Saturday, February 16, 2013

French Two Horses

Look what I saw today: a newly reincarnated French Citroën 2CV (French: "deux chevaux" i.e. "deux chevaux-vapeur [fiscaux]." Literally, this means "two tax horsepower" and it was an economy car produced by the French car manufacturer Citroën between 1948 and 1990. This car is so nostalgic to me because it reminds me of my wild student days in Paris. Two of my class mates owned this 2CV car and we had tons of fun with them. This is a rather new construction and it looks like a "special edition" rather than the "real" original 2CV that I know. The license plate says it is an antic, but it truly is antic only in its name.

I asked the owner who told me he paid US $12K and it was shipped from France. Imagine that, a full 2 horse power among the killer cars of Miami!

The two cars I used to ride in more than often would not start, but for us lunatic students, that was no big deal. We can start this car by manually cranking it without breaking a sweat. You do that by sticking a steel crank shaft into a steel tube in front of the car under the hood. Our great challenge was to start the car with only one single crank. If you want to know how we did it, take a look at this Youtube link. I love this car's manual transmission control that is smack in the middle of the dashboard and into your face. But... it was truly remarkable that according Wikipedia, this car was designed to be a low-priced, rugged "umbrella on four wheels" that would enable four peasants to drive 50 kg (110 lb) of farm goods to market at 50 km/h (31 mph), in clogs and across muddy unpaved roads if necessary. The car would use no more than 3 L of gasoline to travel 100 km (78 mpg). Most famously, it would be able to drive across a ploughed field without breaking the eggs it was carrying.Bicycle


Katelyn Gallagher said...

That is such a funny little car! When you live in the chilly Midwest like I do you cannot wait to get out of the cold and head down to see the best hotels Miami Beach has to offer! We're planning a trip now.

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Ricky Hanson said...

RickyHanson says cool car.

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