Citroen 2 CV 1939 Prototype
First prototypes of the Citroen 2CV were built in 1937 with design and performances objectives so it would be a popular and economic car (transport four people with 50 kg of luggage, 4.5 litres of fuel for 100 km) with innovative design illustrating the formula: “More than a vehicle, a lifestyle”.
The initial car weighted no more than 500 kg and reached a modest top speed of 65 km/h with 500 cm3 motorbike engine.
Pierre-Jules Boulanger, the 2 CV’s father, built up a team to develop a TPV (initials for “Très Petite Voiture” meaning Very Small Car) including Flaminio Bertoni and André Lefebvre in the early thirties.
A total of 250 prototypes were on test until 1939 to better the Citroen 2 CV mechanics
and road comfort and was to be unveiled at Paris Motor Show 1939. During War times, prototypes were hidden or disassembled to preserve Citroen’s project secret. In 1946 test restarted in a land specially bought near Paris, at La Ferté-Vidame which remain Citroen test centre nowadays.
Finally, the Citroen 2CV was presented at Paris Motor Show 1948. At first, the press remained sceptical against the public who rapidly embraced the car, excepted some traditional Citroen connoisseurs more used to the Traction classic design
Orders outnumbered Citroen potential manufacturing process of the 2CV and customers had to wait for years before they could finally handle the steering wheel.
Defined as robust, practical with minimum upkeep the car became emblematic of the second half of the 20th century for many people.
Its development continued through decades and was declined into vans, 4x4,…
Also most of the car body parts could be moved off and reattached thanks to sliding hinges and a few judiciously placed nuts and bolts.
Production continued to grow, in 1956 reaching 95,864 saloon units and success was not over that time, as sales kept going to the early eighties.
On pictures number “13-14” you can see the crank used to start the engine.
On picture number “18” you can see that the back of the front seat is attached to the roof.
Technical Specs for the 1939 prototype:
- Engine: Water-cooled horizontally-opposed flat twin, 375 cm2, 8 Horsepower at 3,200 rpm for
- Suspension: No shock absorbers. Anti-bucking system blocks the suspension on braking by a hydraulic locking system.
- Length: 3,90 m – Width: 1,45 m – Height: 1,55 m
wallpapers of the Citroen 2 CV 1939 Prototype