Citroën celebrates 70 years of 2CV at Paris Motor Show

70 years ago today Citroën revealed the now instantly recognisable 2CV. The French marque is celebrating 2CV on its Paris Motor Show stand.

The Citroen 2CV was the car that got France moving at an efficient and affordable price. Since its introduction the simple car has waved its way into popular culture and even starring in a James Bond film! Citroen are celebrating 70 years of 2CV at the Paris Motor Show, the very place it first made its public debut in 1948.

More French greats!

As well as displaying its latest models, a bold orange Citroen 2CV is on display at the French marques stand in Paris to mark the milestone. Nailed to the wall like a retro sculpture, this van variant highlights the utilitarian nature of the car.

Its original design remit stated that it needed to be able to carry 50kg of farm produce to market at 30mph, have seating for four, and be able to cross a ploughed field without breaking any eggs onboard.

While the Citroen 2CV made its debut at Paris in 1948, it was actually ready some nine years earlier. The outbreak of war meant that the Paris Motor Show of 1939 was cancelled, a bitter pill for Citroen to swallow as they had already produced 250 early examples of the car in preparation.

Fearing that the Germans might weaponise the easy to manufacturer 2CV if it fell into their hands, Citroen was ordered to destroy or hide these pre-series cars. Post-war revisions resulted in the car that we know and love today — better late than never.

Citroen will host a special event on its Paris stand this evening that will have author and presenter of the ‘Vintage Mecanic’ show, François Allain, regale the audience with some fascinating history. If you’re not in Paris you might want to check out our ’70 years of 2CV’ feature.

Over its 42-year production run Citroen sold over 5.1 million 2CVs. Yet despite its ubiquity, today the ‘people’s car’ of France is actually quite collectable.

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