Peugeot Museum at Sochaux

On my recent overseas trip I visited the Peugeot Museum at Sochaux in the east of France near the German and Swiss borders. The collection is maintained by the Peugeot Adventure Association, and is dedicated to preserving Peugeot's heritage. It covers the entire history of the Lion brand from its beginnings as a mechanical-parts construction company at the end of the 19th century, to the development of today's latest prototypes.

The museum is well organised and as you walk through it you see permanent displays beginning with the first Peugeot motor vehicles and then working right through to modern times. Cars are depicted in five main eras: 1810 to 1904, 1905 to 1918, 1919 to 1935, 1936 to 1949 and the 1950s and 1960s. The displays include decoration and fashion accessories from each era and show the cars in the context of the times they were made. There is also a workshop display set in the 30s with period props, signs and machinery.

There are displays of more contemporary cars, which change from time to time, and during my visit they included several successful rally cars, a prototype 505 cabriolet, a V10 formula 1 racing engine and the mangled remains of a car once driven by Peugeot's ace rally driver, Ari Vartenen.

I also saw several aviation and marine engines including an aviation engine that was cut away showing its internal workings.

In the history of Peugeot they have turned their hand to the manufacture of other products and the museum included displays of bicycles, sewing machines, pepper grinders and firearms.

Geraldine and I enjoyed our visit to museum. It has something for everyone, even including two racing car computer games for the kids to play. The museum coffee shop overlooks the displays and serves good coffee and desserts. We were impressed at the grace and elegance of Peugeot's advertising and we spent a long time choosing posters in the souvenir shop.

Bill McNamee