People's Car Reborn



Will the “Citroën Cyclecar” Prove Acceptable to the British Public? Motor Sport, after an Extended Test of over 2,000 miles in 18 days, including Negotiation of the Course used for the 1924 R.A.C. Small Car Trials, thinks the Answer is Definitely “Yes.”

Much has been written about the remarkable Citroën 2 c.v. “people’s car,” with its 375-c.c. o.h.v. air-cooled flat-twin engine, very supple yet stable coil-spring suspension, front-wheel drive and four-seater, four-door open/closed body.

Will this little economy car prove acceptable, even at the rather high price which Import Duty necessitates, on the Home Market? To answer this question I took an example emanating from the Slough factory and drove it mercilessIy over a distance of 2,075 miles.

There is no need to describe the 2 c.v. in detail, but let me just run over some of its decidedly ingenious features. Apart altogether from its brilliant technical conception, resulting in a true utility/economy car which, in France, is already taking the place of the horse-and-cart and which seldom returns less than 60 m.p.g. if cheap petrol, this Citroën 2 c.v. has “fittings to match.”

Lift the light bonnet and the fan-cooled horizontally-opposed engine is fully accessible — dip-stick, oil filler with quick-action cap, downdraught Solex carburetter with French Tecalemit air cleaner, Ducellier coil and fuse box, petrol pump with convenient primer, waterproofed Marchal Corindon plugs, horn and Exide battery being in full view. Inside the roomy body you have the exceedingly comfortable hammock-style seats, the driver’s having pegs to adjust it (the back bench-seat is removable if desired), the Ventilator panel which extends the full width of the scuttle is opened or closed by turning a knob, the air admitted being filtered through wire mesh, and the clever half-windows in all four doors, which fold up and are held open by rubber grommets in the roof, or retained shut by a simple catch. As if this is not ventilation enough — but then, France is hot country — the whole roof rolls half back or fully back as required, notwithstanding which it, and the entire car, is water-proof through torrential rain.

All windows are of Indestructo safety-glass; equipment includes a good rear-view mirror, twin screen wipers driven from the speedo meter cable, but also operatable by hand, an anti-dazzle vizor for the driver, and a vast, exceedingly useful padded under-facia shelf, 27 in, wide and with a further roomy compartment, 7 1/2 in. in. wide, to the left of the instrument panel for the driver. This panel accommodation really is useful and the absence of door-pockets goes unnoticed. What else? Door-pulls for the front door, rubber keeps for all the doors (the rear doors trail), simple, effective door handles, with sliding locks and lockable near-side front door, swivelling ash-tray in the front compartment, self-cancelling direction indicators, and a very large luggage compartment in which the spare wheel lies flat, the tool roll and jack (in bags) beside it, and which is accessible from within the car, or by lifting the lockable metal lid which replaces the fabric cover of the earlier cars. Both bonnet and boot lid have excellent stays, with simple release catches.

But we were considering ingenious features … Right! Besides those already outlined there is the tiny lamp, with miniature tumbler-switch on the facia, which normally illuminate, the 2 1/4-in. Smith’s speedometer but, its case rotated, becomes the interior lamp. The ingenious seats, with rubber slats across tubular metal frames, have already been referred to; they have, durable plastic upholstery and the front ones lift for access to the back compartment should the back door be locked. The generous fuel filler on the off side contains a long fibre dip-stick which records the contents of the 4.4 gallon petrol tank which lives under the back seat. The flexible suspension is naturally affected by load, but to counteract this a knob controls the angle of the small, but powerful, 4 1/2-in. Butlers combined head and side lamps. A removable fabric cover carrying the Citroën chevron-badge, to clip over the radiator grille in cold weather, is supplied and the bonnet is lifted by a motif proudly bearing the words “Citroën Front Drive,” reminder, if such be needed, that Citroën has made more traction avant than anyone else. The heater consists simply of two ducts, one from each cylinder, leading to holes in the foot ramp normally closed by flaps.

The central hand-brake lever is merely turned to the near side to release its vice-like ratchet: it acts as a proper brake besides being a parking anchor. Closer to the off side, the central gear-lever is upturned, with a big, comfortable knob, spring-loaded away front the first and reverse gear location. Its action, once mastered, is simplicity itself, aided by good synchromesh and a tolerant cogs box. The beginner makes the mistake of going from top into second gear when he or she is seeking over-drive top and must remember to push the knob more definitely to the right to select over-drive, which is usable at anything over 30 m.p.h. on a level road. Reverse is opposite first, with no stop. Otherwise the gear-change action is simple and satisfying, the only puzzIe to the regular 2 c.v. driver being to find bottom gear in hurry from normal top; this involves going forward to neutral and left and farther back into bottom gear. This action apart, and it is normally required only at rest, the gear-change is extremely easy and very rapid indeed.

