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 La Toute Petite Voiture: 2CV - (History)

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PostSubject: La Toute Petite Voiture: 2CV - (History)   Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:27 pm

From yesterday's English Indo there was a lovely article commemorating 60 years since the first 2 CV rolled off the production lines with only one headlamp and looking like an upside-down wheelbarrow. I always wanted one but it'll have to be an old one as Citroen ceased producing them 18 years ago.

Sixty years ago this year, a strange little vehicle appeared at the Paris car show. It looked like an upside-down pram with a corrugated bonnet and a canvas roof.

It had no starter motor and one headlight. Its windscreen wipers were operated by the forward motion of the wheels. Its seats looked like cheap canvas deckchairs. The wheels were as thin as saucepan lids. The car – for it was a car – was available in any colour that you wanted, so long as it was dull grey.

Thus was born the Toute Petite Voiture ("really little car"), or Citroën Deux Chevaux, a car that suffered mockery throughout its 42 years of production but has come to be regarded as an automotive icon. To generations of foreign visitors, the "2CV" pottering along a rural road epitomised France just as much as berets, baguettes, yellow cigarettes or farm buildings painted with Martini signs. Sadly all, save the baguettes, are defunct or very scarce.

The 2CV may be scarce but it is not forgotten.

The UK Indo

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PostSubject: Re: La Toute Petite Voiture: 2CV - (History)   Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:03 am

Ah...my elder brother had one in the 80's. We used to get piss drunk and drive all over Cavan in the middle of the night in it as fast as it would go (not very fast). The fan belt was dodgy, so sometimes the engine would burst into flames. Good times.

People did take the micky though, but since we were all quite large and there were four of us, they'd usually found something else to do by the time we'd all got out of the car.
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PostSubject: Re: La Toute Petite Voiture: 2CV - (History)   Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:27 am

The wipers got worked by the motion of the front wheels - neat design eh?
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