I Love You Dyane
One small remark caught my eye in the current MOTOR SPORT, and unless I write to you I know it will continue to come back to me, especially when you are using my present motor car, a Citroen Dyane 6. The remark, be it ever so inoffensive, was made in “Matters of Moment” and merely said “The success of that best of all economy town cars, the Fiat 126, has apparently prompted Citroen to re-introduce the 2CV”.
Now possibly if taken as only a town car having to have minimum external dimensions for manoeuvrability, parking etc., it has the edge, but for an all round economy motor car I don’t think it compares at all favourably with the Dyane (or 2CV ).
The Citroen is a proper four-door (five with the tailgate) car, with plenty of leg room for the rear passengers, and reasonable luggage space, with the option of converting it to an estate car by removal of the rear bench seat, which is designed to be removed easily.
The wee Fiat on the other hand is really a two-seater with luggage space in the rear compartment. If it is essential to squeeze people in the rear, then cramped they will be.
Although the Citroen engine of 602 c.c. is only marginally larger than that of the Fiat, the cruising speed is 70 m.p.h. with fuel consumpton varying from just below to well above 50 m.p.g. depending whether driving in town or on country runs.
Although it is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there are few beholders who can see it in the Citroen. However this car was designed for utility, not looks, and everywhere in the design one finds ingenuity, in the things that matter, although the absence of such things as courtesy lights and door stays are missed more than I would have thought. Driving the Citroen takes a little getting used to, but after a few miles it all becomes obvious why it was designed that way, and ones enthusiasm grows.
There is a two position throttle with a light return spring for normal economical driving and a much heavier second stage spring, which is adjustable for tension and must be overcome if one needs to unleash the full b.h.p. (35). I have never known a car more enjoyable for fast cross country runs; once that little motor is wound up it really invites enthusiastic driving, especially with the aid of a little draught Guinness!
The road-holding too is quite exceptional, if unusual, and once the rolling gait can be ignored it is a ring-runner-around of other cars.
I would never have believed that a car with such a small engine would have taken Muswell Hill as it did in third gear, two up in the overtaking lane, at a rear-view-mirror-watching speed.
And what’s more, on the other end of the wheelbrace there is what’s called a starting handle, with a dog on the front of the crankshaft and a hole to get at it as standard.
Luton N. SLOAN