Citroen 2CV was produced for 42 years. Today it is a symbol of a leisurely lifestyle – – Dziennik Motoryzacyjny

Citroen 2CV was produced for 42 years. Today it is a symbol of a leisurely lifestyle – – Dziennik Motoryzacyjny

Yesterday we wrote about the fact that on July 27, 1990, the last Citroën 2CV in the Charleston special edition came off the production line at the Mangualde plant in Portugal. An original and small car, a symbol of joy in life and freedom, the Citroën 2CV is still very popular today, to the extent that thousands of enthusiasts collect it and make it a symbol of their lives.

On July 27, 1990, the last Citroën 2CV rolled off the assembly line in Mangualde, Portugal. The event that ended the production of a successful model, presented at the Paris Motor Show in 1948, but its beginnings began more than 10 years earlier.

The 2CV, presented for the first time, was admired for its original design, sophistication and extreme economy. It also featured some of the most advanced technological innovations of the time, including front-wheel drive, soft suspension and an air-cooled two-cylinder engine. It quickly became a popular and sought-after car, it was an important part of the society of the time, and today it is an icon of automotive history.

The Citroen 2CV was designed specifically for the masses at a time when the car was still a luxury product. It was an economical car with innovative functions that had to meet the needs of customers at that time. 2CV won the masses, and in 1990 the total number of units sold exceeded 5.1 million vehicles (including derivatives).

Origin: from the TPV model “Toute Petite Voiture” to the Citroën 2CV

In the early to mid-1930s, Citroen began working on the creation of an economy car, the future Citroen 2CV. It was supposed to be a small car, able to go anywhere and carry anything, economical to buy and use. These are the requirements presented by the then CEO of the brand to the engineer André Lefèbvre, at the time chief architect of Citroën: “Build a car in your department that can carry two farmers, fifty kilograms of potatoes or a barrel of wine at a speed of sixty kilometers per hour and consumption of three liters per hundred kilometers.“.

The “Toute Petite Voiture” (“very small car”), due to its characteristics, was supposed to be a car for everyone, in the city and in the countryside. The project was ready in 1939 and was supposed to be presented the same year at the Paris motor show, but due to the outbreak of war, it was not done. The 250 prototypes already built were largely dismantled and only a few were well hidden.

After the war, Citroen resumed work on the project and entrusted Flaminio Bertoni with the final design of the Citroen 2CV, which turned out to be a completely modified model compared to the TPV, which was presented on October 7, 1948 at Paris Motor. Show it.

Citroen 2CV offered space, was unpretentious, friendly and economical, and quickly won the recognition of customers, became an example of a new philosophy of personal transport and a symbol of freedom and happiness in life.

Due to the shortage of raw materials after the war, Citroën was initially able to ensure limited production. This resulted in waiting lists of up to six years! The purchase price of the Citroen 2CV was very low, as was the cost of maintenance due to the simple technology. As a result, the car was very economical in terms of use and required little maintenance.

The four-door metal body of the Citroën 2CV was not designed to be self-supporting and, like many attachments, was bolted to the chassis. Instead of the car’s fixed metal roof, the car is fitted with a removable waterproof cotton roof to make the car lighter and even improve well-being on board! The driving behavior of the Citroen 2CV was characterized by good mobility even off-paved roads and a large lateral slope when cornering. Because of the light body, low-slung boxer engine and tank, the center of gravity was good, so it was difficult to overturn the 2CV. In the past, all cars had drum brakes. Front disc brakes were not installed until 1981.


The new air-cooled two-cylinder boxer engine that initially displaced 375 cc developed 6.6 kW (9 hp) and was fitted with a four-speed gearbox as standard for the first time. Many reforms were introduced in time. The 602 cc engine used in the 1970 Citroen 2CV6 originally produced 21 kW (28 hp). In all cars, it was possible to start the engine with a crank, which was also used to change the wheels of the car.

The first version of the Citroen 2CV with 9 HP reached a top speed of about 70 km / h. The new HP 29 models reached a top speed of 113 km/h. The 2CV is one of the few cars in which the power of the base engine has more than tripled during the development stage!

2CV Fourgonnette

In the spring of 1951, the “Fourgonnette” version was introduced, built on the basis of the body of the berline, but which, from the central pillar, provided a spacious load area with regular shapes. The car was easy to load through two doors mounted on rear side hinges. The Fourgonnette 2CV version was often used in public services, for example by the French road service or as a postal car in Belgium.

Special series

From 1976, many special series were produced, starting with the SPOT, built on the basis of the 2CV Club, with body color. Orange Tenere. The SPOT was powered by an engine of 435 cc and – for Switzerland only – 602 cc. They all sold out so quickly that a few years later a new special series was created.

In 1981, the Charleston (which would be called Tréfle, as was the small 5-horsepower Citroën of the 1920s) arrived as a reference to the ‘crazy years’, in retro style, yellow-black or maroon-black (and a modern version. in two shades of gray), in 1983 France3 (in Italy it was called Transat), then in 1985 Dolly, in 1986 Cocoricò of three colors, and even in a version with a mini-bar, prepared in collaboration with a well-known person. mineral water company: 2CV Special Perrier (1988).

But of all, the Charleston was the most successful, keeping sales of the 2CV at a level that extended its life until 1990, when new European regulations affected the end of production of the Citroën 2CV.

Citroen 2CV has been a symbol for several generations

Citroen 2CV immediately became a bestseller. After the last car left the Citroen factory in Mangualde (Portugal) on July 27, 1990, the little 2CV was transformed into a cult car. Today, if there is no other example, it is synonymous with freedom, French charm, non-conformity and adventure. Even today, thousands of fans collect it and make it a symbol of their lifestyle.

In Italy as well as in other countries, there are thousands of collectors and fans of this model, concentrated in local clubs and online communities, as well as two official clubs dedicated to the car: “International Club Citroën and Derivate Italia Association” from Beinette and “Club Italia Twin Citroën” from Lodi.

comp. Krzysztof Gregorczyk; photo: Citroën Italia

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