The history of the 2CV

1934-1950 : The start of a great story


Pierre Jules Boulanger (nicknamed PJB) takes back the engineering of the Citroen brand. His close associates are the engineer André Lefebvre and the man with "golden fingers" Flaminio Bertoni.

Following a traffic jam of peasant carts in the middle of a small village, he realizes that cars are not yet availablefor all categories of social classes ...

Hence he got an idea: "We must create a car for people ... It has to be simple, without too much comfort, take on board some people and goods, able to drive on any type of land ... but it mostly has to be economic" .


In 1937, the first prototype was ready, but dangerous to drive. Its code name, the POS (in French) for Very Small Car(some people also say Any Small Car).

Lest the idea was taken up by another manufacturer, PJB buys a property (La Ferte Vidame - Eure) fully walled 100 km west of Paris, for his essays.
49 vehicles "proto" were built and tested on a specially designed itinerary (over 2.5 km on all types of terrain).


Twenty models (constantly changed) were still being tested. For PJB, it is time to gather the best ideas andprepare for the launch of the POS (especially the manufacturers, the press, etc ... that begin to question, hiddenbehind the stone walls occupations ).


On September 2, the first POS is ready to be shown to the public. A few days later, war was declared ... The auto show will not take place.

The assembly line was requisitioned for military equipment and POS construction are sent for scrap ... PJB does not mean that his idea was taken over by the occupant.

During the long period of war, PJB works behind the scenes to his project. The POS continues its evolution ... The Germans want to know more about the project, but he refuses any proposal. However, he continued hisexperiments.  


Many changes were made​​, the first road tests begun ...
It was dubbed "The Cyclops" because of its unique light (placing two lights were not required at the time).

For the record, the car light was initially placed in the center of the hood ... But at night, it was soon realized that the other vehicles coming from the front, brushed body, thinking that it was a motorcycle!

The car light was placed on the left of the car ...


After some starting problems, we abandon the "launcher string" (lawnmower-type). It now places a battery and an electric starter.

In October 1948, the car is unveiled at before the astonished eyes of the public ... When the cover is removed, people pushing, shoving ... Everyone wants to see. The secret car was unveiled ... Unless the engine. Hood, welded, does not see it.

Opinions are divided ... Some think a joke and others see this car as an object to escape ...

As in the days of the exhibition going on, other manufacturers are starting to laugh "yellow" ... Citroën was able to"touch" the public ... She is the queen of the show!



The manufacture of the small 2CV begins in June 1949. A named 2CV, it is equipped with an engine of 375 cm3.Only four vehicles are manufactured each day to cope with the growing demand.

As expected by Pierre Jules Boulanger, the 2CV is for businesses that require frequent travel. A dossier supportinguse of the vehicle must be entered!

But that's not all ... the "happy" 2CV owners are invited to give their impressions after a few months ... always with the aim of continuous improvement.
More and more people want a 2CV and delivery of ... Seven years.    


1950-1970:  The glory years


The production accelerates (400 units per day) and the number of 2CV circulating on the roads of France grows. It is found in many trades (social workers, rural doctors, factors, priests, etc ...).

The salon of 1950, Citroën offers a van versions. The crowd gathers and orders flow. This is an expectedpopulation utility vehicle. It is named 2CV AU (U as utility).


The van was now available for sale. In many applications, it was highly valued in the delivery business.

You have to be very patient to acquire your own because the waiting lists can be several years long ...

It is not uncommon for people who receive one to order another one immediately to be sure to have a the other 5 or 6 years later!



Change the type of grille. The circle has been removed, leaving only the two large aluminum rafters.

The hole for the crank is always present.



In April 1954, a model called 2CV PO (for "Dust") is proposed for African colonies to protect the engine from the sand.

In 1954 comes the 2CV AZ.

A 2CV AL is mounted in Mills Forest in Belgium. There is a rear trunk for bumpers, a bezel trapezoidal lights on the wings, hard "alloy" wheels, chrome strips for decoration, hooves wings, etc ...

Best year of production of the Type A: 43 250 copies!  



The 2CV AZ 1955 still has a small rear window (on top of gray cloth), garnishes are Scottish, the bumpers are thebody color and chopsticks hood and underbody were removed.


Door trim AZ are gray with dark gray veins. Shortly after leaving the 2CV AZL (L for "Luxury"). (New starter, chrome strip through the center of the hood, change the cover and underbody nozzle defrost windshield).



The descent of the canvas top with a chest plate is replaced.


