We have two theories about cars and the city of Marseille in France. The first is that driving in Marseille is the automotive equivalent of dog years: due largely to constant traffic jams and poorly-paved roads, every mile/kilometer driven within the city limits inflicts seven miles/kilometers’ worth of damage on a car.
The second theory is more positive. We are doggedly convinced that the city hides at least one example of every single car that has been mass-produced and sold in France since World War II. It’s never failed us: Renault 15, Fiat 500 with suicide doors, Triumph Herald, even more obscure cars like a Talbot Tagora and a MG Metro are all waiting to be discovered on the streets and in the parking garages of France’s second-largest city.
Marseille is a very hectic place and we rarely have time to photograph the cars that we come across but we managed to snap this Citroën Ami 8 with a subpar camera while walking around several years ago. It was registered in Paris and likely driven down to Marseille, a testament of the reliability of Citroën’s iconic 602cc air-cooled flat-twin.
The dings and dents that are present all around the body indicate that this Ami 8 has had a hard life but the fact that it was still being used regularly is remarkable. Unlike the various 2CV models and the oddly-shaped Ami 6, Ami 8s have very little value and even today they are often considered throwaway cars.