There is one of those delightful Continental-style lamps-control extensions to the right of the steering wheel, carrying the horn button at its extremity and moving up and down to dim the headlamps — nothing could be nicer to operate. There are two dual rear lamps, and proper bumpers with over-riders — nothing is skimped on the 2 c.v. There are even towing rings at front and back of the frame. The facia controls are really in two sections — a central panel carrying swivel-out ash-tray, starter and choke knobs and the direction-indicators control lever; a panel before the driver carrying petrol supply warning light (which lights when about 1/2 to 3/4 of a gallon remains, representing a complete journey in the Citroën!), ammeter, speedo, lamp switch and a diagram of the gear locations. The English ignition key is on the side of the metal box surrounding this panel.

The big 16 1/2-in. steering wheel has a single spoke, like a pair of handlebars, and its rim is plain, painted metal. It possesses not a degree of lost motion. The pedals are well spaced, with treadle accelerator. The Smith’s speedometer, exposed like that of an Edwardian car’s, in the centre of the screen-frame reads, we were amused to see, up to 70 m.p.h.; it has a total milometer sans decimals, but no trip reading. A big knurled knob engages and disengages the wiper’s drive.

From the armchair comfort of the 2 c.v.’s separate driving seat the view through the big screen is excellent, although the short, corrugated bonnet is sufficiently wide to obscure the near-side wing and lamp.

The speedometer is marked with maximum speeds of 10 m.p.h. in first gear, 22 m.p.h. in second gear and 37 m.p.h. in third gear, and so well does the little 375-c.c. engine propel the car that it is seldom necessary to exceed them. On a steep hill it is sometimes permissible to go a little above 22 m.p.h. in second gear, because power falls away when top is selected.

To the obvious question, is the 2 c.v. tedious to drive. I can answer an emphatic “no.”

The fact is that at its normal cruising speed of around 40 m.p.h. it. seems quite fast, in a complimentary sense. Although slight gradients, even traffic checks, can drop the speed rapidly, judicious use of normal top in conjunction with over-drive, and a momentary drop to second gear as required, maintain it quite well and main road averages of 33 m.p.h. or so are normal. Moreover, Citroën has done two very sensible things where a car of truly low power output is concerned. The designer, God bless him, has endowed the 2 c.v. with really powerful brakes and extremely clever suspension which, alarmingly pliable as you rock the car up and down, nevertheless permits the 2 c.v. to be held at its cruising speed round sharp corners, the roll controlled and the firm steering master of situations calling for retreat into the gutter or verge or of a change of direction under these conditions. Consequently, the 2 c.v. Citroen, just an economical large box to Grandpa, is a vastly entertaining little car in which the enthusiast will hustle along.

The suspension is a technical miracle, particularly on such a lightweight car; the inter-connected coil springs absorb incredible shocks with ease, while so effectively do the ingenious dampers, which embody 8 lb. cast-iron weights and coil springs, as well as friction damping in the suspension arm pivots, function that only occasionally do wavy surfaces throw the 2 c.v. into an up-and-down float, soon brought under control.

The air-cooled engine clatters a bit, but to me, as a strong advocate of a truly tiny power unit for 60 plus m.p.g. petrol consumption, this was music. The front-drive is useful in maintaining stability on corners, but does make its presence felt when the engine is pulling from low speed round right-angle bends. This can be met by coasting or slipping the clutch and is a small price to pay for the car’s ruggedness and many advantages.

The gear-lever knob dances about madly if the engine is asked to pull away from low speeds, but soon gets tired of doing so and behaves itself properly. Otherwise, there is little about the 2 c.v. to remind the occupants that it is a “minimum motor car.” It rides over the worst surfaces “better than a Rolls-Royce” and, with a bit of spirit put into driving it, leaves many Eights and Tens behind — after a couple of days in the little Citroën these latter cars take on the aspect of ponderous fuel-burners.

