If you’re a Citroen fan, you probably already know that there’s an event on July 26-31 where there will be a record-breaking global gathering of Citroen 2CVs. The event, named the 19th International ‘Amis de la 2CV’, is expected to attract more than 6,000 examples of the legendary and iconic Citroen model.
This meeting takes place every two years. Those who participate come there to commemorate one of Citroen’s longest-running success stories. However, the 2011 event, which has the support of many of Europe’s 2CV owner’s clubs, is slated to be the biggest one yet. Fans will troop over to a 60-hectare site located near Salbris in Central France.
Four pre-war prototype 2CVs will be displayed beside the contemporary Citroen REVOLTe concept - a chic city car that boasts luxury and technology and takes inspiration from the 2CV’s unique silhouette.
The 2CVs were initially developed in the 1930s but most of the 250 prototypes were destroyed before war. Three were unscathed and these were hidden well so that they won’t be taken by the enemies. Michelin stored the fourth. It was at the 1948 Paris Motor Show that the 2CV was finally unveiled. Between 1948 and 1990, it sold 5,114,940 units.
There will be several activities at this meeting. Aside from the use of driving simulators, there will be a 2CV ‘disassemble-reassemble’ competition; a bring-and-buy sale; and even different events for children.
Those who want to explore the local regions will be told of the best road routes to take. A few 2CVs will be available for those who aim to discover, or relive, the sensation of being behind the steering wheel of this legend.
The Citroen 2CV – which is short for the French term "deux chevaux-vapeur" that means "two steam horses" -- -- is an air-cooled front-engine, front-wheel-drive economy car. Shortly after being taken over by Michelin in 1934, Citroen commissioned a market survey, which resulted to a preparation a design brief for a low-priced, rugged "umbrella on four wheels" that would allow four people to transport 50 kg (110 lb) of farm goods to market. This design brief was sent by Pierre-Jules Boulanger vice-president of Citroën and chief of engineering and design, to his design team at the engineering department in 1936.
However, it wasn’t until 1948 that the Citroen 2CV was formally unveiled. The French carmaker officially revealed the 2CV at the 1948 Paris Mondial de l'Automobile. Citroen built the 2CV for model years 1948 to 1990. Overall, more than 3.8 million 2CVs were built, along with more than 1.2 million small 2CV-based delivery vans called as fourgonnettes.