The Citroën Central Africa Expedition of 1924–25 has long attracted the attention of scholars, but most study the mediation and consumption of the journey in French mass culture. This article shifts the focus to the conceptualization, justification, and logistical planning of the Central Africa Expedition to trace the development of a close partnership between the private automobile manufacturer and various sectors of the French state. The Central Africa Expedition is indicative of the changing nature of the French civilizing mission during the interwar period, when the French transitioned to building transportation and communications infrastructure as part of the project of colonial mise en valeur (development). In their attempts to make empire profitable and governable, French businesses and administrators sought to use technology and infrastructure to enhance mobility in Africa, to the purported benefit of colonizer and colonized alike.