1958    In March 1958, the full output of the 2CV "Sahara" astonishment. A 4x4 model with two engines (a second is placed in the trunk), also used in 4x2 and 2x4, and easily recognizable by the tire mounted on the hood. Productionstopped in 1967, few models have been sold.



Check a removable post: the "Radioen" (and yes, it is detachable to be used also in the house).

The classic 2CV received a blue interior and a new body color with matching hood (Ref AC 606).

Notice the metal wheel, the counter on the left, pedals rubber "round", the mechanism for opening doors "suicide", etc..

Simplicity was the watchword at the time ...



New color: green spray (ref AC 511). The bar in the front seat is protected by a rubber.

Makeover. Arrival of a new model to cover five ribs and new grille alloy at the same time. (Chassis No.: 2510001)

A new color is added: Yellow Panama (AC 307).   


Manufacturing model 375 cm3 is stopped. The van model adopts changes (hood, grille, etc.).
New colors: sea blue with blue interior, red poppy (AC 410) with red interior and dark brown or gray coat.



Arrival of a new model called the Mixed 2CV. For Belgium, it took the name 2CV AZC (C for "Commercial"). Specialopening for the trunk (the rear window is also noted in the package), for loading larger items. Original thing, the spare wheel is mounted under the hood.

In color: with red poppy, pink brown or gray cover.

The seat covers are brown or tangerine. Then come the green covers and hood medium gray.



Many changes that year: engine, transmission, carburetor, clutch and brake, bumper, headlight bracket, etc..

This is called the 2CV AZAM (AM for "improved).

New colories appear:
- The pinkish gray (AC 136)
- The Monte Carlo blue (AC 605)
- The beige Caribbean (AC 309)
The tops are brown, gray or red.

The 2CV AZL is always available at Citroën catalog.  



In 1965, came a new grille with three horizontal slats. The rafters are moved a little higher on the hood (5 ribs).

The model is called AZL AZA in the auction catalog.

New colors: blue and gray Fog Etna.

A new side window, called quarter window is added.    



The 2CV AZAM is renamed Export  


1970-1990:  More series appear



End sales AZL model is replaced by the 2CV4 (435 cm3) and 2CV6 (602 cm3). A new security: assembly seat beltsin the front. In May, 2CV4 2CV6 and adopt the round lights on the front.    



Change grille. Small rafters, who were on the cover, slide back on the grill. The hood now opens from the inside of the plastic headbands easy opening doors. A big change: the arrival of rectangular headlights.



Presentation of the Special 2CV (it is the version "low end") with its round headlights, engine 435 cm3 and withoutquarter windows. The logo is also added on the chest and the dashboard is improved.    



A new model, the 2CV Spot appears. This is actually a 2CV4 with a new look ... and yes, the design is entering theautomotive world! With 1,800 copies sold, it is really about the "First limited edition.



The 2CV Special loses some of its look "retro", it is added to the third side window


The Special is the 2CV 2CV 6 Special. The engine goes to 602 cm3. The 2CV 6 changes name 2CV 6 Club.



Arrival of a special series: The 2CV 6 Charleston, 8,000 copies are placed on the market.



The 2CV Charleston receives chrome headlight trim and diamond instead of "chicken foot".

A 2CV 6 adds the 2CV 6 E (E for "Centrifugal").


Arrival of a new model of the 2CV Charleston in black and yellow. It does not get the expected success and few copies are sold ... which makes it a very rare model ... (but the copy is not uncommon ...).



Arrival Model "France 3" (2000 copies).

Following the model of discrete little yellow and black Charleston, Citroen changes its colors (gray and black orgray Cormorant night).  



Following strong sales: 2000 copies of the France 3 are back on the market.    



In March, the arrival of the 2CV DOLLY.
His first colors are:
- White and gray Meije Cormorant
- Gray and yellow Cormorant Rialto
- Gray and red Cormorant Vallelunga.
In September follow:
- White and red Meije Vallelunga
- White and green bamboo Meije,
- Rialto yellow and red Delage.     



A year after its release, the third series of 2CV Dolly.

The new colors are:
- White and red Meije Vallelunga
- Blue and yellow Night Rialto
- Rialto yellow and red Delage.

Output 2CV Cocorico in 1000 copies.   



Stop the sale of the 2CV Club.
The double chevron logo disappears from the trunk door.



 On 29 February, the production stops in France ...


July 27 to 16h, the last 2CV out of the factory Viseu in Portugal.