Presentation on theme: "CITROEN Builder of the most beautiful (and the ugliest) cars!"— Presentation transcript:
CITROEN Builder of the most beautiful (and the ugliest) cars!
Classic & Sports Car magazine polled a jury of the worlds leading car designers to nominate the most gorgeous cars ever. Twenty experts, including car Designer of the Century Giorgetto Giugiaro – the man behind the Maserati Bora and Lotus Esprit – and Jaguar director of design Ian Callum picked their three favorites, and the best was selected from these.
What is the most beautiful car of all time? Not a Mercedes, Jaguar or Ferrari…
The winner was Citroëns flagship production model for twenty years, called the Goddess by fans, but Citroën named it simply, DS. This unusual car had the distinction of being selected as the most beautiful classic of all time!
Introduced in 1955, the Citroën DS was an immediate sensation.
The futuristic design was still quite advanced when it was replaced in 1975 by the long-running CX series.
The DS featured fully detachable skin panels; the car could even be driven in "skeleton" form. The low-drag body put the wheels at the "corners" of the car, resulting in a spacious interior. Model designations (DS19, DS20, DS21 and DS23) reflect engine size. Through 1966, the DS used Citroën's ancient but reliable four-cylinder engine, but this was replaced by a more modern design in later models.
The DS introduced Citroën's unique hydraulic (actually gas/oil) all-independent suspension system run from an engine-driven pump that also provided assistance for steering and brakes. The suspension incorporated a variable height adjustment that could be used for clearing road hazards, fording streams, or even jacking up the car when changing a flat. U.S. advertising touted this as the only car you could ride going up and down. The hydraulic suspension gave a cloud-like ride that made the DS unmatched by other cars.
The DS was appropriately nicknamed the "Goddess," derived from the French pronunciation of DS and the word for Goddess, déesse. The DS is an early example of expertise in the art of aerodynamics.
In 1970, Citroën introduced an up-scaled version of the DS called the SM. It was only produced as a two-door coupe and was powered by a Maserati V-6.
Problems with the engine and suspension led to its demise in 1975
The SM is a much desired collector car today. Renowned SM owners include Jay Leno and Rolling Stones drummer, Charlie Watts. French Presidents from Georges Pompidou to Jacques Chirac used a custom 4-door open Présidentielle limousine created by coach builder Henri Chapron.
The Citroën 2CV Citroën also produced the ugliest car!
The Ugly Duckling European cars are traditionally taxed according to horsepower rating. 2CV is the French abbreviation for deux chevaux vapeur, which means two tax horsepower. Like the Volkswagen, the Citroën 2CV was the poor mans car. In 42 years (1948-1990), over 6 million 2CVs were produced!
Back in the thirties, when Ferdinand Porsche was busy designing the Volkswagen ("people's car"), Pierre-Jules Boulanger was designing a low-priced, rugged "umbrella on four wheels" that would enable two peasants to drive 100 kg (220 lb) of farm goods to market at 60 km/h (37 mph), in clogs and across muddy unpaved roads if necessary. The car would use no more than 3 liters of gasoline to travel 100 km (78 MPG). Most famously, it would be able to drive across a ploughed field without breaking the eggs it was carrying. The project was dubbed "TPV" which stood for Très Petite Voiture (Very Small Car).
During the German occupation of France in the Second World War, Boulanger refused to meet with Ferdinand Porsche or communicate with the German authorities except through intermediaries. He organized a 'go slow' of production of trucks for the Wehrmacht, many of which were sabotaged at the factory, by putting the notch on the oil dipstick in the wrong place resulting in engine seizure. In 1944, when the Gestapo headquarters in Paris was sacked by the French Resistance, Boulanger's name was discovered on a Nazi blacklist of the hundred most important Enemies of the Reich to be arrested in the event of an allied invasion of France.
Michelin (Citroën's main shareholder) and Citroën managers decided to hide the TPV project from the Nazis, fearing some military application. Several TPVs were buried at secret locations, one was disguised as a pickup, and the others were destroyed by management. For many years, it was believed that the project was so well hidden that all but two prototypes were lost, but in 1994, three more TPVs were discovered in the hayloft of a barn. They were hidden from the top management by workers who recognized their historical value. http://www.citroenet.org.uk/prototypes/2cv/2cv- prototypes-3.html
Forbidden photo from 1939 Removal of the hidden prototypes in 1995
After the war, Citroën continued work on the project and unveiled the 2CV at the Paris Salon of 1948. It was criticized by the press. One American journalist quipped, "Does it come with a can opener?" The British Autocar correspondent said that the 2CV, "...is the work of a designer who has kissed the lash of austerity with almost masochistic fervor." Nevertheless, Citroën was flooded with orders at the show, and the 2CV became a great commercial success. Within months after it went on sale, there was a three-year waiting list which soon increased to five years. At that time a second-hand 2CV was more expensive than a new one because the buyer did not have to wait. In 1960, production finally caught up with demand. In the 1960s, the 2CV cost about half as much as a Volkswagen Beetle.
The original 1948 engine had only 375 cc and 9 horsepower, giving a top speed of 40 mph. In 1955 it got 425 cc engine and in 1970 (above) the engine was upgraded to 602 cc with 33 HP that could do 70 mph. The engines were designed to run at peak performance for 1000 hours straight with no noticeable variation in operation.
The car got many nicknames and was the subject of innumerable jokes. The most popular nickname was the ugly duckling, but it was also called the goat, tin snail, Dolly, upside-down pram, little freak, two horses, the frog, rocking horse, student's Jaguar, Quonset hut, iron bed and the flying rag top. Owners said the 2CV went from 0-60 in one day. Others jokingly said they had to make an appointment to merge onto an interstate highway. Today, the 2CV is a cult object among students, hippies and environmentalists.