Cult 2CV and fun Méhari mark big birthdays

The 2CV was an instant hit when it was launched in 1948

The design brief for the first 2CV in the late 1930s, was refreshingly rural: it had to be able to carry two 50kg sacks and cross a field with a basket of eggs without breaking any.

By contrast, the designer of the 1968 Méhari, which shared 2CV engines and chassis, was told the aim was to have fun.

When the 2CV was being designed in the late 1930s people were starting to realise cars were not just playthings for the rich. Especially in rural areas, they were becoming essential.

Rural vets and farmers were among the first ‘ordinary’ people to own cars, and Michelin, which had just bought Cit­röen, was keen for them to buy.

Early prototypes were hidden from the Germans during ...

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