In 1973, mum sold the beige-Morris 1300 and we went French.
I was glad she got rid of the old car, if only for the colour, not real beige like pensioners wear, but the kind of brown you associate with a bad "stool" when you have a viral infection.
Going French meant driving a Renault.
First the 930cc Renault five that couldn't make it up hills. Next came the box-like Renault 6 with the gear shift in the dashboard - then came two more Renault fives. From the age of 8, until I finally learned to drive, me and big bruv were ferried around in Renaults. This is probably why I would never buy a Renault. Boxes on wheels.
Since the 70's French car design has picked up. In their time, the French have produced some criminally hideous cars. Take the Renault 7 - two Renault 5's glued together. This car was so ugly that it was not even sold in France - only the Spanish had this
Mind you, give Renault their due. They did try to make some nice looking cars. In the mid-eigties we got the Fuego - successor the the R15 and the R17
There are other car makers in France apart from Renault. Citroen for example used to produce nice cars like the 1960's DS - the one with the "inflatable" suspension.
Mind you, it was also Citroen who produced the first motorised Tampax in the form of the Picasso. Most early 21st century MPV's look like motorised Tampons.
And Renault also did their bit for motorised "rag week" aids with the Twingo. This one never made it outside of France (thankfully) although in France it was hailed as a design success (why?)
Anyway, Citroen have just had a bright idea - design a car that looks good and that people might want to buy, for the simple reason it looks good rather than it is French. Welcome to the new Citroen DS, that looks like a new Mini wearing a frown.
Citroen have even redesigned their logo for the occasion.
Here is the old one
and here is the new one
Hooray, perhaps French cars are finally going to look good. (Of course Peugeot have been looking good for years, but I have never forgiven them since they closed down in the UK in 2006) This is the country where people would buy a turd on wheels, just because it was French. This is also probably the reason why we still have a national car industry.