In December 1922 and January 1923, five Citroën B2 10HP equipped with Kégresse tracks were the first cars to cross the Sahara, between Touggourt in Algeria and Timbuktu in Mali. The convoy managed to cover 3,200 km in 22 days and 9 stages. The leading car, commissioned by explorer Georges-Marie Haardt, was called “Golden Scarab”.
While the original Golden Scarab still exists and is with Citroën in their Conservatoire, an association called ”Cars & Men” decided four years ago to create a replica of this historically important vehicle and do so by creating an exercise involving students from all over France, with the aim of helping them to perfect their training in computer aided design and automotive engineering. The objective was to build it to coincide with Citroën’s Centenary and show it at the Centenary celebrations.
In all, 160 students from institutions such as the School of Arts and Crafts, the Castle of Épluches high school, the Image Institute of Châlon-sur-Saône and the School of Mural Art of Versailles collaborated on this project. They were assisted by 40 teachers and supervisors. The students first had to create a digital model of the system, whose plans had been lost.
After 50,000 hours of work and an overall budget of more than €200,000, they delivered the result of their work to Citroën earlier in May – an exact replica of the Golden Scarab, rebuilt in every detail with the help of many industrial partners.
The caterpillar mechanism alone proved to be quite a challenge for the Arts and Crafts students. It has a total of 1,203 pieces that had to be designed, modeled and manufactured!
The Golden Scarab will be on display as one of the highlights at Citroën’s Centenary Celebration at La Ferté-Vidame from July 19 to 21, and at the Grand Heures Automobiles de Montlhéry (from September 20 to 22), before being presented at the Époqu’Auto show in Lyon (November 8 to 10). After these showings, it will reside with the Citroën collection at the Conservatoire in d’Aulnay-sous-Bois on the outskirts of Paris.