IN-DEPTH: L'Aventure Peugeot

 L'Aventure Peugeot

In addition to rugby and wine, one of the great passions of The Pinot Front Row is cars. This passion extends also to French cars, which The Pinot Front Row admires for their quirkiness and unwillingness to conform to generally accepted ways of doing things (perhaps he feels the same way about the French too...). And whilst The Pinot Front Row couldn’t quite bring himself to buy a French car, preferring the sensible reliability of a Kia, he does enjoy delving in to French automotive history and design if the opportunity presents itself.

And so it was with some surprise to discover that the official Peugeot museum is actually located in Burgundy. In the town of Sochaux in fact, a commune in the Doubs department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté (so sufficiently Burgundy to make it into this blog!). And one rainy Sunday The Pinot Front Row made the 1.5 hour drive from Dijon to visit it.

An interesting fact - Sochaux is the site of a major factory of the PSA Peugeot Citroën company and the Peugeot badge, the “lion rampant”, is derived from the town's coat-of-arms. 

Approaching the museum and first impressions are, despite the appealing design of the building, it does seem a bit tired. And if you’ve visited other car museums, for example the Porsche or Mercedes museums in Stuttgart as The Pinot Front Row had recently, the Peugeot museum will appear outwardly pretty underwhelming by comparison.

Vintage Peugeots


The museum itself is split into sections, starting with classic and vintage cars (Peugeot has been making motorized vehicles since the 1800’s). There’s also a large selection of memorabilia and historical artefacts, and even if modern vehicles are more your thing it’s an interesting display to peruse. The art deco interior design is also pretty impressive, really adding to the feel of the space.

A fast Peugeot bicycle

Onto bikes, a smaller collection of both motorized and pedal-powered machines. To be honest I never knew the company made vehicles of the two-wheeled variety but clearly The Pinot Front Row was wrong. And being a fairly recent convert to bikes The Pinot Front Row spent a bit more time in this section than he expected.

Peugeot racing cars

Peugeot off-road rally cars

Peugeot Pike's Peak rally car

There’s also a small collection of working vehicles, though this is obscured by what I suspect most people really visit for – the racing cars. And Peugeot has done its fair share of racing, with a decent amount of success too. From a century or so of motorsport there’s a number of the highlights featured, including from the World Rally Championship, 24 Hours of Le Mans, Dakar Rally and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Personal favourites of The Pinot Front Row are definitely the off-road stars (it perhaps reminded him of hurling his Ford Ranger through the bush back in Northern Australia).

Peugeot concept car

And lastly, the modern and concept section. Peugeot has made a fair few cool cars over the years and everything up to their current model range is well represented. There’s also a fascinating selection of wacky concept cars, a few that would’ve made great additions to the line-up.

The museum also has a restaurant in the building, where you can sit, soak up the atmosphere, and decide what was your favourite Peugeot. And all-in-all, The Pinot Front Row thinks that the Peugeot Museum in Sochaux is definitely worth a visit if you like cars and are travelling through Burgundy for the Rugby World Cup.

Yours in rugby,

The Pinot Front Row

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