Tuesday, June 9, 2009

2 CV . . .

Perhaps one car more than any other embodies the French hippie movement that erupted in the wake of May 1968, and although it may not have had the international popularity that the VW Beetle attained, the Citroen 2CV (2 horsepower model) was and remains to this day a popular car in France among people wishing to make a certain statement about their "état d'esprit". . . driving a 2 CV is a state of mind. For some reason someone has made a sort of monument to one along the route I take to work, so I finally decided to stop the other day and do a photo. . . I had also spotted a couple recently on another blog, France Mon Amour, but I couldn't read the article because it's in Polish, and my Polish is sadly, well, rather weak. The 2CV has an odd suspension system that causes the car to feel like it is rolling to the outside of curves as you go around, it takes a little getting used to . . .
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22 comments:

joo said...

They are sweet, aren't theay. Ok maybe I prefer driving something well....more comfy, but still I like them. You should work on your Polish - it's so easy language:):)
Do zobaczenia!

wcs said...

I love seeing these all around, although I've never ridden in one. I have, on the other hand, ridden in a Renault 4L, a close cousin of the 2CV.

Du Style et de l Art said...

Que de souvenirs ! La première fois que je suis descendue à la mer pour la journée, un dimanche, (sans mes parents j avais 16ans) avec mon amie qui elle avait son permis et sa première voiture une 2CV ! c'était une super journée !!

Steve said...

There is something gloriously bootiful about the shape...

That is the chicken said...

Reminded me of my first car...not a 2CV but a mini...there's something magical about your first set of wheels.
Did you see the brilliant set of adverts in the early 1980's comparing 2CV's to Rolls Royces? "As many wheels as a Rolls Royce" is one of the claims that stuck in my memory!

English Rider said...

One of the most challenging gear shifts I have ever encountered. Also, like the little engine that could, this car makes you lean forward in empathy, to aid it's struggles up-hill.

desi said...

Hi Owen,
How are you doing their in ze beautiful France?

:D its a very cute car!! You always come up with interesting topics, your blog is addictive! haha

bye!
desi

louciao said...

Mr.Toad, Would you be surprised to learn that the 2CV is one of my all-time favourite cars? And I am not much in to cars. I like how you've elevated her in your shot, and how she is the colour of the gorgeous blue yonder: Ready for take-off!

Buskitten said...

I had one of these Owen! A brand new green and white 'Dolly'! It was so cool - 1986 I think, and I used to wear a green polo shirt with the collar up, what a poser! Haha, oh to think of it now, how embarrassing (the polo shirt - not the car, the car rocked!)

*SparkleMirror* Kiln-Fired Art Studio said...

A beautiful, regal form of simplicity. I can see why this 2 cylinder artistic model would convey attitude...
Thanks Owen!
David

jeff34 said...

Wouaw !... La bonne deudeuche ! Je n'ai jamais eu "la chance" d'en posséder une, mais je me souviens avoir eu quelques plaisirs presque similaires au volant d'une Ami 8 !... Pas besoin d'eau ! Que de l'huile ! Mais fallait pas oublier de mettre de l'huile, sinon !... Et ça en consommait de l'huile ! OOhhh ya pas si longtemps que ça... avec cette fameuse Ami 8, alors que j'étais à la neige à Val d'Isère avec des potes, un matin, alors qu'il avait neigé la nuit, aucunes voitures démarraient, sauf... mon Ami 8 ! ! ! Alors au milieu des Bentley, BMW, Cooper S, et autres petites cylindrées, j'étais pas peu fier de rouler au milieu de tous ces cons !

Merci Owen de proposer cette photo ! Par contre la couleur, je la trouve un peu moins cool ! ! ! Le bleu... pourquoi pas ! Mais je suis pas fan !

Ciao AmigOwen !... 'gaffe à toi !
......;')

Suburbia said...

I used to drive one in my Greenpeace / vegetarian days! Now that does take me back a bit!

henk van es said...

Hi Owen,
My very first car was a 2CV with the same lightblue color as the one in your picture. It must have been around 1962, and my first trip to France went to Paris, along the old N1, along Laon and Soissons. I'll never forget that 2CV. I still drive Citroën... Hippy! Yohee!

Catherine said...

seems a suitable tribute to a much loved car... the beloved iconic vw is unfortunately being phased out here as too inefficient and kidnap-friendly... whatever will happen to the magazine "bocho del mes" (vw of the month)?? !!

