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Le Conservatoire du patrimoine de CitroŽn

The following is a Press Release issued by CitroŽn's Direction de la Communication, Service Presse in November 2001 - Page Two

In order to showcase this rich and eventful history as well as promoting the image of the Brand by drawing upon its heritage, CitroŽn has decided to set up an association that will be based at 12, rue Fructidor, Paris 17.
The main role of this association will be to coordinate Le Conservatoire.

Interior view Interior view

Le Conservatoire currently houses more than 300 vehicles, 1,400 linear metres of archives, and a host of parts and objects relating to the history of CitroŽn.
New objects arrive at Le Conservatoire on a continuous basis. They include a steady flow of donations. Initiatives of this type have gathered momentum in recent times and Le Conservatoire has put in place stringent and attentive monitoring procedures.
The activity of Le Conservatoire is fundamentally different to that of a museum since it will not be open to the public. However, it will be able to lend vehicles where necessary, and should thus be able provide an effective response to the needs of CitroŽn's partners. In this way, vehicles from Le Conservatoire could be displayed as part of events organised in France, Europe and the rest of the world.

Interior view Interior view


  • The vehicles housed in Le Conservatoire are, for the most part, definitive versions of the range models produced between 1 919 and the present day. The Type A, 2CV, Traction Avant, DS, SM and many other models are present in a wide variety of versions. For example, Le Conservatoire has examples of the very first CitroŽn SHP models, in the C2 or C3 versions of the time.

  • The second section is devoted to styling studies, models, concept cars and prototypes. The models, which were designed for wind tunnel tests, cover the period between the two world wars. All areas of CitroŽn research are represented. The concept cars and prototypes - all of them unique objects offer a striking resume of the Brand's creative history.

  • Last, Le Conservatoire houses the vehicles designed for racing, for major expeditions, for long-distance rallies and for all the other operations that have played a role in building the legend of Citroen. The vehicles on show in this area of Le Conservatoire include the half-tracks used in the first crossing of the Sahara and in the CroisiŤre-Jaune, and the ZX Rallye Raids, which won several world championship titles and came first in the Paris-Dakar five times.

  • New articles are added to Le Conservatoire's collect,ion on a continuous basis. Some are gifts from CitroŽn enthusiasts, others reflect efforts to bring together exceptional items, such as the design drafts from CitroŽn's styling office.

Interior view Rosalie wheel embellisher symbolising floating power engine mounts

A considerable part of CitroŽn's heritage is made up of drawings and illustrations, registers, economic data and documentation. All of these are currently being archived. It is thought that this classification work will take some two years.

  • The archives of Le Conservatoire occupy more than 1,400 linear metres. They include, primarily, the sketches and plans from the design office. Among them, the original styling drawings signed by Bertoni reflect the rich talent of the Brand with respect to vehicle design and aerodynamics.

  • Le Conservatoire also holds all the registers of vehicle chassis numbers, indicating the date and the exact type of the vehicles manufactured. Supplying precise information on the volumes of CitroŽn vehicles produced, these registers have been kept since 1919.

  • In addition to these registers, Le Conservatoire also holds a considerable quantity of industrial, historic, economic and social data.

  • Concerning the CitroŽn network more particularly, Le Conservatoire also possesses a vast amount of commercial documentation. Drafted in French and in many other languages, this documentation covers a range of topics, including pricing and technical details. The collection includes a wide variety of documents, such as reports issued by the governmental vehicle approval department, and servicing and repair manuals for the vehicles in the range.

  • Last, Le Conservatoire houses a collection of contemporary posters, lithographs, pictures, old films and a host of rare books devoted to Andrť CitroŽn and the brand that he founded. It also houses a collection of mechanical and industrial parts, as well as corporate furnishings, POS items, display panels, enamelled plates, advertising objects and miniatures.

Poster for the record breaking Rosalie

As a result of all these initiatives, Le Conservatoire is a working tool whose main role is to help the women and men of CitroŽn to prepare the future of the Brand while drawing upon specific components of its past.

1919 Type A Torpťdo 1922 B2 Autochenille - first crossing of the Sahara

Le Conservatoire is located in Aulnay-sous-Bois, just outside the industrial plant of PSA Peugeot Citroen. Construction work began in March 2000 and was completed at the end of November 2000. 

1924 B2 Normande 1931 C6G Conduite Intťrieure

Bringing together the items housed in Le Conservatoire involved a large-scale logistics programme. Operations extended over more than a year but are now virtually complete.
Formerly stored on several sites, the vehicles were transferred to Aulnay between June 2000 and September 2001. The main storage facilities were in Paris, rue Vasco de Gama, at the Fertť Vidame test centre and at the Styling Centre in Vťlizy. 

1932 C4G Roadster 1939 Traction 11B Cabriolet

The area is broken down as follows:

Storage area 

  • Vehicles 5,000 m2 

  • Paper archives 500 m2

Working area 

  • Vehicle maintenance 1,000 m2

1941 TUB 11 Camionette 850 kg 1954 Traction 15-6 H Berline

Comprising more than 300 vehicles, the collection is made up of four main departments:- 

  • The model range from 1919 to the present day, 

  • Styling studies, exceptional Citroens and concept cars, 

  • Rally raids and racing department,

  • Archives room and collectors' objects.

1957 DS 19 1961 2CV 4x4 Sahara
1970 SM
© CitroŽn Communication 2001/CitroŽn UK Ltd