Petrol economy is one of the highlights of the 2 c.v. It really is rather ridiculous. For example, when the car was delivered to the Motor Sport office I was told that it had a full tank. Leaving on the Thursday afternoon I used the car almost continuously, and hard, until the tank ran dry on the Monday morning. I had during this time added only two gallons, so the consumption was obviously approximately 60 m.p.g. Intrigued, I then tested with two gallons of cheap petrol, using the car through London to the office, driving it hard on the open road, up hilly country in Sussex which brought it frequently down to bottom gear, over roads heavy with some and slush, including starting it on the Tuesday morning on the choke — result 60.1 m.p.g. The overall m.p.g. from there until the test concluded, 2,075 miles and many Welsh gradients later, was 59.9. There is no possible doubt, therefore, that under unfavourable average conditions the 2 c.v. betters 60 m.p.g. Indeed, coasting on hills, but still with a number of choke-starts, 72 miles were covered on one gallon.

Incidentally, another advantage of the Citroën 2 c.v. became apparent during the first weekend’s acquaintance with it. Snow fell heavily on the Sunday evening — the mechanically-driven wipers, with their ratchet drive, coped successfully, but a screen de-froster would have helped — and it was pleasant to be able to garage the car without fear of its water freezing. Starting is quite prompt, with not over-much use of the choke and the engine never thinks of pinking or running-on. It primes from a dry tank on a gallon, even on a hill.

If this modern cyclecar has snags they are not very serious ones. The vicious return action at the steering wheel transmitted by the front-wheel drive on sharp corners is only a momentary inconvenience and at other times the steering, which asks just over two turns, lock to lock, is free from return action, column shake or vices in general.

It is not particularly light steering, but is smooth and there is mild castor action. The brakes squealed at times, but remained outstandingly powerful and vice-free. They are progressive in action and only call for determined pedal pressure in an emergency. The system is Lockheed hydraulic, with 7.8-in, inboard ribbed drums at the front, 7.08-in, drums at the back.

The suspension is one of the best features of this clever vehicle, combining remarkable absorption of abnormal shocks with a steadiness on normal corners which greatly enhances the fun of driving a 2 c.v. On icy roads the front drive functions as it does in the big Citroëns, rendering possible speeds which would be alarming with rear-wheel-drive cars. Under such conditions the high-set number plates remain notably clean — just another practical aspect of this true people’s car.”

There are a few minor inconveniences. The driver is apt to inadvertently open his window with his right elbow and, because these windows have to be dropped with some force for them to engage their catches, raindrops spray into the interior. A grip on the inside would obviate this. The screen wipers are rather noisy, sweep a rather small arc, and when in action set up a slight float in the otherwise steady speedometer reading. The seats, being high, made egress a little athletic. The headlamps adjusting knob is apt to pinch the fingers if gripped enthusiastically and the forward-mounted direction indicators are none too easily seen by following cars. On the credit side, the big plastic rear window in the hood contributes to anxiety-free reversing. The clutch is light, positive and completely slip-free, and very rapid gear-changes can be effected with the previously described facia gear-lever. This takes any amount of abuse and the action, as obstacles loom up, of pulling it back into normal top from over-drive, pushing forward into second gear, all done as almost one movement by virtue of lenient synchromesh, assists materially in hurrying the little car along.

A few further points occur to me. The little engine is really remarkably free from vibration at all speeds, but suffers from a momentary hesitation at times when accelerating from modest speeds in top or overdrive — the Solex flat-spot? It idles almost inaudibly. The body lacks sound-proofing, so that loose stones flung on to the underpan by the wheels sound like rifle bullets, but no fumes seem to enter the car. The door handles are cleverly arranged to move upwards to release the catches, which prevents inadvertent opening of them. The tool kit, comprising jack, wheel-brace, wooden chock for wheels, grease gun, starting handle, 8-10-mm. and 12-24-mm. spanners, plug box-spanner, pliers and screwdriver, is of better quality than that found on at least one other inexpensive car of recent acquaintance.

As I see it, the British public, always conservative in their tastes, hold the following points against the 2 c.v.:
(a) They cannot believe that such a small-engined car will be speedy enough for their needs, or comfortably spacious.
(b) They do not trust a design so outrageously unconventional as to embrace an air-cooled engine, with but two cylinders, and front-wheel drive.
(cd) It is ugly.

I think the foregoing test report answers (a) effectively. I can only say that in the Course of trying the Citroën I passed a great many Eights and Tens proceeding far more sedately, and that four large persons could not be so comfortably accommodated and carried in the majority of so-called “baby” cars. I am not going to pretend that even up the steeper main-road hills the 2 c.v. does not get tedious. It does. Climbing at 10 m.p.h. to the merry stutter of those two little cylinders, which then transmit some noticeable vibration to the occupants, but which never seem to overheat, calls for patience. But I remembered that I was getting at least 60 m.p.g. of “cooking petrol” and took my hills philosophically. Perhaps modern car buyers have no philosophy?

