USA Krantenartikel uit 1990, CliCk here to read txt.

Citroen 2cv Citroen 2cv
France's classic tin lizzie, the Citroen Deux Chevaux ("two horses") has, after 43 years, been put out to pasture. On July 27 the company's final car, boasting a 29 hp engine and 40 mpg fuel efficiency, rolled off a production line in Portugal, yet another victim of changing times. Known as the toute petite Voiture ("tiny little car") to some, a sardine can on wheels to others, the homely auto will live on in spirit and Gallic celluloid: It has appeared in almost as many French films as Gťrard Depardieu. "It's a car that's more than a car," said a company official. "It's a myth people look back on with emotion." 

 

Adieu, Deux Chevaux

By Lesley Hazleton (Lesley Hazleton writes a car column for Lear's magazine.)

This is a tough summer for the French. Bad enough that a reunited Germany will put an end to French aspirations to the leadership of Europe. Bad enough that the English are buying up half the Normandy and Brittany coasts as summer homes. But now, the truly inconceivable has happened: CitroŽn has announced that, after 43 years, the last Deux Chevaux will roll off the final remaining production line, in Portugal, at the end of the month.
Along the zinc bars of every cafe in France there's been a chorus of "Ah nonl Mais nonl Impossible!" The Deux Chevaux, a.k.a. the 2CV, was France par excellence. It was a cultural symbol - the vin ordinaire of French cars, the car that zipped through every French movie you can remember, the car for which French roads were built.

I was 7 years old when I was introduced to it, a restless tourist in the back of my parents' sedan as we drove through France. They kept my brother and me quiet by telling us to count Deux Chevaux Inevitably, years later in Israel, I would buy one. It was to be my one and only true automobile love.
I drank my first Armagnac in a Deux Chevaux on a nightlong hitchhike from Paris to Nice. I dodged in and out of a battalion of tanks on the way up Mount Hermon, slipping under the gun barrels. I drove over a desert track that I was later informed was mined; the car was too light to set off the mines.
It was indomitable, and I was indomitable in it. In the French word, "formidable."
Above all, the Deux Chevaux was about style. Or rather, antistyle. It was superbly, defiantly, doggedly resistant to everything that sets the testosterone and adrenaline running in the blood of car enthusiasts. It was an environmentalist's car long before Earth Day was conceived of. A counter-culture car long before 1968.
If its detractors called it "a car designed by a committee" or a "tin can on wheels," its admirers touted its Art Deco styling and its Bauhaus functionalism. Its technical elegance was pure and simple: elimination. No distributor, radiator, head gaskets. Its character was best defined by the qualities it lacked: power, speed, luxury, prestige, aggressiveness. As the French liked to say, it was to other cars as artichokes are to flowers.
You drove it on momentum. Despite the name, it could develop a grand total of 29 horsepower, produced by a 600 cc two-cylinder engine. It had front-wheel drive, air cooling, independent suspension and an amazing ability to survive unblemished where other cars would break an axle. If you couldn't exactly win at Le Mans in it, you could, with skill, get up to a reasonable 60 miles per hour, even 70 downhill.
You could take out all the seats and have your dťjeuner sur I'herbe in comfort. You could roll back the canvas top and travel "cabriolel" The "air conditioning" was a flap below the windshield opened by a simple lever. And it had real headlamps not set flush into the body but mounted proudly atop the hood. It also got well over 40 miles per galon (80 in its original, 1947 version), when everything else got barely half that.
In the end, it couldn't compete with technology, or with the Japanese, who upscaled the down-scale car. And so at a mere 43 years old, in the prime of its life, it is doomed to nostalgia.
In this age of consumer sophistication, I know it's absurd to feel betrayed by an automobile manufacturer. But Citroen had a cultural artifact on its hands, not just a motorcar. So, say it ain't so, Citroen. For all those memories of youthful treks through Europe, for our hopes for a saner attitude toward power and speed, for the sake of sense over status - mon Dieu, Citroen, pour la France!  

 

Popular French Deux Chevaux rolls into history

LISBON, Portugal - It was a quiet adieu to an automotive legend Friday when the last Citroen Deux Chevaux - France's funny-looking four-wheeled friend to millions - rolled off the factory line after 42 years in production.
In a last indignity to the car associated with France, the finale took place in Portugal, where Citroen moved production after shutting down its Levallois assembly line near Paris.
There were no public ceremonies at the Mangualde factory, "just a little get-together for the workers who have been making them," said a Citroen Lusitania spokesman, Teixeira de Abreu.
But Citroen fans worldwide will mourn the demise of the turtle-shaped Deux Chevaux, named literally for the "two horses," or horsepower, produced by its chugging air-cooled engine.
It was designated the 2CV and came with open-flap side windows, mattress-like suspension and scrawny tires. More than 3.86 million were sold since the launch at the 1948 Paris Auto show for $650.
Including a van, more comfortable Ami and Dyane versions, and even a fourwheel-drive derivative, more than 7 million Deux Chevaux have hit the roads. Thousands of fans have set up about 300 owners clubs worldwide.
The car has been in James Bond films and been flown hanging from a hot-air balloon. It has set world altitude and depth records for a car, climbing to 17,180 feet on Bolivia's Mount Chacaltaya in 1953 and going down a salt mine in France's Lorraine region.
Citroen's high-tech AX compact will substitute for the 2CV at the Mangualde plant. But, according to Gavin Green, chief editor of Britain's Car Magazine, "no car will replace it - there's no successor in sight. It's the end of an era."

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