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In June 1969, to mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of Citroën's first car, Relations Publiques published a book called Généalogie containing drawings of numerous cars.  The series was subsequently continued on the back pages of Le Double Chevron.


The Motor Car (genus Automobilus) is a terrestrial animal, as yet not thoroughly researched, whose proliferation on the surface of the globe is relatively recent. This accounts for the fact that Linnaeus, Lamarck, Cuvier and Darwin himself make no apparent mention of it in their writings. It also explains the controversy which has arisen as to its proper place in a systematic classification. Most authors describe it, albeit somewhat hesitantly, as a superior Crustacean, sub-class Eurcaridae, order Diocapoda (two pairs of appendages used for locomotion).

This arthropod’s unusual body, made up of three longitudinal sections, is  trilobitomorphous. The cephalothorax, at the forward extremity, contains those parts essential to life.

The pereion or «cabin», in the centre, comprises a large marsupial pouch, whose function is of the strangest: in the adult subject, it houses superior mammals of the species Homo sapiens, with which the Motor Car lives in total symbiosis when moving from one point to another. At the rear extremity, the pleon (or «boot») holds food reserves.

The body as a whole, except for the central part of the abdomen, is encased in a very rigid chitinous tegument: the protective exoskeleton known to structural zoologists as the «coachwork». This assumes varying forms and colours according to subspecies and to seasons.

The Motor Car is air-breathing and feeds on hydrocarbons, whence the name of «carburation» given to the function which, in a pericardial sinus, combines air and nutriment to provide the energy required to sustain the animal’s life.

Any exertion on the part of the animal results in the production of combustion residues which are excreted through a coelomic conduit with the highly descriptive name of «exhaust pipe». When danger threatens, the animal will, through this same canal, excrete deleterious and sometimes noisome substances to repel the adversary.

The nervous system comprises. a network of fibres and relays, through which electric currents flow. These form a conduction plexus, which can be sympathetic or antipathic according to the quality of its operation.

In contemporary species, locomotion is achieved by means of the anterior pair of appendages. There are however reports of fossil species in which the posterior appendages were the source of locomotion.

The Motor Car’s strong point is its capacity for travel. Certain subjects can achieve speeds greatly in excess of that of a Cheetah running full tilt. Top recorded performances are those of the wild branch of the genus. These great roaring monsters are however tending towards extinction, constantly pursued as they are by their two hereditary foes, Gendarmus gerondonissus (a blue-hued biped which expresses its feelings in high-pitched trills) and Ecologistus vulgaris (a grass-green biped in a state of quasi-constant agitation). The first detect them with radar, then corral them, while the second overturn them and destroy them with fire.

This is why practically the only surviving members of the genus are the domestic species, behaviourally calm and obedient.

Even these, however, invincibly impelled by the ancestral urge as soon as summer days are here, set out on mass migrations to the South, whence they only return in autumn. Lengthy and painstaking research has in vain attempted to analyse this inexplicable phenomenon, which drives the Motor Cars’s seasonal mass movements in a direction diametrically opposed to that of all other known migrations in the animal kingdom.

This however is not the only persistent mystery enshrouding these extraordinary beings. Their sex life, for instance, has not yet been satisfactorily elucidated. After much hesitant theorizing, it is now generally assumed that they are hermaphroditic, like the gastropod Helix pomatia (edible snail of Burgundy). This however remains unconfirmed. The animal’s extreme shyness has up to the present protected its intimate behaviour from the prying eyes of biologists. Of course, here and there in country areas, one Motor Car has occasionally been seen to attempt to mount another - sometimes with considerable obstinacy - but no tangible results have ever been observed.

Those most familar with - and best able to control – the reproduction of Automobilus domesticus are the specialized breeders. Some of them, by use of their creative intuition and application of Mendelian laws, have succeeded in developing complete dynasties of true champions.

One of these breeders of genius, Citroën, was able to improve the entire tribe by means _of provoked, controlled mutations. It is thus not without interest that the genealogy of his exemplary production - the subject of the following pages - should be described with reference to the chief landmarks along its evolutionary pathway.

These past successes, highlights in the history of genetics, justify the most ambitious hopes for the future achievements of one of the most famous Motor Car breeders of all time.

Regnis Neglow, MSc, PhD.
Professor at the Institute of Structural Neozoology,
Fellow of the Society of Mechanical Ethology.

Thanks to Dennis Farez for the additional scans
© 1979 SA Automobiles Citroën/2014 Citroënët