The reply to (b) lies in the popularity of the 2 c.v. in the ownership of hard-driving Frenchmen. During our test, including a strenuous two days in the Welsh hills, the only troubles experienced were a loose upholstery screw, a loose window catch, repaired in a few moments with the domestic hammer, a looseness about the bonnet-catch, which was in no way dangerous, and a loose nut securing the screen-wiper knob. Less than a half-pint of oil was added in the first 780 miles and the Michelin tyres, which could be made to howl only under rally-style cornering, were not so much as checked for pressure. To finally satisfy myself of the dependability and practicability of the wee Citroën I took it over the course in Wales used in 1924 by the R.A.C. for their very punishing Six Days Small Car Trials. An account of this forms the second part of this article and speaks for itself — in terms of loud acclaim for the 2 c.v.

There is some sense behind (c), for import duty makes the smallest Citroën relatively expensive in this country. However, do not lose sight of the considerable saving in fuel costs which it offers. For example, although, inclusive of purchase tax, the four-door Morris Minor costs £4 5s, less than the 2 c.v., the four-door Austin A30 £60 18s. 2d. less, due to its saving in fuel costs the 2 c.v. will make up these price differences after approximately 2,000 and 30,000 miles’ motoring, respectively. After this, of course, it begins to save these appreciable sums of money for its prudent owner.

As to (d), when you are snug inside the 2 c.v. you cannot see how ugly it looks!

To sum up, before I take you with me to Welsh Wales, the Citroën engineers are to be warmly congratulated on providing a real people’s car from stem to stern. The suspension, allowing so much movement that abnormal roll is expected, prove, to be surprisingly stable, with an under-steer tendency, and in consequence, and using the excellent hydraulic brakes, the little car far faster from A to the inevitable B than a mere 375 c.c. suggest, The angles and antics of the wheels at times assume the grotesque, but this merely indicates a sensibly rigid chassis structure and, anyway, the mudguards being adequate, you can’t see the wheels from inside the car! Add to this a genuine 60 m.p.g., a maximum of 50 m.p.h. “under favourable conditions,” simplicity, both of driving and maintenance, and lots of room for four people and their luggage, and there is every reason for British motorists seriously to consider purchasing this very staunch, essentially entertaining, little car. Conceived by the late M. Boulanger, the 2 c.v. Citroën is certainly the finest utility vehicle since the model-T Ford and the two-stroke Trojan and, suiting its economy to the needs of today, ranks as one of the truly great modern designs.

Welsh Week-End
Thirty years ago, away back in 1924, the R.A.C. ran a Six-Days Trial for Small Cars over a punishing course in Wales. The cars had to be standard models, they lost marks for stopping and shedding passengers on hills, for any time required for repairs, adjustments or taking up the brakes, they were timed up some very steep “Welsh Alps” and were bucketed and buffeted over vile Welsh by-roads and mountain tracks. After five days of this they were timed up the old Birdlip Hill in Gloucestershire, after which they proceeded to Brooklands Track for acceleration and speed tests and an examination for general mechanical condition.

Add to the foregoing the fact that the consumption of oil and petrol was carefully measured and that a schedule speed of 19/20 m.p.h. had to be maintained according to class, and it will be readily appreciated that this was an exceedingly stringent test, which any manufacturer would be proud to win. All the competing cars arrived at the finish covered in mud, many of them in sorry mechanical fettle. The winner proved to be a Gwynne Eight, driven by D. Chinery, which lost 21 out of 1,500 marks, averaged 46.2 m.p.g. of petrol under these conditions, consuming 5.16 fluid ounces of oil and clocking 55.21 m.p.h. over a flying mile at Brooklands at the conclusion of the Trial.

I had long wanted to look at the course used for this 1921 contest and the 2 c.v. Citroën seemed just the car for the job. It would, I thought, be instructive to see whether a 375-c.c. 10-cwt. small car of 1954 would do what a 950-c..c, 13-cwt, light car accomplished in 1924. Also, apart from the interest of “chasing ghosts” over the old Six-Days route, it is possible that the Light Car Section of the V.S.C.C. or the Humber Register may one day run a replica of this Six-Days Trial. As Chairman of the former and an ardent admirer of the latter it might, I felt, be useful to survey the prospects which, done in my 1922 8/18 Talbot-Darracq would savour of cheating should I subsequently assay to compete in a vintage-car event on these lines, but looked at through the ample windscreen of the 2 c.v. could occasion no adverse comment.

