by J Kraus
No; this is not a mirage, nor a frame from an old science fiction film.
Parisians in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s were routinely treated to the sight of these space age double-decker Citroëns ferrying tourists along the Champs Élysées and Quai Voltaire. Seeing one stopped in the 18th century setting of the Place de la Concorde, was as if a spaceship from the future had landed.
If passengers were bold enough to overcome their fear of being abducted and probed by aliens once aboard, they were treated to plush high-back seats, panoramic windows and tinted skylights. The whole of the upper-deck roof was comprised of tinted glass panels. In pleasant weather, a large section of the upper deck roof was removed. It would not seem too much a surprise to see George Jetson making himself comfortable.
After the general gloom and deprivation of the post-war years, these futuristic buses plying the boulevards of Paris were as much a beacon of optimism for a new and brighter European future as Le Courbusier’s Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp or the Atomium in Brussels.