August 4, 2015

CITROËN CELEBRATES 90 YEARS SINCE FIRST LAP OF AUSTRALIA

CITROËN CELEBRATES 90 YEARS SINCE FIRST LAP OF AUSTRALIA

Citroën Australia has marked the 90th Anniversary of the first vehicle to circumnavigate the Australian continent.

  • 90 years since Citroen 5CV becomes first ever vehicle to lap Australian continent
  • Journey left Perth on August 4, 1925 and concluded on December 30 of the same year – 17,220km later
  • The vehicle was a second hand Citroen 5CV with 48,000km already on the clock
  • Historic Citroen currently on display at the National Museum of Australia

To the day 90 years ago, West Australian, Nevill Westwood left on a journey that at the time was considered amazing – that journey was to become the first person to drive around Australia.

His car, a 1922 Citroen 5CV, was second hand and already had 48,000kms on the clock.

The 5CV marked the start of popular motoring in Europe, it was cheap to run and simple to handle – it became a huge success.

Introduced at the 1921 Paris Motor Show it was produced for four years, first in a two-seater open tourer version, with most painted bright yellow.

It was also produced as a convertible and a three-seater open tourer.

It was known as the ‘petit citron’, which translates to ‘little lemon’ – owing to its bright yellow paint.

Four years after its debut at the Paris Motor Show, and 90 years to the day, Nevill and his travel partner Greg L Davies left Perth in their bright yellow 5CV.

Their adventures included passing the burnt wreckage of a car abandoned by adventurer and explorer Francis Birtles on an earlier trip to the Northern Territory.

Along their journey, punctured tyres were filled with grass and cowhide, and in one incident, the car was carried across the Fitzroy River by local Aboriginals.

By Albury on the boarder of New South Wales and Victoria, Greg Davies had had enough and quit the trip.

Westwood continued and went on to Melbourne and Adelaide, completing his trip in Perth on December 30, 1925 – during which time he had amassed a total of 17,220km.

Today, the significant piece of Australian transport history is proudly displayed in the main hall of the National Australian Museum.

General Manager of Citroen Australia, John Startari said that the milestone and the historic vehicle demonstrate the importance Citroen has played in Australia’s motoring history.

“For the past 95 years, Citroen has had a presence in Australia and in this time the marque has launched unique product, achieved great feats and always remained true to its French heritage,” said Startari.

“At a time when roads and support services were essentially non-existent, Nevill Westwood’s 1925 journey around Australia in his Citroen 5CV was ground breaking,

“Today Citroen remains faithful to Nevill’s adventurous spirit and this is none more evident than in our forthcoming C4 Cactus – a vehicle that breaks away from convention and forges its own path,” said Startari.

The Citroen 5CV is currently on display in the main hall of the National Museum of Australia, in Canberra.

For further information on Nevill Westwood’s journey and the vehicle, visit http://bit.ly/NationalMuseumofAustralia

Citroen News - 5CV
Citroen News - 5CV