So, on a Friday afternoon, we loaded up our little carriage and set out for Llandrindod Wells, headquarters for those 1924 Trials, where we were most hospitably accommodated at the Metropole Hotel, so well known to rally competitors of the present age.

On the Saturday morning we got 4 1/2 gallons of fuel into the Citroën’s tank, filled up with Castrolite (the front-drive universals had been greased on the way down, by a Banbury garage, for the sum of 1s.) and off we went over the route used for three days of the old R.A.C. Trials.

The average speed in 1924 for the smaller cars was 19 m.p.h. and although the roads, cutting through Rhayader, Tylvvch and LlanidIoes to Van Hill, were twisting and steep, frequently bringing the 2 c.v. down to a 10-m.p.h. crawl in bottom gear, they were also deserted, so that we averaged not 19 but 28 m.p.h. Later in the day, over some really tough going around Knighton, the average fell to 21 m.p.h., but unless the 1924 check-points were very close together, at no time should we have lost marks for being late, although we could have done so for being early.

As to the hills, Van, the first, was short and steep, with a choice right-hand corner at the bottom, but up went the little Citroën with plenty in hand at its customary 10 m.p.h. in its 26 to 1 bottom cog.

Easier going led to the famous Bwlch-y-Groes, now decently, if by no means perfectly, resurfaced. Here we were defeated by patches of snow on which the wheels could not get a grip, but otherwise there is no doubt whatsoever that the 10-m.p.h. bottom-cog performance would have taken us serenely over the summit.

This defeat changed our plans, our original intention to cover the entire day’s route being curtailed somewhat, because we ate a sandwich snack at Dinas Mawddwy instead of lunching, as they had in 1924, at Bala.

We rejoined the route later, taking easy Gibbet Hill in the afternoon. All the roads are now very well surfaced, whereas thirty years ago the drivers met loose stones almost continuously and deep mud and ruts not infrequently.

That night absolutely torrential rain fell and for a while the engine went on one cylinder, while some drops of rain found their way inside the body. It was necessary to dry the coil with a handkerchief after parking for over two hours outside a cinema in Builth, but it should be explained that before starting out that morning we had removed the easily-detachable canvas cover over the radiator grille.

After this had been replaced no further trouble was experienced.

The afternoon had been devoted to looking at part of the route we had intended to sample on the Sunday. This included a climb over Panne Hill, occasionally closed for gun-firing practice, a magnificent climb, curved round to the left and rising to some 1,500 feet at the summit that we were in bottom gear continuously for about eight minutes. Even so, the 2 c.v. showed no sign of overheating, nor any sign of distress. It was reassuring, at such times, to remember that an air-cooler is fitted behind the fan.

The next day we again had occasion to climb Panne Hill, this time in sunlight with the cover over the grille, but the game little engine seemed to keep just as cool.

On the Sunday morning, after discovering that the Beulah water splash, which had caused no little despondency in the 1924 Trial, has been bridged over since 1929, we took to a mountain track as short cut to Senni Hill. It proved, finally, to be impassable and we had the task of man-handling the 2 c.v. out of a bog, with hidden guns on the firing-range we were crossing firing continuously and ominous spent shells littering our track. Let me say here and now that, although finally bogged down, the manner in which the 2 c.v. pulled itself through slime, climbed out of the track onto grassy banks when this seemed expedient, motored unconcernedly through foot-deep water and ploughed through tall bushes was little short of miraculous. This experience proved it to be truly a go-anywhere people’s car and when it did stick its light weight made it easy to get it on the move again. Once we were compelled to jack up a front wheel and remove an impeding boulder, but this was facilitated by an excellent screw-type jack, far more sturdy than many supplied with much heavier cars. The only damage was to the front bumper and an over-rider and these were soon bent straight by hand! As we returned the way we had come, the track ahead a morass, we felt we might have been better employed competing in the Hants & Berks M.C. Blackwater Trial!

