2CV Citroen Cars
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With its unassuming nostalgic charm, the Duck was the embodiment of an entire philosophy. After 41 years of production, and over five-million examples, one of the last truly distinctive cars of this century quietly breathed its last in Portuguese exile in July 1990.
2 CV ( model A )
Formally launched in October 1948 at the Paris Auto Show, the 2CV caused a sensation. Despite critical remarks from the press, more than a million visitors passed by three mouse-grey 2CVs on the Citroen stand and the orders piled up for the model, selling at the very reasonable price of 185,000 (old) Francs. The 9hp model A used a flat-twin, air-cooled engine of 375cc. It featured all-independent suspension, linked front to rear with drum brakes on all four wheels. There were no indicators, doors without locks, no ignition key (starter button on facia) and only one rear lamp.
2CV ( model AZA )
The 2CV underwent its first major facelift in 1960, with the introduction of a new front grille (with five bars). The heavily ribbed bonnet was now replaced by a smoother affair with only five ribbing lines and the side louvres disappeared in favour of a steam-lined air intake. The 375cc engine was at last discontinued in 1961. The only major changes that occurred during the 1960s were the addition of a third side window at the rear and another minor grille change, when the chevrons were moved up to the bonnet.
2CV Van ( Camionette )
Load carrying versions of the 2CV have an equally passionate following as the standard passenger cars. This unique vehicle began life in France as early as 1951 where it was known as the AU van or Fourgonette. It was fitted with the 375cc engine and had a payload of 250kg. Due to their corrugated appearance, these early vans were often scorned by detractors as "tin shacks on wheels" - but to their many owners they were a cheap and convenient way of carrying substantial loads with ease.
2CV Spot ( Special Orange Tenere )
The Spot is interesting in that it was the first 2CV special edition. In fact, "specials" were not common at all in 1976 and Spot was one of the first by any manufacturer. It featured orange and white adhesive body-stripes. Seats and hood were in orange, with and orange and white striped sunblind, which could be pulled forward to provide shade for the driver and front seat passenger when the hood was rolled back. The name Spot was an acronym for Special Orange Tenere. Today, few examples survive.
The 2 CV Charleston was produced in three distinct colour schemes, Delage red and black being the most popular. Originally a special edition of limited number, its production was extended to match demand. The two other Charleston colour schemes were light grey/dark grey and yellow/black and these were strictly limited in number. Charlestons were popular in Britain and Holland, less so in France. These models have the air of sophisticated town cars, rather than the practical, down to earth working vehicle, which describes most plainly painted 2CVs.
2CV Beachcomber ( or France 3/Transat )
Plain colours always remained more popular for 2CVs in France, although the France 3, a white car with a blue stripe to its panel and hood, did find favour. France 3 was a yacht entered in the America's Cup races, and part of the profits from the sale of the car went towards its construction and participation. As this bore little interest outside its country of origin, the same car in England was known as the Beachcomber and in Holland the model was called the Transat.