Posted in Culture/History, Photo, Technology

Citroën 2CV

To my surprise and delight, I encountered up to three Citroën 2CV on today’s stroll. This deux chevaux-vapeur (meaning ‘two tax horsepower’) was an economy car produced by the French car manufacturer Citroën between 1948 and 1990.

 It was technologically advanced and innovative, but with uncompromisingly utilitarian unconventional looks, and deceptively simple Bauhaus inspired bodywork, that belied the sheer quality of its underlying engineering. It was designed to move the French peasantry on from horses and carts. It is considered one of Citroën’s most iconic cars. In 1953 Autocar in a technical review of the car wrote of the extraordinary ingenuity of this design, which is undoubtedly the most original since the Model T Ford. It was described by CAR magazine journalist and author LJK Setright as the most intelligent application of minimalism ever to succeed as a car.

The Citroën 2CV was designed for low cost, simplicity of use, versatility, reliability, and off-road driving. For this it had a light, easily serviceable engine, extremely soft long travel suspension (with height adjustment by lengthening/shortening of tie rods), high ground clearance, and for oversized loads a car-wide canvas sunroof (which until 1955) also covered the boot.

The 2CV belongs to a short list of vehicles introduced in the middle of the 20th century that remained relevant and competitive for many decades, such as the Jeep, Land Rover Series, Fiat 500, Mini and Volkswagen Beetle.

These cars are called Ugly Ducklings in Holland, but I think they are adorable! When I was young, we used to have a Citroën Dyane back home, and I loved driving in it.

What do you think? Are these really Ugly Ducklings, or Beautiful Swans? 😉

Information: Wikipedia.


Caretaker of males, both human and feline. No lady, but all woman. Avid reader and photographer. Determined to find writing time during busy days. And nights if needed. Because I need you to meet the wonderful people who are living in my mind.

24 thoughts on “Citroën 2CV

  1. I’m going for swans of their time. Our scholl librarian had one (many years ago) and she once gave me a lift init. I remember feeling so honoured! 🙂


  2. They are so ugly, a tin can, but o, so funny to drive in. A friend had an ugly duck back in the earlier ’70, and we were all rocking up and down and from one side to the other, and the windows were also rocking up and down.. can you imagine the fun we’ve had 🙂


  3. Yes, they’re ugly, how was the ride? Growing up in the 60s, American teens poured their ego into their autos. Hippies drove VWs. 🙂 But after I got out of high school, I worked in a railroad yard and hitched a ride with an older railroader in his VW. It was a good ride, and with personality.

    My first auto, IYWTK, at the bottom of this link, a 1952 Bel Air

    Are you interested in commenting on European politcs and government? France will have a new government and your fellow Rutte says new elections for the Netherlands. And someone named Wilders?



    1. Driving one of them is a real experience. The car tilts a tiny bit when you round a corner 😉
      That Bel Air looks stunning, Mike. I love it! There are American Shows in Holland regularly, and we often go there. drooling over the impressive and beautiful cars.

      As for politics, no, I’m not interested. There will indeed be new elections after the summer holidays. Wilders. No comment. Brrr.


      1. That’s all I need to know. But your little country pops up every so often in the news sites I visit.



  4. Geweldige auto’s. Renault probeerde eea over te nemen met de Renault 4, was meende ik ook een samenwerking, die er nu zeker is (Renault, Citroën en Peugot).

    Waarom bewerk je alle foto’s via HDR?


    1. Was er toen al een samenwerking tussen die automerken? Nooit geweten. De Renault 4 was ook zo’n auto met karakter 🙂

      En over HDR: ik bekijk iedere foto die ik wil plaatsen en speel dan net zo lang met de opties tot ik het mooiste effect heb. Vaak is dat HDR, maar niet altijd. .


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