Students re-create Citroen’s Golden Scarab

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Citroen's fleet of Golden Sahara vehicles on their 1922 crossing of the Sahara | Citroen photos

As part of its centennial celebration, French automaker Citroen worked with 160 students and 40 instructors to create a duplicate of the famed Golden Scarab, the first motorized vehicle to cross the Sahara nearly 100 years ago.

The replica project began in 2016 and the working vehicle, recently unveiled at the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Paris, will participate in the Citroen Centenary Anniversary Exhibition in mid-June in Paris, in the Journey to the West along the Champs-Elysees in mid-July and the ensuing Gathering of the Century event in le Perche.

Re-creation of the Citroen Golden Scarab done by 160 French students and 40 instructors

“In this year of Citroën’s centenary, the rebuilding of the Golden Scarab takes on a whole new dimension,” Linda Jackson, Citroen chief executive, said in the company’s news release. “It is a project that André Citroën would have appreciated. 

“We are proud of having supported and taken part in this new adventure, an educational project which today delivers a true-to-life replica of the original half-track.

“One hundred years separate the architects of these two vehicles, but the same passion drives them.”

Andre Citroen checks the map of the route, show in detail below

It was in 1922 that Andre Citroen commissioned the K1 HP Type B2, aka Golden Scarab (Scarabee d’Or), a half-track vehicle, and assembled a team of around 10 men and a dog, Flossie, for the first motorized trip across the daunting north African desert. 

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By the way, Flossie not only made the trip, but inspired the Belgian cartoonist Herge to create the character of Milou to accompany Tintin in his adventures.

The Citroen team checks its maps and one of its vehicles while Flossie (far lower right) takes a break


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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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