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Citroen 2CV and 2CV6 (1948 - 1990)

Last updated 5 April 2013

Tin Snail is a economy motoring icon, comfortable, long-legged, limpet-like grip and a roll-back canvas roof
Lack of outright performance takes a little getting used to


The Citroen 2CV was designed before WW2, and was conceived to motorise France's rural population. The 2CV's utilitarian design belied a car that was very clever, with interconnected suspension and an unburstable air-cooled two-cylinder engine capable of running all day long. The simply-constructed body was considered ugly when the car was launched in 1948, but over the years, its combination of minimalist charm and French chic ended up winning the 2CV an army of fans across the globe.

During its life, the 2CV fundamentally changed very little. It received more power as the engine capacity increased from 375 to 602cc over the years, and inside, it became increasingly luxurous (relatively speaking). In 1978, and resisting the temptation to revise the styling, Citroen launched the 2CV6. It received improved interior trim and a slightly uprated flat-twin. The best features remained – the loping ride, the comfortable seats, the ability to run flat out all day long, the removable seats, and pull back roof – and that helped maintain sales for what had become a cult car even during its production run. Finally laid to rest in 1990, after a brief production run in Portugal, the Citroën 2CV joined the immortals in the automotive hall of fame.

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