On September 9, 2022, the former Automobiles Citroën testing and proving ground in La Ferté-Vidame received a special honour. Under the eyes of numerous attendees, a plaque was unveiled in the city marking the site as an “historic site of France’s automotive history”.
The award was granted by the French FFVE (Féderation Francaise des Véhicules D’Epoque). Besides the association “Les Filles de Levallois” who were the main organizers of the event, dignitaries from politics, economy and associations, L’Aventure Peugeot Citroën DS were also present.
The plaque reads as follows (our translation):
“…At 1,5km from the exit of LFV, in direction of Senonches, is the entrance of the Citroën test center. It was created in 1938 when the car manufacturer bought the former castle of the Duke of Saint-Simon.
Studies of the future 2CV had been launched in 1936 under the name Project TPV, and Citroën was looking for a place that was large enough, discreet enough and easily accessible from its headquarters on the Quai de Javel in Paris. It needed to be able to run its prototypes far from the gaze of the competition and the press.
Over the years, the site was specially fitted out to accommodate various technical workshops. Various tracks are built there, reproducing the types of roads and paths that a car can be brought to borrow.
After the 2CV, all the other Citroën models were developed at the LFV test center. Among the most mythical, we find for example the Type H, the DS, the Ami6, the SM and many others.
Since 1938, the Citroën test center has been a Mecca for the automobile. Now under the aegis of Stellantis, it is constantly adapting to the new technologies and mobilities that will be the cars of the future…”
Photos (C) Philippe Quenioux / Euro Citroën SM club: