I may have said that Italy make the most beautiful cars in the world in my previous article, but once I had whittled down the most beautiful French cars to 20, I start to wonder whether I spoke too soon.
For me, France certainly makes the coolest cars in the world, but they might be creeping in on the most beautiful cars too. I've put a poll at the end of this list for you to decide which country produces the most beautiful once and or all.
After some negative feedback on previous 'beauty' lists, I feel I need to reiterate that these aren't the top 20 best French cars. These are, what I consider to be, the most beautiful French cars. I know some of these are mechanically crap, but it will be like arguing that a Monet painting is shit as a frisbee.
Without further ado, here are the 20 most beautiful French cars ever made.
20) Citroën C6
Why not start with a bit of controversy? When I mentioned that I was starting with the Citroën C6, it was greeted with gasps in the DriveTribe office. I'm sticking to my guns though as I think the C6 is a gorgeous car. I'm not saying it was a good car, but aesthetically and stylistically it blew the BMW 5-series and Mercedes E-Class out of the water.
19) Renault Avantime
A rarity these days, but my god, what a beauty. This is a prime example of why I love French cars, they just do what they want.
This sold horrendously, but does that matter? No. It is a two-door pillarless people carrier. Never change France, never change.
18) Peugeot 402
An odd looking car, but I think it definitely falls on the beautiful side of odd. The rear wheel cover may be seen a few times on this list.
17) Matra Murena
Matra, a company that also produced air to air missiles and a championship winning Formula 1 team, produced this beautiful compact sports car.
16) Peugeot 406 coupe
Designed by Pininfarina, the 406 coupe has stunning natural lines from every angle. If only they were a bit more reliable and had a bit more of a punch under the bonnet.
15) Darracq Flying Fifteen
Going slightly old-school here but you can see why. Imagine arriving at a soirée in one of these with the chesterfield style seats.
14) Delahaye 135MS Cabriolet
If only Delahaye were still producing cars. They are, pretty much, all stunning.
13) Facel Vega
If there was ever a car designed to appear in Hollywood movies, it was the Facel Vega. It had the name and the looks to retain anyone's attention.
12) CITROËN Traction Avant
When I think classic Mafia car, it isn't Italian, it is the Citroën Traction Avant.
11) Delage D6 70
Another brand that ceases to exist, Delage made some incredible cars.
10) Talbot-Lago T150C-SS Pourtout Coupe
This would probably fail the Euro NCAP safety test now, but it would fail with style.
9) Bugatti Veyron
The first Bugatti appearance on the list, but certainly not the last. The Veyron makes the list with some ground rules applied. It has to be an example similar to the one pictured, and not one that has been customised within an inch of its life with gold rims.
If you are waiting for the Bugatti Chiron on this list, you might be disappointed...
8) Peugeot 504 Cabriolet
The same Peugeot that produces the Peugeot 107? Yes, amazingly it is. Once upon a time, they produced some stunners like the 504 cabriolet.
7) Voisin type C27 roadster
Fancy looking like Cruella de Vil? If you take away her evil plan to kill puppies, you're left with a very stylish lady indeed.
6) Delahaye 165
Another beautiful and simple design from the ill-fated Delahaye.
5) CITROËN DS
The Citroën DS never gets the full recognition it deserves. It was a car well ahead of its time technologically, but that counts for nothing on this list. It is at number five on beauty alone.
4) Renault Alpine A110
I've had to narrow the Renault Alpine down to one model. I'm pretty sure Sophie's choice was easier than this.
I've gone with the A110 over the A310 and A610, but I'd probably give a different answer every time I was asked.
3) CITROËN SM Cabriolet
Every angle, every goddamned angle, the Citroën SM is gorgeous. The headlights and number plate are behind a beautiful glass panel, not just stuck on the front to ruin the aesthetics. The rear wheel has the cool half cover that the French do so well.
I don't know what 'Gendarmerie' means but I want it on the side of my car.
If you are looking for a budget version of the Citroën SM, look toward the Citroën CX. Still beautiful, but you don't have to remortgage your house.
2) Bugatti Type 35B
I had this in the number one spot for quite a while, but it was just pipped at the last minute. The desire to own this car will only increase once you lay your eyes on the Monaco race-winning version below.
Honourable mentions - concept cars
One thing French manufacturers do better than anyone else is concept cars. So, I just wanted to share four of their best before I get to the number one spot. If only these were put into production...
1) Bugatti Type 57CS
You will see the Bugatti Type 57 at the top of many 'most beautiful' lists and deservedly so.
Are there any of your favourite French cars that don't make the list? Let me know if the comments.
Which country produces the most beautiful cars in the world? Select from the options below: