Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
This is a platform for User Generated Content. G/O Media assumes no liability for content posted by Kinja users to this platform.

French Friday: Quatre chevaux-vapeur!

Illustration for article titled French Friday: iQuatre chevaux-vapeur!/i

Sacrebleu! Qu'est-ce que c'est? A few '2CVs' did pass on LaLD before. But a 4CV? Actually Citroën didn't call it that way but they should have. Why? Because this:

Illustration for article titled French Friday: iQuatre chevaux-vapeur!/i
Advertisement

What's that on it's back I hear you ask? It's supposed to be the ventilator. To cool down the... 2nd engine!!!

Illustration for article titled French Friday: iQuatre chevaux-vapeur!/i
Advertisement

That's right, this is a 2CV 4x4, the 'Sahara', equipped with two engines (12 hp each), each one having a separate fuel tank. That's why there's two fillers in both front doors, one would just sit on top of the gastank!

Illustration for article titled French Friday: iQuatre chevaux-vapeur!/i
Advertisement

The reason for not just adding 'old-fashioned' 4wd? Since Citroën doesn't have a power-full engine to make a proper 2cv 4x4, this twin engine solution was chosen.A single gearstick, clutch pedal and accelerator were connected to both engines and all this in a day without any electronic device to proper synch both drivetrains!

Illustration for article titled French Friday: iQuatre chevaux-vapeur!/i
Advertisement

It was originally intended for use by the French colonies in Northern Africa but it wasn't quite a big hit. Citroën only made 694 of these, from which only 27 are known to have survived. If something is a unicorn (or 'Licorne' if you will), this is it!

Illustration for article titled French Friday: iQuatre chevaux-vapeur!/i
Advertisement

Great feature of the car was the fact you could just drive it with both one or two engines because the engine transmissions could be uncoupled. Using one engine it's topspeed was a staggering 40 mph, using both it reached an even more astronomic 65 mph!

Illustration for article titled French Friday: iQuatre chevaux-vapeur!/i
Advertisement

This 2cv was is a Chinese built Universal Hobbies in 1/43. I think it's detailed as hell for it's price, it even has proper off-road tires! It has gathered quite some dust and scratches at home but that just adds a bit of decent patina as far as I'm concerned.

Illustration for article titled French Friday: iQuatre chevaux-vapeur!/i
Advertisement

It's one of my most precious models, it's such a unique move of the French to create a four wheel drive. Too bad not so many survived in real life.

Illustration for article titled French Friday: iQuatre chevaux-vapeur!/i
Advertisement

Still looking for a Aca-Dyane in 1/43 though to complete my Citroën twin-boxer collection. That's it for this week, next week something more modern. And quick.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter