Under proposals presented to the city council on Monday, Bertrand Delanoe, the Socialist mayor, intends to outlaw by September 2014 the use of cars and utility vehicles more than 17 years old and trucks or buses more than 18 years old. Motorcycles built before 2004 will also be forbidden.
Is this mayor really left-wing?
The "old banger" ban will apply to all vehicles inside the A86 motorway that surrounds Paris.
If the measures go ahead, classic old cars such as 2CVs, Peugeot 205s and Renault 4Ls will be a thing of the past in the capital, along with sputtering but charming old Vespas and other two-wheelers deemed too dirty to drive.
Fabien Breuvart, the proud owner of a silver 1990 Renault 4L, asked: "Is this mayor really left-wing?"
The plan would "exclude the poorest people from driving in the capital" and turn Paris into an "island for the rich", he told the newspaper Le Parisien.
The Socialists insisted that they would introduce "social" measures to help families and businesses update vehicles, including state subsidies to scrap old cars for new ones – a move experts described as unrealistic given the cost of such a measure at a time of austerity.
Philippe Goujon, the head of the right-wing opposition UMP federation in the Paris council, criticised the plan as "anti-social, anti-surbuban and anti-motorist".
Other new measures include toll barriers on cross-city motorways for trucks. Eco-taxes would also be imposed for those using the city's inner ring road, le peripherique, with heavy vehicles tracked via satellite or number-plate recognition.
The mayor said the idea was to "progressively and in a concerted manner" ban all trucks from driving in or around the capital.
The speed limit on the ring road would be cut from 80 kmh to 70 kmh, while the number of 30 kmh zones within Paris would be multiplied from mid-2013.
The measures require approval at ministerial level and the Paris Prefecture de Police.
They are part of a plan to cut emissions in Paris by 30 per cent by 2015. Failure to comply with European air pollution norms could see Brussels fine France €100 million (£80 million) in 2016.
Air pollution is responsible for 43,000 deaths a year in France and is estimated to take six months off Parisians' lives compared to those outside the capital.
The ban is the latest in Mr Delanoe's war on "the hegemony of the automobile" that has led to him introducing trams, bike and bus lanes and the popular cycle rental scheme. In the past year, he has launched Autolib', the electric car rental system and has begun pedestrianising stretches of road along the banks of the Seine.