Sunday, January 27, 2013

The history of the Peugeot Poissy site - in cycling jerseys! Part one, Chrysler

I've recently been given three vintage cycling jerseys by a local ex semi-pro who also worked for over forty years at the Peugeot Poissy site, which happens to be where I spent my first few years after arriving in France. 
The Poissy site, north west of Paris in the Yvelines department was commissioned  by Ford in 1937 and opened in 1940, weeks before the German invasion. I sadly don't have a Ford jersey, if such a thing ever existed, nor do I have a Simca jersey, to whom Ford sold the plant in 1954. For a time Poissy was home to Simca's only significant manufacturing plant. 
In 1963 the site was again sold, this time to Chrysler who'd had acquired a controlling interest in Simca. 
This is where the jerseys come in because I have a very nice, dark blue 'Chrysler France' jersey. I'm not sure of what year it is from but the buttoned down rear pockets and Chryslers history in France points to sometime between 1963 and 1979, with my guess being the early seventies. 
France being a cycling mad country, it's hardly surprising that there have been cycling clubs linked to the site for many years. There are still a huge range of sports organized by Peugeot at the site, many of them centering around an impressive sports stadium that i believe was built during the Chrysler days. 

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