The first of these was the fact that for the first time ever at the annual Geneva Show, there was no dedicated Lancia stand. Ordinarily this would have been a tragedy, but given that this important 110-year old marque is now gasping its last breath, seeing this once rightly-proud Italian reduced to a one-model range of the city shopper Ypsilon, Lancia’s Salon absence might have been a blessing in disguise. I will touch on this more in a future Anorak.
The other notable Geneva ‘moment’ for me back in March was the sight of a lone C5 ‘CrossTourer’ estate, lost in a dark corner of the huge Citroën stand. The significance of this solitary C5 was that it would be the last ever Citroën to be exhibited at Geneva, fitted with the pioneering marque’s hydropnuematic suspension, with the first to be displayed there being the 15-6 H ‘Traction Avant’ in 1954, pre-empting the epic DS of 1955.
The advanced ‘magic carpet ride’ of Citroën’s four-wheel hyrdropnuematic suspension of the space age Citroën DS (the Traction Avant 15-6 H only had self-leveling on the rear axle) was followed by the astonishingly capable GS in 1970, along with the SM luxury GT coupe, the experimental rotary-engined Ami-based M35 coupe of 1971, the 1974 CX, the 1983 BX, the XM, Xantia, C5s Mk I and II, and the regal C6. From its 1966 Silver Shadow onwards, Rolls-Royce used a form of Citroën’s self-leveling suspension system under license.