Sunday, October 5, 2008

Classic Euro Economy Cars: Citroen-2cv

The Citroën 2CV (French: deux chevaux vapeur, literally "two steam horses", from the tax horsepower rating) was an economy car produced by the French automaker Citroen from 1949 to 1990. It is considered one of their most iconic cars. 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." The 2CV belongs to a very short list of vehicles introduced right after WWII that remained relevant and competitive for many decades — in the case of the 2CV, 42 years.

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 3,872,583 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. The level of technology in the 1948 2CV was remarkable for a car of any price in that era, let alone one of the cheapest cars on the planet. While colors and detail specifications were modified in the ensuing 42 years, the biggest mechanical change was the addition of front disc brakes in 1981 (from the discontinued Citroen Dyane), for the 1982 model year. The body was constructed of a dual H-frame chassis, an aircraft-style tube framework, and a very thin steel shell.

The car featured an air-cooled, flat-twin, four-stroke, 375 cc engine, with the notoriously underpowered earliest model developing only 9 bhp DIN (6.5 kW). A 425 cc engine was introduced in 1955, followed by a 602 cc (giving 28 bhp (20.5 kW) at 7000 rpm) in 1968.

The 2CV has also been used for travel around the world. In 1958–1959 two young Frenchmen, Jean-Claude Baudot and Jacques Seguela started at the Paris Motor Show on Oct. 9, 1958, headed south and crossed the Mediterranean by boat from Port Vendres to Algeria; traversed the African continent and crossed the South Atlantic from Cape Town to Rio de Janerio; cris-crossed South America and the U.S. and boated from San Francisco to Yokohama. They returned to Paris on Nov. 11, 1959. During the 13 months, they drove 100 000 kilometers, and consumed 5 000 liters of petrol and 36 tires. Find out more at:

Research info gathered at:

Now, here’s one of my poems with a French accent:

And Nothing.Or Not.

As surely as one foot falls
in front of the other
we all share the experience of
joy and sorrow over years:
lying on his back
an angle facing the table
with lids shut down
dressed in a work shirt
and blue dungarees
a few empty bottles of beer
chicken wings on the table
the skins of some strange fruit
hair matted & damp
those early hints of gray
less two cigarettes from a pack
the dog's dish bone dry
as a face lined in wilderness
there was no blood
on permanently sealed lips
in a calm before the wake
as if an ordinary immobile body
could upright the over-turned chair.

tutoring blog:
And music blog:
Poem Copyright 2008 by Maurice Oliver. All Rights Reserved.


Anonymous said...

Keep on posting such themes. I love to read articles like this. Just add more pics :)

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