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    Tony Saggu
    / #1979-Citroen-2CV #Bonhams Greenwich / #1979 / #Citroen-2CV / #Citroen

    Greenwich, Connecticut June 3, 2018

    White with red fenders and vinyl rollback top; gray tweed seats. 435cc aircooled, opposed two-cylinder engine; single downdraft carb. Four-speed manual transmission, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes, four-wheel independent suspension. And for horsepower? An overwhelming 12 at 3,600 rpm, according to Bonhams (other sources state almost double that amount). Restored in 2008 to a high standard, this 2CV has good cosmetics inside and out, with very good paint, excellent glass and a well-trimmed cloth interior.

    You could open a good size museum containing only 2CV models and derivatives. Citroën made trucks, vans and pickups, as well as the Sahara, a 2CV with two motors providing primitive but effective 4WD. In all, over 3,500,000 2CVs were built; add those variants that were done on the 2CV platform, and that number balloons to over 8,500,000. The irst 2CVs — for deux chevaux, or two horses in French (for its 2 taxable bhp) — were made in France in 1948; the inal ones were assembled in 1990. In the interim, they were manufactured in an amazing variety of countries. Even though the market for beach cars from the 1960s is hot (Fiat Jollys and Mini Mokes come to mind), the minimalist 2CV hasn’t been swept up in that tidal surge.

    Selling at less than nine grand against an estimated range of $15,000 to $20,000, this was une incroyable affaire, an incredible deal for the buyer.

    SOLD AT $8,960
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    Put a smile on your face / #Citroen-2CV / #Citroen /

    Citroën’s 2CV was always endearing and a hoot to drive – and now you can buy a ‘brand new’ one, handbuilt to your specifications Words Mike Renaut / Photography Matt Richardson

    THAT’S A SHOCK. Citroën’s #Deux-Chevaux is no longer a student’s cheap banger. A decent 2CV is worth several thousand pounds, especially one completely rebuilt to make it rust-free and mechanically perfect. That’s where The #2CV-Shop comes in: it transforms rusty examples into brand new 2CVs. ‘We strip them completely, replacing the entire floor and sills on every car we build,’ explains managing director Darren Arthur. ‘You can’t see rust hiding up inside, so we prefer to put all new steel in. Each shell is then shot-blasted back to bare metal.’ Once rot-free, the shell is seam-sealed and zinc-coated.

    The 2CV Shop is the UK distributor for Cassis, which produces parts from original Citroën tooling. The brand new galvanised chassis gets fresh steering and brakes, overhauled suspension, new wiring, a rebuilt engine and gearbox along with new pipework, wheels and tyres. All cars are handbuilt to the customer’s desires. ‘We did a 2CV in metallic black with televisions in the headrests to match a client’s Audi A8,’ says Darren. ‘A disabled chap required a hand throttle on his; another customer wanted racing suspension. Leather interiors are possible, and so are hatchback conversions and tinted glass.’

    The 2CV Shop produces some 20 bespoke 2CVs per year, mainly straightforward restorations to factory spec with upgrades such as electronic ignition. The entirely in-house process takes about 12 weeks and you drive away in what is effectively a factory-fresh 2CV.

    As with most things Citroën, what at first seems odd soon becomes second nature. Grab the gearstick jutting from the centre of the dashboard and pull; a flick of the wrist anti-clockwise selects the dog-leg first gear on the four-speed box, then release and push forward for second. With a 30bhp 602cc engine I’m not expecting much, but the car surprises. Revved hard it keeps up with modern traffic better than some larger-engined classics. Power into a corner and you’ll lean until the mudflaps scrape. But what looks comically terrifying from outside feels perfectly safe within an interior snug enough to ensure you aren’t thrown about. It’s basic, but all the essentials are here – and if you want the wind in your hair, the roof rolls completely back. Plus these cars cost next to nothing to run.

    Prices start at around £14,000 for an entirely ‘new’ 2CV. Restored (rather than completely rebuilt) machines are a fair bit cheaper. For 2013 The 2CV Shop will be offering the same rebuild service on Citroën Meharis. ‘Give us a call,’ says Darren. ‘We can do just about anything – and we love a challenge.’

    // The Citröen 2CV Shop, Warminster, Wiltshire BA12 7BZ, UK., +44 (0)1985 841327.
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    2015 #Citroen-2CV-007 - 1 February #Citroen 2CV very special / #Citroen-2CV

    James made little infidelities to Aston Martin. It is, however, happened when, for the sake of Carole Bouquet, he had to take the wheel of a 2CV to escape his pursuers who led the hunt with sedans 504. It was in #1981 , to accompany the release of For Your Eyes Only, 500 2 Special CV6 have received specific decor, a yellow tint Helios will be then taken up by the Charleston and rectangular headlights borrowed from a club.