La Framéricaine said...

Well, Owen, if anything could drag me away from jetlag sleep cycles on the Left Coast of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave; tear me away from my online, interminable bill paying, and stop my manic preparations to penetrate mid-America with a tent and sleeping bags, it's your bright and shiny bleu 2CV!

One of the very first books I purchased in Paris at the BHV was a picture history book on that cute little car. And now the book is just waiting for me to open it up and show it off on a coffee table in central France in a house that is now quite habitable and cozy, ready for projects such as double paned windows!

I'm sorry that I missed you this trip but I did think of you every time I went in and out of CDG which was 4 times--once in from the USA & once out to the USA and one R/T on the Roissypole bus from in front of the IBIS to in front of the original Opéra! I have so much to tell you but it is having to compete with chores and jetlag fatigue. But, I promise you, I am out here and I will be back blaghing soon!

Amitiés and super photo! BTW, I counted dozens of those little cars hidden away in central France courtyards, garages, and tiny village lanes!!! Maybe one day I can talk someone out of one.

Jo said...

It does have a sort of Volkswagen Beetlish look to it, doesn't it? I had a friend who had a Volkswagen van.

"Those were the days, my friend...
We thought they'd never end..."

Owen said...

Hey Jo, Volkswagen vans were the greatest ! I had one when I was a beach bum in San Diego for several months... before I went back to school and cut my hair... bummer !

Dear Fram, so happy to see you're back safe and sound, looking forward to tales of your adventures !!! Bon courage for the jet lag; et à très bientôt...

Catherine, "kidnap-friendly" ? That's a little worrisome... have heard that is a popular sport in Mexico these days... not good for the tourist trade, and shoot-outs in Acapulco are even worse for business... stay safe !

Henk, so happy this dredged up some old and hippy, er, happy memories !!! Cool, can't believe you had one just like this, that's great !

Suburbia... yep, yer dated ! (just like me)

Ah Jeff, je te vois très bien derrière le volant d'une belle deuche... car la vie est belle vue de l'intérieur... alors, on n'aime pas le bleu ??? Mais c'était pour la camoufler mieux contre le ciel...

David, definitely an artists car of choice...

Buskitten, you must have been quite a site, color coordinated and all; hope there's a picture somewhere... oh yeah, speaking of which, what about those tricycles ??? Well, I can see Tiddles very well behind the wheel of a nice bright yellow or orange 2CV, motoring along by the seashore... :-D

Hi Lynne, she was already elevated, someone put her up on a little hill to show her off... the captain has turned on the seatbelt lights... prepare for take off !

Hey Desi ! Ze beootifool Franze is lovely today, as usual... wow, you are the first to mention addiction... I wonder if there is a rehap center for Magic Lantern Addicts ??? Well, just make sure to use clean needles, ok ??? ;-D

English R., you bet, you absolutely would not want to try to race a freight train to the crossing in one of these ! Could get messy... sounds like you speeak from experience...

Chicken, "as many wheels as a Rolls Royce"... excellent ! Never saw that before, will have to do some digging.

Steve, shaking yer booty, as usual I see, in fine form...

Style Art... ahh, si cela ramene de bons souvenirs, ça c'est une bonne chose, on n'oublie pas les premiers voyages à la plage...

wcs, hey, hope all is well in the Touraine, I love seeing these 2CV in seaside resort towns with young folks behind the wheel, they always manage to look like they're having a great time...

joo, thanks so much for the encouragement, for some reason I had the idea it was a hard one, with all those consonant chains... but if you say it's easy, I guess I better get to work. In the meanwhile, maybe you could give us a little idea what that other article said at France Mon Amour ??? Do zobaczenia! to you too, I hope that's something nice to say ! If not, I apologize !

Roxana said...

these pictures are sooo funny :-)

and flawless, too!

Owen said...

Hi Roxana, thanks for dropping by ! Love your photos !!!

Flawless may be going a bit far for the photos, but if you meant the car, it was in pretty good shape, considering how old it is... take care and continue to mystify us...

Adrian LaRoque said...

Man...I drove one like this!

Margaret Pangert said...

This deux-chevaux is beautiful and in mint condition! I had one in '72, and having to start it by spinning that propeller-thing was a killer. But the oil was easy to add! i thought they had disappeared.

Roxana said...

oh, no, Owen, i meant exactly the pictures! :-) i love everything about them, the colours, the composition and not least, the humour!