The 1979 Citroen 2CV 6 Special is a classic car model known for its iconic design and unique features.
It was manufactured by Citroen, a renowned French automobile company.
The 2CV 6 Special is part of the 2CV line of vehicles, which was first introduced in 1948 and remained in production until 1990.
This model features a 602cc flat-twin engine, providing modest power but excellent fuel efficiency.
The 2CV 6 Special is characterized by its distinctively simple and minimalist design, with a lightweight body and removable fabric roof.
Its suspension system, known as the interconnected spring suspension, provides a comfortable and smooth ride even on rough terrain.
The 2CV 6 Special gained popularity due to its affordability, practicality, and reliability, making it a popular choice for daily transportation in rural areas.
Despite its modest performance, the 2CV 6 Special has a dedicated fan base worldwide, with enthusiasts appreciating its charming and nostalgic appeal.
Over the years, the 2CV 6 Special has become a symbol of French automotive culture and has been featured in various films, documentaries, and cultural references.
Today, well-maintained and restored Citroen 2CV 6 Specials are sought-after collector's items, with enthusiasts valuing their historical significance and timeless design.
The Citroën 2CV, affectionately known as “deux chevaux” or “two horses,” was an iconic economy car produced by the renowned French automaker from 1948 to 1990. Its remarkable longevity and enduring popularity made it one of the few vehicles introduced right after World War II that remained relevant and competitive for over four decades. In this article, we explore the fascinating history, unique features, and the lasting impact of the 1979 Citroën 2CV 6 Special.
A Revolutionary Design Born from Practicality:
The visionary minds behind the 2CV, Pierre-Jules Boulanger and André Lefèbvre, sought to create a low-priced, rugged vehicle that could transport rural communities and overcome challenging terrains. Boulanger’s design brief, conceived in the early 1930s, aimed to develop a practical “umbrella on four wheels” capable of carrying 100 kg of goods at 60 km/h, even on muddy unpaved roads. The car’s versatility was further enhanced with its ability to traverse ploughed fields without damaging the cargo of fragile eggs.
The TPV Project: A Hidden Gem:
During the German occupation of France in World War II, Citroën’s TPV (Très Petite Voiture – “Very Small Car”) project was concealed from the Nazis due to concerns of potential military applications. Although most prototypes were hidden, three TPVs were discovered in a barn in 1994, revealing the historical significance of these early design iterations. This unexpected find shed light on the remarkable resilience and preservation of the TPVs, safeguarded by workers who recognized their historical value.
From Concept to Reality: Unveiling the 2CV:
Following years of refinement and reworking, Citroën finally presented the 2CV at the 1948 Paris Salon. Despite initial criticism and skepticism from the press, the 2CV made a profound impact on the low-income population, quickly garnering a three-year waiting list. The car’s affordability and unique charm resonated with the public, solidifying its position as a revolution in consumer transportation.
Commercial Success and Global Reach: The 2CV’s popularity soared as demand increased exponentially. Production rose from a modest four units per day in 1949 to an astonishing 400 units per day in 1950. The car became a symbol of rebellion against mass consumer culture, attracting nonconformists across Europe. Owners formed a tight-knit community, exchanging friendly waves on the road. However, unlike the ubiquitous Volkswagen Beetle, the 2CV’s distribution remained primarily focused on France and select European markets.
Engineering Marvels and Technical Innovations:
The construction of the 2CV showcased remarkable technological advancements, considering its affordability. Its dual H-frame chassis, airplane-style tube framework, and thin steel shell demonstrated Citroën’s commitment to durability and cost-effectiveness. The groundbreaking suspension system allowed for a smooth and responsive ride, making it possible to drive the 2CV even on uneven terrain. Additionally, the car featured a flat-twin air-cooled engine, ensuring simplicity and reliability.
Engine Evolutions and Improved Performance:
Throughout its production run, the 2CV witnessed several engine upgrades. From its humble 9 bhp DIN (6.5 kW) beginnings, it evolved into a more robust 602 cc engine producing 33 bhp (24 kW) by 1970.
The 1979 Citroen 2CV 6 Special holds a special place in automotive history. As an economy car produced by the renowned French automaker Citroën, it captivated car enthusiasts and the general public alike. Its timeless design and impressive longevity are testaments to its enduring appeal.
Origins and Vision
Back in the early 1930s, Pierre-Jules Boulanger, a visionary designer, conceived a revolutionary concept for an affordable and robust car. He aimed to create a vehicle that could transport two peasants, laden with 100 kg of farm goods, at a speed of 60 km/h across any terrain, even muddy, unpaved roads. Boulanger’s ingenious design brief called for a car that consumed no more than 3 liters of gasoline to travel 100 km. Moreover, it had to withstand traversing ploughed fields without damaging the fragile cargo of eggs. Boulanger’s attention to detail even extended to ensuring he could comfortably wear a hat while driving by raising the roof. His radical ideas were far ahead of their time.
Engineered for Success
André Lefèbvre, the talented engineer in charge of the “Très Petite Voiture” (TPV) project, brought Boulanger’s vision to life. By 1939, several TPV prototypes had been built, featuring aluminum or magnesium parts and water-cooled engines. The car’s seats, reminiscent of hammocks suspended from the roof by wires, showcased the project’s innovative spirit.
However, during the German occupation of France in World War II, the TPV project was hidden to prevent potential military applications. Buried at secret locations or disguised as pickup trucks, the surviving TPVs eluded discovery until 1994. This remarkable feat of concealment, orchestrated by a handful of workers aware of their historical significance, ensured the project’s preservation.
Following the war, Citroën faced the challenge of making the TPV economically viable in a post-war economy characterized by rising aluminum costs. A decision was made to replace most of the aluminum components with steel parts. The TPV underwent further changes, including the introduction of an air-cooled engine, redesigned seats, and a restyled body by Flaminio Bertoni. It took three years of meticulous refinement until Citroën finally unveiled the car at the 1948 Paris Salon.
Initial Controversy and Lasting Appeal
The 2CV, as it was known, initially faced skepticism and even ridicule from the press. Critics labeled it a “rolling aberration” and a “Spartan car.” However, history would prove them wrong. The 2CV captured the imagination of the low-income population, becoming a symbol of affordable and practical transportation. Soon after its launch, the demand for the 2CV skyrocketed, resulting in a three-year waiting list. Production was ramped up from four units per day in 1949 to an impressive 400 units per day in 1950.
The 2CV’s commercial success expanded beyond the French market, gaining a devoted following across Europe. Its charm and revolutionary design attracted not only those seeking economical transportation but also individuals who resisted mainstream consumer culture. Owning a 2CV became a statement of nonconformity, a symbol of joining a unique community of like-minded individuals.