Citroens at The Mullin

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of going to The Mullin Automotive Museum.
Peter Mullin is the guy behind the Mullin Automotive Museum just north of Los Angeles in Oxnard, CA.
He’s a car-guy who made a few bucks in finance, sold his company and retired to do philanthropic work.
The Mullin is known for their Bugatti collection, but most of their Bugatti’s are on loan to The Petersen for their “Art of Bugatti” exhibit.
They’ll be there for awhile longer so check ’em out while you still can.
Even without the Bugatti cars, The Mullin has some super cool Bugatti stuff.
Like a Bugatti vice, attached to a Bugatti table.
Both are from the Bugatti factory.
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Behind ’em check out the Bugatti tire rack.
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Pretty cool huh?
While the Bugatti’s were gone, The Mullin had their Citroen’s out on display.
The Mullin was having an “open hood” event, so all the cars would have their hoods opened up for our perusal.
Walking thru the front door I was greeted by a beautiful red flying Citroen.
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It’s an exact replica of the one they used at an auto show back in the day.
Then I was introduced to my own personal docent Larry who started the tour.
We started with this stunning gold 1972 Citroen SM.
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I just love the color.
Larry then directed me to this cute little yellow, three seater, 1927 Citroen 5CV Trefle.

 

This has gotta be one of my favorite hood ornaments ever.
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A flying lemon.
Notice the two chevrons on the Citroen logo.
They come from the teeth in these gears.
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During a trip Andre Citroen discovered the use of the chevron shaped gears used in milling.
He then bought the patent to make the gears from steel.
The Citroen logo is the meshing of these two gears.
Pretty interesting, right?
I love these kind of stories.
Here’s the company logo in full effect on a 1949 Citroen 15 Traction Avant.

 

It’s painted an beautiful black and it’s bright-work is glistening.
The 2CV is the Citroen I always think of when I hear the word “Citroen.”
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This is a 1957 2CV Special Reinforced – which was made with a “special reinforced” roof to specifically keep out debris in dusty environments.
Basically, it’s top fits better.
It’s got an air-cooled Two-Cylinder engine mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox.
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If you look closely at the firewall notice the shifter linkage poking thru and then attaching itself to a stick-shift inside the engine compartment.
Pretty tricky stuff.
This is a 1966 DS21 Le Leman with coachwork by Henri Chapron.
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I love all the different logos and emblems.

 

You know I love me some wagons.
Here’s a 1967 Citroen ID21F Break.
In the US we call ’em Station Wagons, in the UK they call ’em Safaris but in France they’re called Breaks.

 

I love the front three-quarter shot, but the back of the car I’m not too sure about.
There’s a lot going on back there.
Then, hidden away in its own room, so as not to detract attention from any of the other cars is a very interesting car indeed.
A 1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster.
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Very few Type 22’s were ever built.
This Type 22 was owned by a Swiss playboy who won it from a legendary racing driver in a game of poker in France.
The car was impounded at the Swiss boarder after the owner didn’t have enough money to pay the customs on the car.
After a few years Swiss officials were required by law to destroy it, and elected to do so by pushing it into the lake.
The Bugatti lay at the bottom of the lake for nearly 75 years.
And now here it is in all of it’s glory.

 

After the Bugatti Larry took me upstairs to see the race cars.
We were met with a rough looking 1911 Hispano-Suiza 45CR Type “Alfonso XIII” Voiturette.
What a mouthful!
This car is the first chassis produced and the second of the “89” series of the model 45CR.
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This car is considered one of the first true “sports cars.”
Then a pretty little white 1922 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia two-seater.

 


A little white cream-puff.
Then a car that looks like a stem-punk had it’s way with Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang.
A 1922 Avois Voisin Type C3 S “Strasbourg.”
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I finally got Larry in a picture!
And check out the imposing hood ornament on it.
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Across from the Avois Voisin was a big blue 1937 Delahaye Type 145 V-12 Grand Prix.
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This car is the first of four race cars built for the Ecurie Blue Racing Team and it won the 1937 Prix du Million, and in 1938 it won the Grand Prix de Pau and the Grand Prix de Cork.

 


And, yeah…
He races it when he can.
How awesome is that?!?
I love the Stromberg carburetors on top of the big V-12.
Then I run into my new friend Henri Chapron again.
Get this!
Remember when I just told ya that the big blue 1937 Delahaye Type 145 V-12 Grand Prix car we were just talking about was the first of four build?
Well, this is the third of the four built and it doesn’t look anything like it used to.
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After it’s racing career my buddy Henri Chapron snatched it up and planned on making it a grand touring coupe.

 

How cool is it that he took a race-car and made it into a grand-touring coupe?
And how cool is it that Peter Mullin drives all of these cars in vintage events all over the world.
So they’re not just sitting around in a museum gathering dust.
No – these cars get driven!
I love seeing all the vintage racing stickers on the cars and oil pans underneath them.
I had a great time and I learned a lot – Special thanks to my docent Larry.
The Mullin Automotive Museum is only an hours drive from Los Angeles.
If someone you know wants to do some outlet shopping – drop ’em off at the Camarillo outlet mall and head over to The Mullin and check out a world class car collection in a world class facility.
When you go, leave early in the morning and take the 10 West to Pacific Coast Highway and go north.
The drive up the coast thru Malibu is worth it in any car you drive.
It certainly was for me in my 55.
#idrivea55

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One thought on “Citroens at The Mullin

  1. Love the write up especially all the interesting detail. Waiting for your book on Automobile collections and Museums across the country.

    Like

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