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Citroën Ami 6. Flaminio Bertoni's masterpiece has been around for sixty years

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Charming, uniquely designed and graceful. Actually, every classic enthusiast has sympathy for the Citroën Ami 6, which will be celebrating its 2021th birthday in 6. The Ami 24 was presented on April 1961, XNUMX. Citroën emphasized in the press release that the Ami 6 was not intended to replace the 2CV. The Ami 6 was indeed in a different class from the 2CV. Moreover, he grew into a sales millionaire, who, certainly thanks to the later arrival of the Break, had a much wider reach than expected.


After Flaminio Bertoni with the styling team of Citroën had designed the Traction Avant, the 2 CV and the DS, Flaminio Bertoni was commissioned to produce an intermediate model called Project AM. The result was the Ami 6, and according to the designer herself was the new one Citroën a masterpiece in 1961. He dared to give the Ami 6 an 'inverted' rear window, also because a continuous roofline was not on the wish list of the Citroën management stood. The special arrangement of the rear window offered practical advantages: the window remained clean when it rained. There was also more headroom in the rear and at the same time, despite the compact dimensions, a large luggage compartment with a large boot lid was possible.

Own appearance, original advertising slogans and export to America

The 602 cc M4 twin-cylinder engine in the Ami 6 was derived from the smaller 425 cc 2 CV engine and initially featured Solex 30 carburettors. The Citroën Ami 6 debuted with a power output of 22 SAE-HP. The car had sharp lines and large rectangular headlights. Furthermore, the sharp-sloping bonnet in the middle, the unique roofline and the partially hollowed-out sides gave the car a completely individual look. Those profiled flanks were there for a reason: they made a major contribution to the body stiffness of the Ami 6.

Surprising advertising slogans

Citroën surprised not only with the appearance of the Ami 6, but also with the marketing of the new model, as the brand presented the Ami 6 as "the ideal second car, for Madame." Charles de Gaulle's wife was apparently attracted by this slogan, as she covered her miles in the Ami 6 for a while. And now that we are in the corner of advertising texts: Citroën also used the spell for the Ami 6 the cheapest kilometer comfort in the world. The French manufacturer also wanted to show that in America, because exported from 1963 Citroën the Ami 6 also go there. For the American market Citroën adjustments through. Most eye-catching were the twin headlights, which would appear at the European Club years later.

Interior with DS features

The interior of the Ami 6 was inspired by that of the leading DS. The single-spoke steering wheel, door handles, controls and seats: everything was reminiscent of the flagship of Citroën. Everyone praised the handling, comfort and flexibility of the compact sedan. This was of course due to the wheel suspension and spring characteristics, which the Ami 6 shared with the 2 CV. Entirely according to Citroëntradition, the Ami 6 was and is an original car, which over time was available in several equipment levels. Today's enthusiasts are particularly interested in the Club version of the Ami 6, which features dual headlamps and trim on the sides. The Club was sold from 1967, initially only as a Break. Later, the Berline could also be ordered as a Club.

A good move: the Break

A very good move Citroën for the Ami 6 sales was the introduction of the Break, at the end of 1964. This Ami 6 Break was designed by Henri Dargent (assistant to Faminio Bertoni) and Robert Opron (the recently deceased successor of Bertoni, who died in 1964). The Estate offered a large loading volume for a passenger car in this category, with easy and practical access and a load capacity of 300 kg. The versatile model made it possible to travel comfortably with the family, but was also ideal for business use by so-called salesmen and craftsmen. Citroën would sell more Breaks than Ami 6 Berlines. And that while Citroën the Break was built considerably shorter. The Break was partly responsible for making the Ami 6 France's best-selling car of 1966.

Strong basic design, few changes during construction period

The basic design of the Citroën Ami 6 was strong. Therefore, the French did not have to make many changes during the construction period. Still, the Ami 6 was sometimes updated. In 1962 the Ami got 6 sliding rear side windows (half windows), followed by the use of telescopic shock absorbers. In 1964 Citroën the new bullet-shaped rear lights. And in 1968 the Ami 6, for example, got rear lights in one light unit per side. These were mounted on the 2CV4 and the 2CV6 for years to come.

