Citroen 2 CV (1953) - France

Citroen 2 CV

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Every French man bears some nostalgia for this small and ugly car which very often was his first automobile.

The program, drawn by Pierre Boulanger, was very simple - four wheels under an umbrella. The car was first designed for country people - farmers. Economy-minded and able to be driven on any type. of road but strong enough to carry cargo, this car was perfect. Pierre Boulanger stressed the goal of driving the 2 CV through a rough field with a basket of eggs without breaking any.

The engine was a flat twin and air cooled which overhung the front wheels. The first cars designed with a 375-cc, eight-horsepower engine were sluggish. For sake of economy, CV joints were omitted causing a deep jerking when turning the steering wheel.

The car was inexpensive, indestructible and easy to maintain. Citroen cars benefitted from great handling without forgetting its appetit (or lack of it) - 50 miles per gallon! Several models succeeded with improved power and the same traditional qualities of simplicity, robustness and economy.

When Citroen was an independent company, it added to each of its new models the adjective "revolutionary." This is the only example in the world of a large conglomerate that surprised and often shocked the public with designs and ideas out of the ordinary.

The Traction Avant, the 2 CV and the DS 19, born in the mid-1950s, were considered avant garde without any concession to the more than careful approach of the marketing specialists of more conservative companies.

Citroen was the exception in a world of big manufacturers listening to statistics based upon average desiderata of average consumers with an imagination limited to the look-alikes created by the same manufacturers. Citroen deserves a special place for its creativity and imagination.

NEXT>This automobile is now on display at the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum. >



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