    But do not expect to repeat the stunts she succeeds: the frame was that of a Super Friend, engine borrowed from a #Citroen-GS , and she had skis protection and Koni shock absorbers. The "007" proposed by Citroën offers none of that. Just a few stickers to roll different. And it works!
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    Citroen SM V8 we driving the reborn prototype. Citroen Cars destroyed its SM V8 prototype when #De-Tomaso took over. So one enthusiast built his own - with the original engine. Words Robert Coucher Photography: Cathy Dubuisson.


    For decades. Citroens have been enormously advanced cars let down by distinctly pedestrian engines. And as Citroen destroyed its only #Citroen-SM V8. you'd either have had to build your own - or visit Georges Regembeau.

    Regembeau. born in 1920. first got into engineering at the age of 14, when he built a tractor. At 17 his innovative repair of a road-tarring machine (which had broken down outside his home) earned a handsome sum from a Mannheim company, which patented his modification. So he bought himself a car: a #Citroen-Traction-15/6 .

    After World War Two, he rallied it and even entered Le Mans, and realised the chassis could cope with more than just 77bhp. So he devised his own mechanical fuel injection and supercharged it. For good measure he built a six-speed gearbox, which endowed the Traction with a 131 mph top speed - verified by an officially timed run at Montlhery.

    Regembeau supercharged another four 15/6s for customers, then moved on to develop various modifications to improve the reliability of the Citroen DS. Besides work to make the hydraulic seals more oil-tight, he devised a five-speed gearbox, greatly improving the car’s refinement and economy on the new autoroutes. Then he moved to tuning and. with judicious changes to its cylinder head and induction system, the later #Citroen-DS21ie was capable of a staggering 138mph.

    Soon Regembeau found himself peering beneath the Citroen SM's elegant bonnet. With the oil shock of 1974. Regembeau began proposing a diesel conversion to SM clients whose engines were giving them problems. He had already built an 85bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel for the #Citroen-DS and, by the early 1970s experiments with #Bosch mechanical injection and successive increases in capacity to 2.7 litres produced a reliable 180bhp - enough to push the 1450kg SM to almost 125mph.

    But there was life in the petrol V6 yet. Regembeau understood the V6's flaws and realised that nothing short of ground-up re-engineering would make it run reliably. Starting from the bottom end, he revised the crankshaft, main bearings and piston liners, installed solid valves and redesigned the cylinder heads using better quality steel. He also redesigned the primary timing chain with better lubrication and added automatic tensioners to this and to the secondary belt, which drives the alternator, air-con compressor and the hydraulic steering and suspension systems.

    Regembeau's revisions to timing, induction and exhaust manifolds lowered peak torque from 4000rpm to a more relaxing 3000rpm, while power went up to an impressive 240bhp with triple Weber 48 carburettors. Allied to Regembeau's own six-speed gearbox, the Citroen SM RG was a 150mph car.

    Son Patrick gradually took over the business from a very reluctant father and today, like his father used to, he works alone - although his mother is also an accomplished mechanic who has certainly served her time in the workshop. Visit http ://citroensmregembeau.

    Everyone who is vaguely interested in motoring loves Citroens - but very few of us actually have the courage to own one. That's unfair, because early Citroens, such as the #Citroen-Traction-Avant and the #Citroen-2CV , were as tough as any car. But with the arrival of the DS, Citroen came over all avant-garde and, although it was powered by cheap and simple engines, the hydropneumatic suspension and brake system frightened off owners in the days when many people actually serviced cars themselves. The DS was superbly French but rather too idiosyncratic for most.

    The fabulously outrageous SM was the same, only more so. Styled by #Robert-Opron and fitted with a #Maserati-V6 engine, along with the signature hydropneumatic suspension and brake system that Citroen doggedly stuck to, the SM was an exotic-looking creation. Unfortunately it was launched when the automotive industry - especially in France - was in chaos, the fuel crisis was about to hit and the car proved to be underdeveloped and unreliable.

    During the decades since, the SM was largely ignored by the mainstream classic car world, seen as an over-complicated underachiever. For years, old SMs could be seen smoking around less salubrious suburbs with bits of fragile trim hanging off and the brittle interior crumbling. But in the last few years prices have jumped as the SM has become a desirable icon of the 1970s. With specialists such as Garage Daunat and Regembeau in France and Andrew Brodie in the UK proving that SMs can be made to run reliably and their foibles remedied, interest has rocketed. Even Drive-My editor Eric Richardson is in the process of importing one!