Also increasingly powerful engines

Engine power also grew during the eight-year construction period. Initially the Ami 6 had 22 DIN-HP, and that gradually grew to 24,5 DIN-HP (partly due to the use of larger carburettors) in 1963. From that year onwards, the Citroën Ami 6 also available with a centrifugal clutch. From the spring of 1968, the Citroën Ami 6 the M28 engine, which delivered 32 DIN-horsepower. Remarkable: it did not receive an external oil filter. So the top speed of the Ami 6 also grew. The original version reached a top speed of 105 kilometers per hour, at the end of the construction period the top had risen to 123 kilometers per hour.

Replaced by the Ami 8

Production of the Berline ended in March 1969, six months before Citroën European production of the Estate also ended. The Ami 6 Berline made way for the new, somewhat more conventional Ami 8, with a 'normal' rear window. The changes to the Ami 8 were made under the influence of the now regretted Robert Opron. The Ami 8, in turn, gave way to the Visa in 1978.

Various production locations

De Citroën Ami 6 was built in its homeland in Paris (1961-1963) and Rennes-La-Janais (1961-1969). Citroën built the factory in Brittany especially for the Ami 6. The Ami 6 was also built outside France. Well-known are the Belgian copies, which ran off the band (in a different trim) in Vorst. And in Argentina they built the Ami 1971 Break until 6. Citroën supplied parts packages that were assembled in South America. In total Citroën 1.039.384 Ami 6: 483.986 Berlines (April 1961-March 1969), 551.880 Breaks (October 1964-1969), 3.518 Services (two-person van, with either rear side windows or fully enclosed body). Argentinian production is not included in this.

Stubborn classic

De Citroen Ami 6 is recognizable out of thousands and has always been characterized by its idiosyncratic lines, the special combination of the air-cooled two-cylinder engine and the specific A-type handling. The Ami 6 already had a unique appearance in the 6s. Today it is no different, and the Ami XNUMX is a car that understands the klassic Citroën propagates with verve.


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12 Comments

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  1. Don't forget the Ami Super! With a GS engine. The top speed was more than 145km / h.
    Very nice to drive on the highway in the 70s. The then fast guys saw you coming in their rearview mirror. It was still allowed to give a light signal! And you accelerated past them!
    I have a lot Citroëns driven, both business and private.
    Citroen LN, 3 Visas including a fast Super X BX and AX-Sport.

  2. Unfortunately it is now Jan again, because of the nitrogen. Let's all buy another 2 CV together. In any case, we will not be annoyed by that.

  3. When I saw one for the first time I almost fell over laughing! Reminded me of a cream puff that had an accident. I have never had one myself, for me it stayed with the Volkswagen.

  4. It's a pity Jan that you burned so much gasoline. I've been driving on gas all my life. I am now 72 years young and have made a lot of money with it.

  5. An ugly car, of course. So ugly it just becomes adorable. He is a great boyfriend and then you automatically forget that he is not mother's prettiest.
    I have sometimes understood that the roof of the ID / DS comes off, hence the receding rear window. But I'm not sure if it is.

  6. Had an ami 70 in the early 8s. A wonderful car with which we have driven many km. But with a body that was not that rust resistant.
    I myself fell through the bottom with the chair and all. There was no MOT yet, a new bottom plate was quickly inserted and further with the ami.
    I even remember the license plate, which gives a wonderful memory of one Citroën of great class. Sometimes I see such a classic on the road and I am secretly jealous of the owner of that beautiful car.

    • The strong chassis offered the assurance of safety. Just like the safe and comfortable driving.
      No doubts about the design. Bertoni was a sculptor. The car has been modeled.
      Personally, I also think the interior is very special. It is a homely interior, both the seats and the dashboard. You did not see that back in the usual cars (beetle, r4 etc) and in the current SUVs homeliness is even more absent.
      Statement: The Ami is still ahead of its time.

  7. Tribute for the story about the Ami cars. It is a pity that all good cars wear out with use. And also by non-use. The history of the automobile as a mass-produced item is fascinating, as its primary function is displacement. I am also interested in the running costs. I myself have been driving a car since 1976 and have burned a lot of liters of gasoline. Have now arrived at car 12. Of which 6x one Citroën.
    I remember that we were already happy when we reached 2 km / h with a 100CV! At the time, that was also the maximum speed in NL.
    Progress in 60 years of automotive technology has been significant.

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