Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

French Friday: Bonjour, mon Ami!

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Bonjour, mon Ami!

After some epic fast Renaults the last couple of weeks it's time for a somewhat more utilitarian wagon to transport all the parts breaking down from those Clios. They're French so dépannage is inevitable.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Bonjour, mon Ami!

This is a Citroën Ami Break. For several years in France the Ami ("Friend" in French) was the best selling car model, nearly 2 million have been made.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Bonjour, mon Ami!

The Ami actually is a bigger re-bodied 2CV with mechanical upgrades like a larger engine than the 1950s 2CV to compensate for the added weight. At launch all the cars were powered by an air cooled 602 cc two-cylinder flat engine. The first 'normal' Amis, the 'Ami 6', were distinguished by an unusual reverse-raked rear window and the Ami, along with the '61 Ford Taunus, was the first car to have rectangular head lights.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Bonjour, mon Ami!

During it's life-cycle an 'Ami Super' was introduced, it got a flat-4 with 55 bhp in stead of 32 (or even 22 for the first one!). Also the normal 'Ami 6' was replaced by the 'Ami 8', it had lost it's reverse-raked rear window.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Bonjour, mon Ami!

It even was exported to the US. But the best was yet to come, the Citroën M35 was a coupé derived from the Ami 8 which was introduced in 1961. It's engine was replaced by a... 1-rotor Wankel engine! That one is really sought-after as one can imagine with 267 produced.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Bonjour, mon Ami!

But back to the model. It's an Eligor 1/43 from the 'Les petits utilitaires Francais' series and it's supposed to be an 'Ami 6'. It came in a Jewel case with cartoonish Diorama:

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Bonjour, mon Ami!
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The garage, if ever existed at all, isn't situated at the Avenue du Maréchal Foch in Evreux anymore. I had to check it when I was in Normandy last summer.

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Bonjour, mon Ami!
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I like the details of this one quite a bit. 3-lugged wheels, glass headlights, chromed bumpers, all seem correct. The windows were of the sliding kind which Eligor represented by the lines halfway the door windows.

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Bonjour, mon Ami!
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I got this one from a guy selling diecasts from Hong Kong who had a Simca Abarth I just had to get. He even put in extra 'gifts', I suppose it's a small cleaning towel?

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Bonjour, mon Ami!
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That's it for this week. Ami-out!

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