Please, Look at This Man Inviting a Citroën to Run Him Over

It was Belgium during the Sixties. Everyone had something to prove.

byBen Keeshin|
Please, Look at This Man Inviting a Citroën to Run Him Over
Stringer/Central Press/Getty

Are the pressures of life getting you down? Work is hard, the family’s ungrateful and the dog keeps eating your socks? Well, friend, at least that metaphorical weight isn’t literal mass, in the form of a 1969 Citroën DS carrying four passengers.

In 1969, noted strong-man and occasional human speedbump Fakir Mirah Soumak invited this Citroen to run him over to demonstrate his incredible abdominal fitness. He emerged without injury. For people who cannot plank for longer than one “Happy Birthday,” such a show of might is particularly astounding. The passengers, for their part, seem at ease, perhaps a testament to the soothing atmosphere of a Citroen DS and its now-legendary oleo-pneumatic suspension. What was that, Serge? Who knows, Francoise—have another profiterole.

To this day, strong-man stunts—rock-rolling, Boeing 767-pulling, log tossing—are popular, with YouTube around to ensure successful (and, better still, failing) stunts reach millions. But even with those testosterone pyrotechnics in the foreground, there’s a quiet menace to this still black-and-white shot from, of all places, Belgium. Oh, you’re think you’re tough? Here, let me run you over in a French car filled with gourmands addicted to goose paté, camembert and custard. Then we’ll talk.