the back seat. . The cabin was lavishly treated by specialist Hermès with beautiful blue and cream leather, a bar, two fantastic electrically adjustable passenger seats and a rear-facing passenger bench seat.

At the request of Nicolas Sarkozy’s team, the PEUGEOT 607 Paladine briefly left the Peugeot Museum and, on May 16, 2007, the whole of France and the whole world had the opportunity to discover on the Champs-Elysées a car that it kept, despite numerous modifications made, the elegance of the standard PEUGEOT 607.

The installation of the sunroof mechanism severely limited the capacity of the fuel tank, which was limited to only 6 liters. What was not a problem for a concept, became an insurmountable inconvenience for regular use of the vehicle, taking into account the consumption of its V6 engine, and therefore the PEUGEOT 607 Paladine would no longer be used after the end of the parade.

Source: La Verdad


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