Artillery officer and inventor Joseph Cugnol (1725-1804) was commissioned by the French army to invent a means of transport for guns. In 1769 he conceived the idea of an automobile that measured more than seven meters long and weighed 4000 kg, all powered by a front-mounted steam boiler and two cylinders.

However, Cugnol's first steam car was not a success. The vehicle could only hit speeds of up to 4 km/h and was difficult to steer.

So the next engineer to take on the colossal task of inventing a vehicle with an engine was Carl Benz (1844-1929) who, in 1886, presented his Benz Patent Motor Car No. 1, featuring an internal combustion engine.

blog.php-20 Peugeot - 404 Coupé - 1965

The oldest car manufacturers in the world is Peugeot. The company began producing automobiles in 1891. The company has, however, existed much longer, as its began in 1810 as an iron foundry.

blog.php-21 Citroën - B2 Torpedo - 1921

blog.php-22 Peugeot - 163 BR - 1923

Back to France, Renault, founded in 1899 and Citroën, founded by André Citroën after WWI are both two of the world's longest-running car manufacturers. The most popular Citroën model was the 2CV which was produced between 1949 and 1990. Across Europe, it was affectionately given the nickname ''duck'' and became one of the most famous French car models ever made to date.

blog.php-23 Renault - Dauphine - 1962

blog.php-24 Renault - 4 L Super - 1973

blog.php-25 Citroën - DS ID 19 - 1964

blog.php-26 Citroën - 23 R Series U - 1951

The Société Industrielle de Mécanique et Carrosserie Automobile, abbreviated SIMCA was a licensed company from 1934 in France. Fiat produced models in France at SIMCA. In 1978, Peugeot bought out SIMCA, and closed the manufacturers.

blog.php-27 Citroën - 23 R Series U - 1951

blog.php-28 Citroën - AMI 8 - 1975

blog.php-29 Citroën - Dyane 6 Nazaré - 1979

blog.php-30 Citroën - Méhari Cabrio - 1976

blog.php-31 Simca - 1200 S Coupe - 1968

All cars will be coming up for auction at Catawiki's French Oldtimer Auction ending on August 10. Check out more here.