Citroën 2CV

Citroen 2CV - The deux-chevaux

Citroën 2CV - The deux chevaux

I have fond memories of the vehicle I used while I was in Djibouti–a Citroen 2CV, or deux chevaux as it is popularly called. It was produced (with variants) from 1942 to 1990, with a 375cc engine producing a mind-numbing 12 horsepower. Mind you, that’s all that was needed to get around town and see the sights.

The first time I took the driver’s seat I was surprised at the 4-speed shifter sticking out of the dash, but I soon became accustomed to the push-pull-twist utility of the attached handle.

Flip-up windows reminded me of trailer-park girls I used to know back home.

The C2V’s initial design was to entice France’s peasant farmers into the 20th century and away from horse and buggy. It had to transport four peasants and 50kg of farm goods to market at 50kph over roads torn up by artillery shelling and steel tank tracks. It had to be capable of traversing a plowed field while safely carrying eggs.

The enticement worked, and at production’s end over 3.8 million had been produced.

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