From some experience abroad of the Citroen IICV “Normale,” I can fully endorse the view of your correspondent “LASC” that this commodious and economical model would have a wide popularity in this country as a family car. I must, however, disagree with his view (previously expressed by another writer in Motor Sport who certainly ought to know how to drive) that “it is virtually impossible to change from second to first without the most distressing noises and with the car almost stationary.” This is complete nonsense. It is a perfectly normal double-declutch change demanding only a little more than the normal amount of skill and judgment. Somewhat more difficult is the similar change on the six-cylinder model, where the gap between ratios is the exceptional and inexcusable one of 5.6 to 13.2 to 1. Even here, perfectly silent changes can be effected at speeds up to 25 mph.
It would be interesting to know why the “six” has this abysmally low bottom gear—substantially lower than the “four.” The excellent low-speed torque would make a bottom gear of 9.5 to 1 perfectly practicable and there would then be no need of a fourth gear. At present, between 20 and 30 mph, there is no correct ratio for maximum performance. For normal purposes, however, the 5.6 second is useful down to a walking speed, and the oddly assorted ratios do not prevent the six-cylinder Citroen from being, in my view; the finest fast tourer of all time.
I am, Yours, etc,
Cecil Clutton, London, SW1.