Citroën in Brooklyn
It, too, is going away— the sign overlooking the old Gowanus Citroën facility on Third Avenue in Brooklyn, that is.
Carter Willey, a Citroën mechanic with Dave Burnham Citroën near Albany, N.Y., worked as a teenager at the Gowanus Citroën facility on Third Avenue.
In 1968, the building was a “bustling” place full of French people, Willey remembered. It was both a repair garage and a parts warehouse where Citroën cars fresh from the port would be readied for American dealers.
Americans who bought Citroëns back then tended to be “reasonably affluent, highly educated, kind of arty people,” Willey said. Despite special features like front-wheel drive, in-board brakes and a hydraulic suspension system, Citroën didn’t take off with American consumers.
“It was an unusual choice,” Willey said. “These cars were expensive and odd, and service was not available on every corner. They were technically complex so they needed a special person to own them” (source).
Citroën would withdraw from the US market in 1974.