All thought of completing the section of route used on two days of the 1924 trial had to be abandoned, but we went over some very steep bits of the London Rally route (where modern cars are called upon to average 30 m.p.h. while the navigator finds the way by map!) to Senni Hill. After a splendid run along a mountain track flanked by snow-capped Brecon Beacon we came to the gate at the foot of Senni. This is a magnificent hill, long, very steep, with two bad hairpins, a splendid view spreading out below as you climb upwards. As usual, the 2 c.v. took it in its lowest-gear stride. Today the surface is beyond reproach, but thirty years ago it was a lane of rough, sharp stones.

This last grand ascent accomplished we turned towards London, 200 miles distant, to deposit our very able navigator before returning to Hampshire. As we approached London we became engulfed in thick fog, but the Citroën’s adjustable Butlers headlamps coped admirably. To summarise our findings: —

We had tried to compare the time of the 2 c.v. on the observed hills with those taken in 1924, but this was almost impossible to do without knowing where the timekeepers had been situated. In winning the 1924 event the Gwynne lost four marks for replenishing in the depot, two for tyre trouble and 15 for speed up hills. As we hadn’t time to do the six days of the old trial comparisons are virtually meaningless, but the 2 c.v.’s low thirst for oil could hardly have lost us many marks for depot replenishment, especially with the accessible quick-action filler, although that self-wiping dip-stick (see earlier) could have been a bind. Our Michelins are unlikely to have punctured, the average speed was within comfortable reach, and our fuel consumption would undoubtedly have been better than the Gwynne’s by over 10 m.p.g., although at Brooklands we could hardly have held the Gwynne on acceleration and probably would have had difficulty in greatly exceeding 40 m.p.h. in the speed test. But whereas the 1924 winner was an exposed two-seater, we had a weatherproof, comfortable four-seater with luggage accommodation — just how roomy is emphasised when I remark that later that weekend we accommodated a 9-ft.-long propeller from a Kaiser War Sopwith Salamander fighter beneath the seats, with the boot lid open only an inch or so! On several occasions the underpan of the 2 c.v. “bottomed” on bad roads and the mud flaps on the front wings commenced to fall off, but otherwise the little car, which I had driven nearly 1,000 miles before this “Six Days,” was as fit as ever, the clutch showing no desire to slip, the brakes having lost nothing in stopping power.

As to fuel consumption, the customary 60 m.p.g. rose to 59 m.p.g. checked over a single gallon which included climbing Senni Hill and taking much of the Welsh by-roads, while a rough check indicated that even after climbing The long Panne Hill and repeatedly revving up when we got bogged on the mountain track consumption rose no higher than 54 m.p.g.! In fact, whereas normal running returned 60.1 m.p.g., the “Welsh episodes” brought this up to 56.3 m.p.g., still an overall figure of over 58 m.p.g.

This excursion into Wales set the seal to my already very favourable opinion of the baby Citroën. It is a fascinating, splendid little car, to which I would gladly give permanent shelter in my garage. Its designer, who must be a brilliant engineer indeed, has approached fearlessly the problem of providing a modern people’s car. His solution bears out the plea I have made so frequently in Motor Sport — use a truly small engine and real economy will follow. The 2 c.v.’s “square” flat-twin is astonishingly smooth, not unduly noisy, does not indulge in vices, and seems to be unburstable. It returns the fuel consumption its makers claim, which is almost unique in my experience.

Certainly from now on I shall look with scorn at cars of low power output which employ heavy lumps of cast-iron surrounded by water for engines, and I shall refuse to regard as an economy car any vehicle which does not give a genuine 60 miles per gallon of cheap-grade petrol. — W. B.

The Series A Citroën 2 c.v. Cabriolet

Engine: Two cylinders. 62 by 62 mm. (375 cc.). Push-rod o.h. valves. 6.2 to 1 compression ratio; 9 b.h.p. at 3.500 r.p.m.

Gear ratios: First, 25.9 to 1; second, 12.55 to 1; top, 7.5 to 1; overdrive, 5.7 to 1.

Tyres: 125-400 Michelin on bolt-on steel disc wheels.

Weight: 10 cwt. (ready for the road, without occupants but with two gallons of petrol).

Steering ratio: 2 1/8th turns, lock to lock.

Fuel capacity: 4.4 gallons. Range approx. 265 miles.

Wheelbase: Varies with suspension movement; 7 ft. 9.3 in. unladen.

Track: 4ft. 1 5/8in.

Dimensions: 12 ft. 4 3/4 in. by 4 ft. 10 3/16in. by 5 ft. 3 in. (high).

Price: £398 (£564 19s. 2d. with purchase tax).

Makers: Citroën Cars. Ltd., Slough. Bucks.