Is there a cultural significance to the number 64 in France?

The “sporty” version of the Peugeot 207 is known as the “serie’ 64”. It has door badges with the number both in numerals and spelled out. The seats are also embroidered with “64” in a circular logo (64)

I am curious if this is a cultural reference perhaps an iconic road (like route 66 in the US) maybe the number used by a French racing driver, or perhaps a significant year. (maybe a superior wine vintage?) There is the Beatles tune, but I don’t see how that works into a car image excepting perhaps midlife crisis?

Googling is no help. Of course it could be a exercise in branding something completely arbitrary.

I’m not aware of “64” having any particular significance over here.

Moi non plus. (Me neither.)

There is a strange fascination with 36, though, but that doesn’t help you at all.

WAG: It’s the car number of a famous racecar driver.

It refers to the ‘départment’ that borders on Spain and the Atlantic (golfe de gascogne - vizkaya). I think the official name is Pyrénéés Atlantique, but is typically referred to as ‘Pays Basque’. French ‘départements’ are numbered, with Paris being 75 for instance.

The sporty side seems to be related to a store brand, but the region is well known for rugby, surfing, ‘confit de canard’, ‘foie gras’ and the ‘feria de Bayonne’ - make of that what you will !

Thanks. Thought it must be something like that.

I’m suprised there were no jokes about me being five counts off when it comes to French cultural significance.

FWIW, I just returned one as a hire car. A fun drive, and the least diesel-like diesel I have driven. (My DD is a diesel truck) These are not at all the French cars I remember from when they used to import them to the US. Very nice to be able to rent a car with the three proper pedals, and I loves me some round abouts!

hijack: I’m curious about that spelling on the last word, is that commonly used in France? In Spain it’s either Vizcaya (ES) or Bizkaia (EU). /hijack

Probably just me mixing up the multiple spellings. You know how road signage and place names have switched from one language/spelling to another over the years - at least on the French side. I’m a frequent visitor since the 70s, but have never lived in that region.

What percentage of the population would even know the number of this “departement”? I sure didn’t know it. For the most part, I only know the number of “departements” I lived in (or at least close to), or where large cities are situated (more chances to come across it, like 13 for Marseille or 59 for Lille).

Besides, even assuming you know it, the departement numbers certainly wouldn’t be the first thing to come to my mind if I were trying to figure out why a car was called “64”. And finally, even if I thought about it, I would fail to see the relation between the basque country, the “confit de canard”, etc… and a car.

Well I’m not really sure why they thought it would make a good brand - because generally you’re right, people only know their own department, and maybe Paris and Bouches du Rhône.

Still - if you take a look around I bet you’ll start seeing little “64” stickers on cars…

I am surprised. In my experience, French people know the numbers of many departments. Journalists and headline writers often use the department number in brackets to specify the location (e.g. “Iffendic (35)”), which suggests that the reader is expected to recognise the number and know where it is. Children on car journeys play the “game” of recognising the numbers from the car registrations.

Even I could do considerably better than you’ve suggested (off the top of my head, I would know 01, 06, 22, 29, 33, 44, 50, 56, 75), and I don’t even live in France. Are you telling me that if you saw 33 on the label of a bottle of wine you wouldn’t immediately know it was Bordeaux?

My guess is that the (64) logo is intended to evoke the “coolness” of the surfing culture of Biarritz, and that’s why it’s been co-opted as a brand.

Maybe they’re trying an advertising tie-in with Kronenbourg 1664.

If I saw 33 on the label of a bottle of wine, I’d assume that it’s from Rolling Rock.

Chateau Rolling Rock, Premier Grand Cru 2003. An excellent vintage.

It’s not unusual to hear such a question on French game shows (e.g., Questions pour un Champion). I’m baffled by it, but contestants often get it right.

“Which department has the number 55?”
“La Meuse.”
“This department, number 84, is known —”
“La Vaucluse.”

Yeah, I completely agree with you here, on both counts. I can’t imagine that the carmakers would either expect or want people to think “Hey! Pyrénées Atlantiques!” when they see the number 64.

I’m baffled by most of the questions on this show. I watch Jeopardy! a lot and I can often do decently well, especially when they’ve got categories I’m familiar with, but with Questions pour un champion I’m lucky if I get one or two right during the whole show. Most of the time I have no idea at all, but their contestants do usually quite well. Maybe, as you point out, it’s a cultural problem: their questions are targetted for French people, so non-French might not do very well with them.

Also, I don’t like the host (Julien Lepers?). I think he talks too much, especially for the timed questions, with the effect that some contestants have less of a chance to answer.

Sorry for this hijack, but who else am I to discuss this game show with, on this board? :wink:

My gf’s parents watch this show religiously. I was severely shushed tonight when I started to make a comment just as the contestant was about to win 15-8 even though he called out two answers!

Thank you, I’d been wondering if it was that or a third alternate I simply hadn’t run into before.

Perhaps it should be pointed out that the departments are numbered in alphabetical order, giving Ain number 1.

Well, he’s reading the questions off cards, so if they run long, it’s the writers’ fault, not Julien’s.

It took me a while to warm up to him, but I’ve come to like his over-the-top dramatic delivery of lines like “Places…aux…JEU!”

Should we take this to Café Society? Maybe MikeG will join us.