    The SM was recently afforded a seven-page feature, so this is not the place to repeat all the history. And nor should it be, because the car we have here is not one of the ordinary 12,920 production models but a replica of a one-off prototype. In fact it's the only #Citroen-SM-4.1-V8 in existence.

    To the bafflement of many, Citroen purchased Maserati in #1968 and this gave it access to Maserati's engine department, headed by Giulio Alfieri who developed the 2.7-litre V6 for the #Citroen-SM . According to marque expert Marc Sonnery, and detailed in his upcoming book Maserati and Citroen Years 1968-1975, in the spring of #1974 Alfieri was tasked with developing a new V8 engine for the Maserati Quattroporte II. The old Indy/Bora #Maserati-V8 was deemed too heavy and out of date so the Merak V6 engine was the basis for a fresh and more efficient 4.0-litre V8, and the idea was to test it in an SM.

    Alfieri ingeniously enlarged the V6 by cutting it in the middle of the third cylinder from the front and mating it with a one-and-a-half cylinder section from another block. Perfecto! A lightweight V8 that sits behind the front-wheel-drive SM's gearbox.

    Marc Sonnery put the question to Cleto Grandi, who was head of tecnico in the late Alfieri's R&D department for Maserati, and he says: Since Mr Malleret (director of Maserati for Citroen) did not want to use the traditional V8, judged too long in the tooth and uneconomical, it was decided to make a Merak Plus 2 engine... we took a Merak block and welded two additional cylinders from another Merak block and this engine came together quite simply.'

    Grandi continues: 'It was installed in the same position as the six-cylinder except that, to make room for the two additional cylinders, we had to modify the bodyshell slightly in the area of the dashboard to be able to fit the coolant pipes.'

    The gearbox remained standard, as Grandi explains: Normal five-speed gearbox, yes. We practically did not change a thing... To be able to fit [the engine] in the car, we flattened, as opposed to cut, the firewall and it just fitted in. There wasn't a lot of spare space, however.'

    One of Citroens reasons for purchasing Maserati was because of the smaller company's ability to produce prototypes quickly and Alfieri's engineers were skilled at aluminium welding. Grandi says: The distributor, we obviously took one for a V8, I am sure we fitted a Bosch unit, and we made longer camshafts and crank. The most difficult part of the job was to cut the two engine blocks and then afterwards weld them on the inside. That was difficult because of water and oil flow... you have all these passageways which had to be machined and then the two parts of the V8 were placed together so that everything could be calculated, then a welding tool specifically made for aluminium managed to weld it all very well.'

    The compact V8 was secreted into the SM's engine bay using the standard gearbox and engine mounts, with the firewall tapped with a hammer' - as Grandi tactfully puts it - to accommodate the extra cylinders. The regular SM sound- deadening material had to be removed, the exhaust manifolds took a bit of work, and additional pipes had to be added to both headers at the correct angle.

    The standard SM chosen to take the prototype V8 was finished in Rio Red with a black interior - exactly like you see in these photographs. Ingegnere Alfieri land others] did about 12,000km with the car, using it not only as a test bed but also for his personal commute home,' says Grandi. There was troppo potenza (too much power) so we had to change the suspension settings. Then at the end of the testing and development stage we removed the engine and, as the car was by then in poor condition, it was dismantled and scrapped.'

    By 1975 Michelin had decided to sell “Citroen Car Company” to Peugeot along with Maserati, which was haemorrhaging money. Peugeot then sold Maserati to Argentinean industrialist and ex-racing driver Alejandro de Tomaso. A fiery character, he wanted all signs of Citroen totally expunged from Maserati's history and the Citroen SM V8 was one of the casualties.

    Although the original Rio Red SM bodyshell was crushed, the special engine was saved along with other important Maseratis, including a collection of historic racing cars. This collection was then preserved by the Panini family in Modena, where it was put on display at its Parmigiano cheese factory. In 1998 the SM V8 engine was sold to the German Maserati collector Hermann Postert, who displayed it on a stand in his home.

    In the summer of 2009, private collector Philip Kantor persuaded Postert to sell him the prototype engine, to realise a long-held ambition. My late father loved Citroen SMs,' says Kantor. The trouble was they proved somewhat unreliable so he owned five at once to ensure one would always be running. He thought the cars were great but underpowered. Discovering that Alfieri had created this one-off prototype V8, and researching exactly how he had gone about it, I knew I had to recreate it, using the original V8 engine. My father would have really appreciated the engineering challenge and most certainly the result.'

