Automotive History Citroen Deux Chevaux 2cv

Wow the Citroen 2CV – what can I say that hasn’t already been said about a real icon, a legend in automotive history! There has been so much said about these quirky little cars over the years that some stories have been blurred at the edges by countless regaling and folk adding their little bits; I’ve lost count of the all the different stories regarding the design brief for instance – roughly it was designed to be able to take a farmer and his eggs / bale of straw/ piglets etc over a ploughed field, although why a farmer would want to choose a family saloon car over a more conventional tractor to take his wares to market has never been explained! Despite this the 2CV soldiered on regardless, changing little over the many years it was in production. A few face-lifts were attempted to keep it ‘fresh’ – various rallies saw it suffering horrendous treatment as it ploughed across continents and deserts;it was even used in one of the James Bond films. To the buying public right up until the mid eighties the car remained popular despite it’s ancient 602cc twin cylinder air cooled engine which produced just enough power to keep things rolling and it’s bizarre styling which made it resemble a tin snail. The handling was odd too, whilst undeniably comfortable on the straights with it’s long traveling suspension, go too fast around a corner and the thing leaned over enough to make a motorcyclist envious.

All 2CV’s had that strange fabric roof which was removable when the mood took you and could be opened like you would open a tin of Pilchards – by literally rolling it back over the full length of the roof. This car would not exist today, nobody bar a few old hippies and the odd rebel would buy such an inefficient mode of transport in the twenty first century. Cars today are all computer controlled, super efficient consumer products designed for a choosy public who don’t want and will never need cheap transport to take them across a ploughed field to sell the surplus of their harvest at market – sadly.


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