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History of the 2CV. Part two: 1960-1974. Differentiation, growth and innovation

2CV

It is seventy years ago in 2018 that Citroën introduced a special car at the Paris Salon: the 2CV. The French jubilee was skeptically received by the international press, and caught on with the general public. We described the first phase of the 2CV career earlier. In this part we describe the second part of the triptych about the history of the 2CV: the period 1960-1974.


The sixties have begun, and decisions are coming soon Citroën Say goodbye to the "A" version of the 2 CV. The 375 cc engine is thus retired, and the 425 cc engine is the basic engine. The AZ is the basic model. In the first years of the Sixties, the engine power increases via 12 DIN-PK to 16 DIN-PK and the 2 CV lpiece is gradually becoming more mature.

Normal coupling, decay of gay chains

The bonnet now has five ridges, the grille is reduced in circumference, the windshield wipers can now be operated electrically and the buyer has the choice of a centrifugal (below 1.000 revolutions per minute is disconnected, was from '55 standard on AZ) normally working coupling. The 2 CV also receives an instrument cluster with integrated speed and fuel meter behind the wheel. The tailgate of dust disappears. And curiously enough, the possibility to equip the 2 CV with homokinetic drive shafts. The 2 CV driver will have to make do with a few universal joints, which ensure that the Citroën does not move completely bend-free through the bend with the clutch engaged.

Sedan on AZU chassis and the arrival of the AK

Furthermore, the coach of the 2 CV Berline is now mounted on the chassis of the order duck, the AZU. Talking about the AZU: this will get a larger delivery brother in the AK, which from now on generates 350 kilo load capacity and is equipped with the 602 cc engine of the AMI 6. It is a welcome addition to the order range, which is also accompanied by a special Belgian version: the luxury leisure orderer AKL replaces the AZUL.

MIXTE, other doors and new grille

The competition from fellow countryman Renault 4 standard with five doors and a four-cylinder engine requires Citroën anyway to stay with the lesson. That's why Citroën the 2CV range already expands the spring of 1962 with the MIXTE. That is a version with a fifth door, a flat loading floor and a rear seat that can be folded down. Also remains in other areas Citroën working on the 2CV. In 1965 the suicide doors on the front disappear and these doors are hinged under the A-pillar. The 2CV now also has a grille with three beams, and the Double Chevron moves to a spot above the grille.

Frame adjustments and the third side window

In the same year, the chassis is tackled, because in September 1965 the front friction shocks (friction shock absorbers that restrained the movements of the support arms) are replaced at the rear by telescopic hydraulic shock absorbers. The deceleration shock absorbers - the batteries - remain. Talking about 1965: in France the 2CV will also have the third side window from that year, seven years after this window made its debut in Vorst. Meanwhile builds Citroën in France from 1963 the AZAM, and in Belgium the AZM3 follows the AZL. The emphasis in these versions is on luxury, they flirt with the Citroën Ami 6, and are characterized by the mounting of the paperclip bumpers. And the latter type also forms the basis for the 2CV AZAM 6, which is introduced in 1965 and manufactured in Belgium. The AZAM 6 will not be reserved for France, the AZAM will remain in production with an 425 cc engine.

The AZAM and the arrival of the Dyane

The AZAM 6 gets the chassis of the Ami 6. The 602 cc engine (with 21 DIN-PK) is also finding its way to the front of this luxury 2CV, which - just like the order brother AK 350 - may greet the return of the homokinetic drive shafts. It makes the AZAM the most mature version of the 2CV so far. The AZAM will be renamed 1967 in January: it is now called Export and will also receive the Ami 6 speedometer. The arrival of the Dyane forms for Citroën however, the reason in July 1967 to get a line through the "luxury Duck". Remarkable: this becomes luxury in Germany and Switzerland Belgian Duck called 3CV.

Demand for 2CV continues, prelude to innovation

After the disappearance of the AZAM / Export, the AZ will remain in production. He is still undergoing some minor adjustments and is just reaching the seventies. This does not apply to the Sahara, which is removed from the range in 1967, although sources claim that one copy of that type was still being built in 1971. Mounts in 1968 Citroën a stronger engine in the AK, two years after he received an 12 V electrical installation. The power increases to 28.5 DIN-PK. A new gearbox is also being installed. The 2CV appears by the arrival of the Dyane from it Citroën range, but the demand for the characteristic car continues. That is why it is renewed Citroën the 2CV for the new decade: the seventies.

The AZ disappears, the 2CV4 and 2CV6 arrive

The AZ era is over in April 1970. The 2CV4 and the 2CV6 take over from February 1970. The 2CV4 gets an enlarged engine: the engine capacity is now 435 cc, the amorous motor generates 21 PK. The 2 CV 6, which is not available in every country from the outset, will get the 602 cc engine from the Dyane 6 and the AK350, which generates 28,5 HP and performs considerably more mature than the smaller motorized 2CV4. The Dyane 6 in turn gets a slightly more powerful 602 cc engine. The new 2CV sedan models are equipped with an electrical system from 12 Volt. In addition, the homokinetic couplings return, hanging pedals are placed and the newcomers take over the clock shop and the rear light units from the already discontinued Ami 6. The round direction indicators on the front replace the rectangular units mounted since the early 1960s. Two-point seat belts become standard. Both new 2CV models also get the gearbox with changed gear ratios, which is now known from the AK and the Dyane 4 and 6.

Changed order variants

A new variant will also be added to the order level: the AK400 (AKS), which replaces the AK, and its load capacity of up to 400 kilos can be lost under a raised roof. He also gets a number of things from the Berline, and he is propelled by the 602 cc engine. The smaller AZU is propelled 1970 by the 435cc engine of the 2CV4 as of February, but from 1972 it loses the ridges on the side and loses its name. From that moment the smallest orderer is called AZU 250, and that too is a direct reference to the load capacity. The smallest orderer is also available with an 6V and an 12V electrical system.

Towards the mid-seventies

In the first years of the new decade, the front-mounted front and rear battery traps are replaced by shock absorbers at the Berlines. Both 2 CV models may also welcome external oil filters. The interior will also be tackled in the course of the first half of the 1970s. The color scheme of the plastic changes and the hinges are weighted. The 2 CV 6 gets a plastic steering wheel with one spoke. In the meantime, the three-stage height adjustment of the headlights is no longer required, and the decorative letters of the type designation are replaced by a nameplate. For example, the 2 CV drives towards the middle of the decade, during which the Citroën to welcome some notable changes. And what is not yet known: the 2 CV will last a long life. How Citroën you will read about that soon in the final stage of the triptych.

All images are from Citroën, the copyright is there.


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  1. As far as I am concerned, an ultimate practical car. For me years ago red with round headlights with yellow bulbs. Should just come back into production. Preferably with a rust-free bottom / chassis. because of rust, mine had to demolish it. Can also be repaired with a “curtain rod and a hammer”.

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