    Citroen SM specialist Frederic Daunat was entrusted with this personal project and recreated the V8 in accordance with the original prototype. And now #Drive-My gets the chance to drive this unique SM in the quiet rural surrounds of Herbeville, near Versailles.

    It's immaculately finished in the soft orangey hue that is Rio Red, wearing the rare composite wheels made by Michelin, and its smart black leather interior appears original. In fact, the SM V8 looks no different to a regular SM but, when the engine fires, the cat is out of the bag.

    And, mon dieu, it sounds good! There's a very angry Italianate rasp that promises a good deal of power. It was never dyno'd, but the 4.0-litre V8 is thought to be whacking out around 260bhp.

    The driver's seat is big and soft; the view over the curved dash and fat steering wheel clear. The clutch operates as it would in the V6 and the V8 provides plenty of shove off the line, while the gearshift moves around the heavily chromed gate beautifully. That fat steering wheel needs to be so because you really have to hang onto it - with high gearing and extremely strong self-centring, you cannot palm along with one hand.

    Frederic Daunat, who prepares rally- winning SMs. has beefed up the hydropneumatic suspension but the car retains that incredible gliding ability across the country roads. As instructed, the brake button on the floorboard has to be treated very gently and at first application the SM nosedives to a very sudden halt. It takes practice to learn how to toe it correctly and it is a bit disconcerting not having a brake pedal to feather into blind bends, but at least you are always assured that the 1459kg #Citroen will stop.

    But going, not stopping, is this car's intention and. boy, is it quick. The V8 engine note hardens at about three thou', then goes off the chart with enthusiasm. Minimal sound deadening meansyou hear it at work from inside, and what a wonderful sound. With super-sharp steering, immense brakes, a tautened chassis and a fabulous V8, this prototype replica is the car that the SM always should have been. It's fast, comfortable, totally sorted, and the added power allows you really to exploit the capable chassis and benign handling to the full. This impressive Citroen is exactly what the late Mr Kantor Sr would have enjoyed for his high-speed European motoring.

    The Citroen SM V8 prototype replica will be offered for sale at the Bonhams Le Grand Palais auction in Paris, France, on 5 February 2011; www. cars.

    The #Citroen-SM-V8
    ENGINE #Maserati 4100cc V8. DOHC per bank, four #Weber #42DCNF carburettors
    POWER DIN 260bhp @ 5500rpm (approx)
    TRANSMISSION Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
    STEERING Rack and pinion, fully powered #DIRAVI
    SUSPENSION Hydropneumatic, front wishbones, rear trailing arms
    BRAKES Vented discs front, solid discs rear
    WEIGHT 1459kg (approx.)
    PERFORMANCE Top speed 155 mph
    0-62mph 7.1 sec (test drive)

    ‘Going, not stopping, is this car’s intention and, boy, is it quick. The V8 engine note hardens at about three thou’, then goes off the chart with enthusiasm’

    Left. Inside, it's the usual plush, deeply comfortable and slightly eccentric SM story, With added speed.
    Above. Carburettor trumpets prove the badge tells the truth - though this V8 was actually built out of two V6s.
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    Let’s face it, we all like an underdog, especially here in Britain. I suppose you can apply the idea of an underdog to motor vehicles. Without wanting to anthropomorphise inanimate motor cars, human beings have had a long and illogical relationship with their motors. A car is a strong reflection of its owner’s personality and position in society and there is no brand stronger than a motor vehicle. #Audi , #Bentley , #BMW , #Ferrari , #Mercedes-Benz , #Jaguar , #Porsche , #Rolls-Royce and so on spend a fortune burnishing their brand credentials and it works. Aston Martin was recently the coolest brand in Britain, ahead of #Apple , #Nike and #Rolex .

    People very seldom just purchase a ‘car’. They buy a product that reflects themselves. As the doyen of advertising David Ogilvy said: ‘You have to decide what "image" you want for your brand. Image means personality.
    Products, like people, have personalities.’ Sure, people buy cars based on price, but the mid-market 3-Series has long outsold the perfectly good #Ford-Mondeo - because it has a BMW badge on the front. And why do so many urban dwellers want a 4x4?

    Because a soft-roader is a lot cooler than a sensible saloon.

    Of course, those of us who are ‘into’ classic or historic cars have a real attachment: we actually love our old cars, which is faintly ridiculous, though also great fun and rewarding. Apart from the engineering and performance, classic car types are acutely aware about what their cars say about them. Both an E-type Jaguar and Mini are cool icons of the 1960s but are totally different, only having the fact that they are motor vehicles with four wheels in common, unlike a Morgan three-wheeler. Classic cars offer a wide canvas for tweedy types and Teddy Boys alike.

