Ah, the French car. You know, perhaps I should just back up and say, “Ah, the French.” There’s a reason our friends across the pond have a reputation for weirdness, whether it’s in their food, their art, their aversion to shaving (men and women alike), or their cars. The French are cool—way cooler than you and I, no matter where you or I might be from. If you don’t believe me, just ask a Frenchman; he’ll set you straight. Along with being cool comes a certain license to create, well, weird stuff and call it “artsy.”
They do it all of the time and try to pawn it off on the rest of the world like they’ve just invented the wheel or something. You know I’m right; you’ve tried to pretend to like Nicoise Salad, Vichyssoise, Ratatouille, Pernod, and the like. You’ve acted like you understood why Van Gogh cut his ear off for the sake of art, and you’ve even agreed at parties that Jean-Luc Godard is probably the greatest director ever (hey, it’s alright; we know it was a hot French chick you were agreeing with).
So, if you think that the French suddenly got normal, restrained, and refined when they started making cars, well, you’d be wrong. Their cars are just as strange and odd as the rest of their culture. It’s true; the French can’t but help to be weird—it’s in their genes. Now, I’m not saying the following 17 weird French cars are necessarily bad, although some of them certainly are. I’m just saying that these cars are uniquely French. Read on to see just exactly what I mean. You know what, have a good glass of wine while you do so—at least we can all agree that’s something the French do really well and aren’t weird about at all.
17 – RENAULT TWIZY
If it’s OK with all of you guys, I’d like to start off our journey through the vastness of French wackiness with a car that’s utterly insane. That’s what we’re all here for, after all, right? Leave it to the French to come up with a concept car that actually became a production car, even though there was literally no demand for such a vehicle. The Twizy is an electric car, which is environmentally laudable.
But—yeah, there’s always a “but” with French cars—it seats exactly one person. Its entire hood/windshield/door assembly rises up like the world’s weirdest Gullwing doors (or a Star Wars escape pod) and its safety standards are questionable. Speaking of those doors, they look more like an amusement park ride’s lap blockers than a car door. But hey, at least the Twizy has four wheels ‘cause it sure looks like it should only have three.