Lot 113 (Imperial War Museum Duxford, 18th March 2020)
Sold for £13,781
(including buyers premium)
Registration No: GSJ 728
Chassis No: 2599582
“The most intelligent application of minimalism ever to succeed as a car” (LJK Setright on the Citroen 2CV)
The development of Citroën's ever-charming Deux Chevaux dates back to 1936, ie a couple of years after the company had been rescued by Michelin. It was intended to motorise the large number of French farmers still relying on horses and carts, and it was research carried out amongst France's largely rural population that determined the following unique design brief: a low-priced, rugged 'umbrella on four wheels' that would enable four peasants to drive 110lb of farm goods to market at 31mph in clogs and via muddy, unpaved roads; including transporting eggs across a ploughed field without breaking them. Production was delayed by WWII, but began in 1948, following which 3,872,583 2CVs were manufactured via 11 factories across the world (including one in Slough, England) between 1948 and 1990, by when the ageing design had been defeated by contemporary legislation. Introduced in September 1957, the ‘decadent’ AZLP variant boasted an enlarged ‘AZ’ 425cc engine (good for a reputed 80km/h top speed), ‘L’ for ‘Luxe’ trim (including a decorative aluminium bonnet centre strip) and opening ‘P’ (for porte de malle) boot lid.
Further distinguished by its ‘deux chevaux’ mascot and distinctive bustle boot lid, this rare surviving AZLP is the veteran of numerous International Citroen Car Club Rallies. Self-evidently the subject of much past restoration work, the diminutive saloon is among the smartest 2CVs we have encountered and possibly the finest example of its kind in the UK? Wonderfully detailed from its ripple bonnet and Jaegar 0-90km/h speedometer through to its Blue-stripped upholstery and Robri wing guards, this delightful Citroen is worthy of close inspection.