Artikel uit Mechanix Illustrated (USA) van Februari 1965

Citroen 2pk

Citroen 2pk


IVAN the Terrible said for a man to be outstanding in the world-good or bad-was an accomplishment in itself. The Citroen 2CV (laughingly referred to as the saloon) would be dear to old Ivan's cold heart because !ts easily the ugliest looking automobile in the world.
A drag buff of a bygone era Lew Wallace (who wrote Ben-Hur), once pointed out, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." If Lew were around today and got a glimpse of the 2CV, I imagine he might gulp and start "amplifying" on this famous remark.
But to many a Frenchman this rig evidently appears gorgeous (there must be some explanation for the fact that customers used to wait two years to get delivery on one of these rolling tobacco tins). One of our editors pointed out that only an owner could love the 2CV. Even that would take a lot of rationalizing.
I was having breakfast at the Shinnecock Motel at Southampton, Long Island, when Bob Connor (MI's Feature Editor) rolled into the driveway at the wheel of a 2CV.

To say this little Citroen attracts attention on these shores would be one of the biggest understatements since Noah predicted rain. I left the the dining room to take a look, and so did several other guests. I wasn't at all surprised when one walked up to Connor and asked, "It's homemade, isn't it?" He took the words right out of my mouth.
However, it's been said that any guy who appreciates good whisky and hates children can't be all bad. And so it goes with the Citroen 2CV.

This mangy little goat from the outskirts of Paris is powered (and I use the word lightly) by a two-cylinder box of springs, iron, rods, cans and fire. On the goody side, it will get close to 55 miles to a Gallon on regular fuel, which is not to be sneered at.

It has more innovations and saloon talking pieces than a three-eyed girl in a beauty parlor. One of these is the folding front windows-hinged in the middle-which lift up and out and fold back against the door, something like a barn shutter. These hinged sections are quite heavy but if you want the window open, that's the way you do it. One interesting feature about this window arrangement is taht you bend the car hard around a corner or suddenly hit a sloppy road the window will come down with a bang. If You're an elbow-out-the-window driver or an arm-out passenger, you may get an unfunny whack on your funny bone - or you could merely have your fingers numbed for the rest of the season.
This window arrangement undoubtly was designed by a descendant of Joe Guillotine, who invented the machine for dropping heads into a basket when the proper occasion arrrose.
Another neat trick of this French convertible is the way the canvas top works. You merely unattach it from the front and roll it back like an it's held in place by two snaps.
you approach this frog bucket, it's transportation on its basest. Tough the 2CV looks something like a miniature army tank, it is as rugged as Kodiak bear love. If you work the four speed gear shift( and the fourth is called overdrive) you can keep it going right along with the horse and bicycle traffic and at times make a respectable showing on the highway. But it wouldn't be your cup of tea on the Hollywood Freeway.
Gear shifting is quite a talking piece in itself. I suspect it's the love child of a

one-armed bandid and a cigarette machine. Instructions on how to operate this little setup read as follows:" To pass from neutral to first gear, rotate to left and pull right out." To get into second gear:" Push half way with palm of hand lever will swing to the right on its owm, push right in." And the third gear: "Pull right out. " Got it? "To engage Overdrive: rotate to the right and push right in."
Now that You know how to drive one, let's proceed. Incidentally, there's another stick-like gadget thats controls the horns, headlights and other lights. I like the horn instruction best. It reads, "push inwards slightly in town, fully on road." I won't go into the lights; my typewriter couldn't take it. This job has one nice feature, a centrifugal clutch. That means you can slip into gear while waiting for a light. Take your foot off the pedal and the car won't go forward until you up the rpm to more than 1000. So in creeping traffic you can move along without changing gears, simply by accelerating or decelerating.
To test a car with such a performance potential called for a race track ( that's a joke). Anyway, I was in New York for my annual apple-bobing contest with the editors and teh hearest good testing place that
Maine to Florida and from Alaska to Guatemala-and it would get you there in the cheapest possible way, aside from a bicycle. It makes the Volkswagen look like a gas hog and you won't feel too bad if somebody dents your fender or scratehes the paint-it's that kind of car.
In France they don't cost much more than a box of good cigars and the entire ensemble hits the scales at 1,125 pounds. If you really want one of these bugs you have to get it on special order from Citroen and wait three or four weeks for delivery. That's not all. The car comes with European specifications and some states require changes which must be made at the owner's expense. Some of these changes include muffier, side glass, headlights, etc.
While it is the ugliest car in the world, it has a heart of pure gold when all factors are considered. I'll go even further and say that for what it is, the 2CV is truly a great piece of transportation-worth every frane you can't afford.

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