Back in 1922, the Citroen Golden Scarab, or Scarabee d’Or in French, became the first vehicle to have crossed the Sahara Desert. Almost 100 years later, the automaker has built a replica that’s identical to the original car.
Construction began in mid-2016 and involved 160 engineering students and pupils, along with 40 teachers. The project stays true to the old timer, with two wheels at the front and tracks at the rear, space for two in the modestly-sized cabin and all the necessary gear either inside or strapped to it that could, in theory, help it conquer the sand dunes.
“In this year of Citroen’s centenary, the rebuilding of the Golden Scarab takes on a whole new dimension”, said CEO Linda Jackson. “It is a project that Andre Citroen 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.
The original Golden Scarab had very modest specs, yet quite high-tech for those times. At 3.65 meters (143.7 in) long, 1.4 meters (55.1 in) wide and 1.68 meters (66.1 in) tall, weighing about 800 kg (1,764 lbs), the vehicle was powered by a 1,452 cc inline-four engine that produced 20 horsepower at 2,100 rpm and was coupled to a 3-speed gearbox that was mounted on the rear axle.
Those who would like to check out in detail need to pay a visit to France for one of the company’s centenary celebrations that will take place this summer. The carmaker will display it in mid-June in Paris, during a special event. Subsequently, on July 18, it will be going up the Champs-Elysees, and from July 19 to 21, it will prove its prowess in a series of demonstrations.