Une autre 2cv. Created by Jean Dagonet, le “Sorcier de Faverolles”. Sorcier for Wizard (the French really like the word Sorcier for their tuners - Gordini!) and Faverolles for the place he was from: Faverolles-et-Coëmy. A town near Reims. In France, of course.
Jean Dagonet actually was a man that made Citroën clear they needed a more powerful engine, a feeling that made way for the 2CV AZ in 1954. That was the second generation of the 2CV with a 50cc bigger engine and an increased power of 12hp. Three extra horses!!!
Jean Dagonet had sold upgrade kits for the 2CV prior to selling complete cars. These kits mainly consisted of that same increased capacity and chromed cylinders. Exact power output I can’t find (there’s word about 19hp) but the original AZ was able to do 80 km/h (the initial 2CV reached a staggering 65 km/h!!!) whereas the uprated Dagonet engine took the 2CV to “100 km/h”.
But in 1953 Jean decided the world was ready for a somewhat better/sportier looking 2cv. And by lowering it a bit getting a lower center of gravity. About 18 centimeters of metal were chopped from both roof- and waistline. The bonnet was lowered and the windscreen steeply raked. The cars were lightened wherever possible, holes were drilled in the wheels for example. Not to create a nice airflow, all for the greater good of adding (unsprung) lightness!
For the roof, initially for Dagonet’s “Ghislaine”, still a canvas top was chosen. The later introduced “Marie-France” came with a full metal roof. Other differences between the Dagonets can be found in the front wings. Either the original ones or fiberglass ones with the headlights integrated, like the one you see here.
Bonnets were lowered as well and, all variants (4 in total) had an extra air-scoop int it. The one you see here is the best known one, this was the 3rd type. The 4th type was a complete flip front with the wings integrated. My favorite though is the second bonnet they used. Whatch those kidneys (!!):
All this “sportiness” (l’Automobile tested the top speed for the Dagonet redesigned car for being 105 km/h at the Monthléry track) resulted in quite a few of the Dragonets bought by sportscar enthusiasts to be entered in race events. Mille Milles (a total of 7 Dagonets entered in the 1955 edition!!!), Liège-Rome-Liège and Monte Carlo were rallies it participated in. And I’m sure quite a few entered events at the local Gueux track as well.
Jean was realistic though, this still wasn’t the fastest car in the world. And therefor he had a great “invention”, at least I had never heard of this before, a “rattraper-indicateur”. An indicator for people coming from behind to let them know it was save for them to overtake the little 2CV. The indicator was a little green (flashing?) light, it is supposed to be the 3rd one on top of the left row of tail lights.
It’s not green on the model but as info is somewhat scarce on these I can forgive it’s creators for leaving that one out. At least they noticed the different amount of tail-lights on both sides on those black & white pictures.
A two-door coupe was engineered as well. Today’s French Friday addition is a Marie-France with it’s full metal body though. It’s a 1/43 Norev made for Hachette’s 2CV series, just like the TPV, Barbot Spéciale and the Cogolin Sapeurs-Pompiers I showed on this year’s LaLD car week.
And I still am so impressed with these. There’s “spots” on the paint of the driver-side front and rear wings but that’s it. I cannot emphasize this enough: It’s a complete series of over 100 casts, you have to at least appreciate the fact a company is willing to recreate this many of the not your everyday 2CV’s.
Not many of the 1:1 Dagonets are known to have survived. A total of 17 cars have been produced between 1953 and 1956. Most of theme were built in 1956. And they probably differed in many ways from each other. Of those 17 cars 3 are known to be “alive” according to a French source. One of those was desperately in need of a restoration though. And another one, the “Dominique Geffrey” car, has vanished after it’s owner died a while ago.
C’est ca pour aujourd’hui. Last week’s French Friday was a bit slow so I hope to see more. There might be a Visa coming as well (Bttfdmc1984, I’m counting on you!!!) today. Bon Week-End!!!