Sometimes, the French are even more French than anyone could imagine them to be. Meet the Citroën GS, star of a great little music video.
The song is Un temps pour tout off Vincent Delerm’s fourth studio album Quinze Chansons and the car is a one of those Citroëns from back when Citroën was still the weirdest and coolest mainstream carmaker in the world: a Citroën GS.
A GS Break to be specific, and contrary to what you might be thinking, this does not allude to its typical 70s French tendency for instant rusting but is simply the French term for station wagon.
Designed by Robert Opron—who did the swiveling headlights on the DS and followed on with that most gorgeous of French-Italian marriages, the Maserati-powered Citroën SM—the GS launched in 1970 in typical Citroën style: suspended by hydropneumatics, powered by air-cooled flat-four engines.
Realizing they could out-weird that, a 1973 version called the Birotor was launched with a—that’s right—birotor Wankel engine. The launch was perfectly timed to coincide with the 1973 oil crisis, resulting in a grand total of 847 units sold. The base GS was much more successful: by the time production wrapped up in 1986, Citroën had made 2.5 million of them.
And even though many have succumbed to the harsh mistress of oxygen, at least one is still on the road. It’s good to know. After watching this, it’s rather tempting to dress in stylishly offbeat clothes and spend all day doing nothing in particular, with strategically timed glasses of wine.