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Algeria's presidential cars

We present here the main cars intended for the heads of state of Algeria since its independence in 1962. If the independence of Algeria is proclaimed on July 5, 1962, we must wait until September 15, for Ahmed Ben Bella officially becomes the first president of independent Algeria, in the meantime, Prime Minister Youssed Ben Khedda serves as Head of State. During this time, the new Algerian administration has the fleet of the former French administration in accordance with the Evian Accords which aimed to put an end to the war in Algeria and to specify the terms of its accession to independence.

We start with the first car that made headlines and which was also the first to be included in this framework. Before her, the Algerian administration “inherited” cars from its French colonizer, a sort of spoils of war.

The Cadillac 'gifted by Kennedy'

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, then President of the United States of America, was the first dignitary to congratulate Algeria on its access to independence. Already before, on July 2, 1957, against the backdrop of the Cold War, JFC, made, before the Senate of the United States of America in his capacity as senator from the State of Massachusetts, a speech of great importance in international relations which became famous across the Atlantic under the name of "the Algerian Speech", and which at that time had the effect of a clap of thunder on a beautiful summer day and a prelude to the independence of Algeria.

This demonstrates Kennedy's attachment to the Algerian cause and which also explains the fact that on the occasion of Algeria's independence, the Kennedy administration offered on this occasion gifts intended to help Algeria to develop your independence, in this lot we find ambulances... and a presidential Cadillac.

A little aside: on October 8, 1962, Algeria became the 109th member of the United Nations and an Oldsmobile will be the car of the Algerian representation.

We will rarely see this Cadillac and all traces have mysteriously disappeared. Some legends say that it is still on the right or on the left, either in the parking lot of the Algerian Presidency or with a private collector, but the reality is much sadder than that, because it was crushed in the 1980s in a scrapyard. from Algiers.

The lack of use and communication about it is mainly due to the fact that the Algerian regime at the time (and still today to a lesser extent) was more attached to the Soviet bloc than the American one. Algeria especially broke off relations with the United States in 1967 following the Arab-Israeli War, only to reestablish them in 1974.

Moreover, Algeria also received at this time another presidential vehicle (as well as an Ilyushin presidential plane) from the former Soviet Union.


In 1962, the Soviet empire had just released the Limousine (G) version and a convertible (D) version of its ZIL-111 car which was a response to the cars of their American "enemy" in the middle of the Cold War ( but which will nevertheless be inspired by the Packard Patrician and Chrysler Imperial! USSR was then Algeria's main military and commercial supplier, so it is somewhat natural that the first president of the Algerian Republic parades in a vehicle from the Former USSR.

BMW Autenrieth 3200 Super convertible

However, the ZIL had to share the stage with another more prestigious vehicle, namely a BMW Autenrieth 3200 Super convertible and which is the first presidential vehicle ordered by the Algerian state. The choice to use one or the other vehicle was a strategic choice depending on the occasion and the country's guest.

You have the details of this BMW in this link

Citroën DS Palace

Following the coup d'état of June 19, 1965, the new president of Algeria (former Minister of National Defense) Houari Boumediene, fervent defender of the Third World and developer of a socialist system in Algeria, could not appear in vehicles in contradiction with its policy.

For his daily use, he used Citroën DS which he inherited from his predecessor. He will have many identical copies also used by his administration.

For the parades, a specially equipped DS23 Cabriolet came out of the garage.

To be able to see one of these DS, you have to go to the national mujahid museum in Algiers where it is exhibited.

To receive guests from Algeria, President Houari Boumediene continued to use the Autenrieth 3200 Super convertible at the start of his mandate and retired the Cadillac and the Zil. It will replace the BMW with a Mercedes 600 Pullman, a vehicle which has a more status image and places Algeria among the major players in this world in an Algeria which claims to be the Mecca of revolutionaries.

A somewhat imposed choice, because Boumediene did not like ostentatious signs, he had already proclaimed the ban on displaying external signs of wealth which explains the small number of luxury cars in Algeria and he had received a Mercedes of a Golf Sultan who will never use. So this Pullman will only be used for special occasions such as to receive for the first time a French president after independence, in this case Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, out of the question of receiving him in a French car.

It will also be brought out by its predecessors to welcome their counterparts.

Honorary stand for Citroën and for Houari Boumediene who signed the history of the CX Landaulet in 1978 when he placed an order with the Chapron bodywork for an example of this type on the basis of a Prestige. This is a ceremonial vehicle which retains the original length and whose rear part of the roof can be uncovered to stand upright (thanks to a support bar). It is incorrectly a Landaulet since the roof arches are preserved: we should rather speak of discoverable. The car can be closed using a classic hood or plexiglass panels. Only two other different copies will be created.

The Mercedes

With the arrival of new President Chadli Bendjid in 1979, a new page was turned with the Citroën and it is now that Mercedes will become for good the car of the presidents of Algeria, it is beginning to be written (after the 600 Pullman seen previously) with the W126 model which will also be the car of his administration.

With successive heads of state, models follow one another. The most remarkable is the S62 of the Maybach brand before its disappearance (and before becoming a finish of the Mercedes brand for its S Class), a vehicle intended for Abdelaziz Bouteflika who will not be able to use it since he will be affected by a stroke, he will be paralyzed and will no longer be able to move around without his wheelchair.

In any case, we will order a Mercedes 600 designed to transport him and his wheelchair.

Today, the Algerian presidency still remains attached to its lucky star.

However, on a few rare occasions, the presidency has been unfaithful to Mercedes with another German, BMW.


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