Sunday, November 09, 2008
Europe's funkiest vehicle, the super-cheap Citroen 2CV from France
It is considered one of their most iconic cars, says Wikipedia. It was described in the book Drive On!: A Social History of the Motor Car by longtime CAR magazine columnist the late LJK Setright as "the most intelligent application of minimalism ever to succeed as a car."
It was designed for low cost, simplicity, versatility, reliability, and off-road driving. For this it had a light, easily serviceable engine, extremely soft long travel suspension (with adjustable ride height), high clearance, and for oversized loads a car-wide canvas sunroof (which until 1960 also covered the boot). Between 1948 and 1990 almost 4 million 2CVs were produced, plus 1,246,306 camionettes (small 2CV trucks), as well as spawning mechanically identical vehicles like the Ami, Dyane, Acadiane, and Mehari.
From 1988 onwards production took place in Portugal rather than in France. This arrangement lasted for two years until 2CV production halted.