Visite Guidée du Conservatoire par Grégoire Verdon
Welcome to the Heritage Conservatory from June 17th
The Heritage Conservatory, officially inaugurated on 17 June 2021, is a place of memory dedicated to the genius of the pioneers, engineers and designers who built the history of what is now Arquus, in the service of the armed forces. Far from being frozen in time and space, it is intended to be a solid bridge between eras, a space of technical and technological filiation, a tangible link between the past and the present of Arquus. Within this Conservatory, the current Arquus engineers and technicians follow in the footsteps of their elders and bear witness to the constant mission of Arquus: to serve the Armed Forces by imagining, designing, producing and supporting over time the equipment best suited to the needs of the battlefield.
Following the example of its great predecessors, Arquus only conceives of itself in a complete symbiosis with the Armed Forces, in the image of Louis Renault proposing the FT tank to General Estienne, or Louis Delagarde designing the EBR engine to give the Army the most discreet reconnaissance vehicle of its generation.
It is in the spirit of this bridge between eras, all united by a constant sense of mission, that the Conservatoire du Patrimoine is today presenting, on an exceptional basis, the three most recent vehicles in its range: three vehicles that inherit a unique know-how, developed over many decades of work alongside the Armies: the Griffon, the Scarabee and the Armis.
griffon and scarabee Arquus
The aim of this Conservatory is to inventory, list, contextualise, highlight and present the objects, documents and vehicles that make up the history of Arquus or the historic brands that are part of the company's heritage. This Conservatory already brings together more than 70 military vehicles from the ARQUUS collections, but also from donations and very promising partnerships.
On 17 June, at 11 a.m., Emmanuel LEVACHER, President, ARQUUS, will receive numerous personalities from the civilian and military worlds on the site of the Conservatoire des Trois Glorieuses, at Arquus’ Centre of Expertise for Logistics and Welding in Garchizy.
The conservatory fed by ARQUUS sites and partnerships
This Heritage Conservatory was created by the ARQUUS Heritage Department as part of a vast project to cultivate the roots of the Group and its most prestigious historical brands, Panhard, Renault, Berliet, ACMAT, Auverland and many others.
The Conservatory is fed by Arquus' current industrial sites: Marolles-en-Hurepoix, the historic site of Panhard, with in particular the AML, EBR, VBL; Saint-Nazaire, the historic site of ACMAT with the VLRA; Limoges, a production site for military engines since the 1930s, then a production site in particular for the VAB and GBC180 of the French Army. It is fed by foundations, museums, but also private collectors.
All generations of military vehicles represented
The challenge is to gather post-World War II vehicles, in service or not in the French and foreign armed forces, such as the EBR, the AML, the VAB or the GBC 8KT truck. In a second phase, the Conservatoire set itself the objective of searching for older vehicles, wheeled or tracked, belonging to its historical heritage.
Some of these vehicles, belonging to the Musée des Blindés, will be presented on 17 June in front of the Conservatoire's premises, such as the FT, the 1918 Victory tank, the Somua tank, the Renault UE35 caterpillar or the B1Bis tank.
An ARQUUS Heritage Endowment Fund has been created in order to collect funds, legacies or donations under the law on patronage (1983) in order to support the ARQUUS approach to the benefit of heritage. It is in this capacity that the Conservatory was able to carry out fitting-out work for the exhibition on 17 June, and to receive donations and loans of vehicles which were lacking in its collection.
From Berliet CBA to the Scarabee
The Conservatoire already houses a dozen vehicles from the Musée des Blindés (Saumur) made available by the French Army, the Paul Legueu collection, donated by the family of the founder of ACMAT, and a VLRA made available by Mr. Fortin, a private collector. Two turrets, the Mistral turret donated by MBDA and the 25 mm turret donated by John Cockerill join the collection on a LAV and the CRAB respectively.
The oldest vehicle in the exhibition is a 1916 Berliet CBA, donated by the Berliet Foundation, as well as a GBC 8KT from its Conservatoire in Montellier. This inauguration is an opportunity to present an exhibition by the Association Renault-Histoire, devoted to the life of the Renault factories in Boulogne Billancourt during the First World War.
This Conservatory will now be open by appointment, pending a future evolution towards a public reception in the years to come.