What would Paris be without old Citroëns, Peugeots, and Renaults? By now, they're part of the landscape, immortalized on film countless times against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower.

If Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë has his way, cars older than 17 years will be banned from the area inside the A86 Autoroute, the highway that rings Paris. If approved, the new regulation would also prohibit motorbikes built before 2004 and trucks and buses older than 18 years.


The new law would be aimed at cutting pollution, but detractors — in whose camp we are resolutely situated — say that Paris' misguided policymakers should take a look at diesel vehicles if they want to clean up the city's air. They point to diesel's higher particulate emissions as a problem.

We think Mayor Delanoë ought to leave the classics alone. Time will take care of numbers. It's not like you see scores of Citroën DSs, Peugeot 403s and Renault 4Ls filing through the Arc de Triomphe every morning. Besides, the French auto industry seems to have slipped into a beige slump. They should keep old oddities around for inspiration; as a reminder of what it really means to be French.

Photo credit: Wikipedia