“The ugly duckling” – a Citroen 2CV

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The history of the Citroen 2CV begins in the distant 1934. Its appearance, this car must Michelin company – the world famous tyre manufacturer. At that time, the majority of French people still lived in rural areas and could not afford to have a car. Michelin were interested in expanding their tire business and decided to follow a simple logic: the more cars – more market tires. In 1934, Citroen declares himself bankrupt, and the right to manage turning to Michelin. Shortly thereafter, the French car designers are given the task to develop a cheap mass car.
Work on the project TPV (Toute Petite Voiture or “very small car” ) began in 1936. The idea was to offer customers a car that will have four seats, to reach speeds of at least 50 km/h with fuel consumption not more than 5 liters per 100 km, and have the ability to travel on dirt roads and mud. Since this car was designed mainly for farmers, it was possible to deliver a basket of eggs and bring them through a plowed field without breaking any eggs. And for transportation of oversized cargo, to have a retractable roof, making the car open.

This vehicle was presented to the certifying Commission in 1939 under the name Citroen 2CV. However, Citroen 2CVначавшаяся the Second World war and the occupation of France delayed the release almost 10 years. And only in 1948 Citroen 2CV was presented to the public at the motor show in Paris, and its mass production began a year later.

The first series of cars was a metallic gray body color, no door locks, and only one tail light. The only instruments on the panel were speedometer and voltmeter, and fuel level can be measured with a feeler gauge. Citroen 2CV was equipped with an engine displacement of 375 cubic centimeters, developed as much as 9 horsepower. Four-speed manual transmission gave power to the front wheels. Front-wheel drive made the car easier and more manageable in difficult road conditions. Thanks to the overly soft suspension, the car is heavily tilted to the side when cornering. Maximum speed was 65 km/H.

Because of the unsightly appearance Citroen 2CV has received many nicknames: “the ugly duckling”, “glazed rocking chair”, “my baby” and even “the most ugly car in the world”. But the simplicity of design, low cost, maintainability in any conditions, made the car so popular that the release Citroen 2CV did not stop for 40 years, putting this car in one row with such “legends” as the Volkswagen Beetle and the Fiat 600. The contribution of this car cannot be overstated – it helped to transplant the French nation with bikes and horses for hire.

Citroen 2CVorig_citroen_2cv_3

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