    But because classic car enthusiasts actually have a bond with their cars, they can see beyond just the brand image in a way drivers of modern cars don’t. Of course, modern cars are built to hammer down endless motorways and sit in traffic, whereas classics are for enjoyment. That’s why many classic car owners will often have an underdog in their garage along with a more recognised classic. As well as his C-type Jaguar and #Rolls-Royce-Silver-Ghost , the late Alan Clark MP also enjoyed A #Citroen-2CV and a #VW-Beetle (the latter admittedly with a #Porsche-356 engine shoehorned into the rear).

    Americans call these ‘trinket’ cars. Fiat 500 Jollys used to be trinkets but, now that owners of superyachts want them as tenders, they are priced like expensive jewels. I’m sure, like me, you have a soft spot for the automotive underdog, a classic that is not about the smart badge on the bonnet. The first time I drove a classic Mini I was shocked at how good it was on a tight road. It made the Porsche 356 I was driving at the time seem a bit numb. And years ago my father had an immaculate #Lancia-Aurelia-B20GT . To be fair it was the last of the line, a heavy sixth-series example. But when I raced him in my boxy, four-door #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia saloon, I’d blow his (two) doors off every time.

    As a member of the #Drive-My team I’m fortunate to get to drive some pretty impressive pieces of kit. And it is interesting to see quite how good some cars are - often the underdogs - and quite how lousy some of the supposed great classics can be. My good friend Ray Jones of Sydney, Australia, invited me to take part in the #Mille-Miglia with him in #1999 . We were to drive his #Chrysler-75 .

    Some in the vintage world look down on these Americans. Halfway through, #Bentley specialist Stanley Mann wandered over. ‘What sort of supercharger do you have fitted to the Chrysler?’ he asked (we’d overtaken his vintage Bentley a number of times). Ray opened the bonnet. Its two huge SUs and banana-branch exhaust header would have given your average VSCC scrute heart failure but there was no blower. Stanley was amazed. And the #Chrysler had excellent, original hydraulic brakes.

    In 2007, deputy editor Mark Dixon and I competed in the #Mille-Migila in a bog-standard #Triumph-TR2 , mustering just about 90bhp. Not powerful, but it handled well. In the mountains this light car was ace because of its overdrive gearbox, which operated on second, third and top. The #Triumph really annoyed a number of drivers of heavy Mercedes-Benz Gullwings with their wide-ratio gearing. Up the steep mountain roads we indulged in some of the most impertinent overtaking ever.

    Yes, it was a proper underdog.


    Robert grew up with classic cars, and has owned a #Lancia-Aurelia-B20GT , Alfa Romeo Giulietta and Porsche 356C. He currently uses his properly sorted #1955 #Jaguar-XK140 as his daily driver, and is a founding editor of this magazine.
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    The #Citroen #2CV was called the 'Très Petite Voiture’ (the ‘Very Small Car’) during its development and it was famously conceived to carry farmers and their produce across ploughed fields.

    But it didn't take long before people realised that the tough structure, rugged mechanicals and excellent off-road abilities of the Deux Chevaux also made it a superb motorised packhorse for taking on overland expeditions and soon the 'Tin Snail' became a familiar sight in every corner of the globe. #Citroën itself got in on the act with a series of long-distance 'Raids' in the Seventies where hundreds of 2CVs, Méharis, Dyanes and Fourgonettes took on gruelling routes over thousands of miles of rough terrain.

    Now a new tour business is giving enthusiasts the chance to enjoy a similar experience. #Citroen-2CV Adventures, founded by Toby Kilner (a former contestant on television’s Scrapheap Challenge) and rally organiser John Bridgen, has prepared a fleet of 16 identical 2CV6s in the familiar red and white ‘Dolly’ colours and is offering a packed calendar of overland tours in Spain, France and Morocco. Toby said that 2CV Adventures offers the ultimate ‘arrive and drive’. “You don’t have to ship your own car, bring the spares, create a route, book hotels, insure the cars or look after them. We do it all for you,” he says. “Anyone who’s spent time at the wheel of a #2CV will know that they are the perfect antidote to the dull driving experience offered by most of today’s cars.” The 2CVs are also available for hire for group events such as private rallies, birthday tours and corporate events.

    2CV Adventures has developed the 'Tin Snail Challenge' where the driver is blindfolded and has to be instructed around an obstacle course by the co-driver (while mastering the Citroën's unique dash-mounted gearchange!) as a teambuilding exercise.

    For more details of the #2015 events calendar go to: us.
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