Exclusive visit to Centre d’Archives de Terre Blanche
In the Centre d’Archives de Terre Blanche, PSA Peugeot Citroën stores and preserves the combined company history containing millions of pictures, tens of thousands of films and videos and more than five kilometres of shelved documents. Part of this archive is a collection of over 400 unique cars, from concept models to movie stars and from military and agricultural vehicles to racing and rally legends. This location is off-limits to the public, but we were allowed inside to look around in Peugeot’s treasure trove.
Peugeot 505 Cabriolet concept car, designed by US coach builder Cars & Concept in 1982 for the American market. The idea was declined by Peugeot, and the car remained virtually unknown to the public.
In 1984 Peugeot commissioned Cars & Concept to design this 505 Coupé, but it was also deemed too exclusive, or in other words too expensive to develop and build. This car remained a one-off as well.
Next to around 150 cars in the Musée de l’Aventure Peugeot in Sochaux, this warehouse holds over 400 vehicles widely varying in age and condition. The cars are stored in ten rows, each containing four layers of shelves carrying about eleven cars.
This Peugeot TULIP concept from 1995 was developed as a 2-seater electric city car that could be charged by induction in 4 hours, allowing a 60 kilometre range and a maximum speed of 75 km/h (47 mph).
Every car in Les Reserves, as this collection is called, has a unique story and almost every car is either famous because of a successful motorsport career or a one-off prototype or concept car.
This is one of three 205 Turbo 16 E2 Group B rally cars we encountered during our visit. This car was driven by Finnish rally driver Juha Kankkunen during the 1986 1000 Lakes rally in Finland and finished in second position.
One of the very first prototypes that eventually lead to the Peugeot 205. There are still some design cues from the older 104 and the resemblance to the 205 is not yet visible.
Peugeot 406 STW touring car driven by French racing driver Laurent Aïello in the 1997 season of the German Super Tourenwagen Cup.
A Peugeot Hoggar pickup based on the South American 207 and the Partner commercial vehicle. It is designed and built in Brazil for the domestic market. In front of it are some 406 sedans that featured in the different Taxi movies.
Even cars that look like ordinary production models, are in some cases hand build show cars or otherwise unique specimens. There are however, some standard production cars that are kept to preserve them in new condition for future generations.