Citroën 2CV - Chris Harris (video)

Discussion in 'Other Vehicles' started by Steve, May 29, 2014.

  1. Steve

    Steve Administrator
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    I almost posted this one in the sports car thread but couldn't justify calling it a sports car.

    I LOVE the video and I'd LOVE to drive this car.

    12HP! Wow! :lol: I wonder what the gas mileage is.

    [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76ktMcCDZvk"]The World's Best Car: Chris Harris's Citroën 2CV - YouTube[/ame]
     
  2. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Brilliant - I love it.

    This must be how Fiat owners feel.
     
  3. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    I have always been fascinated by the Tin Snail. Did you see those front wheels in hard cornering? What an absolute hoot of a car.
     
  4. Friskie

    Friskie Well-Known Member

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    He is describing exactly what it is like to drive the 50 some odd miles to the shop in limp mode.

    The latest Wheeler Dealers did a 2CV. When Edd got it, it was a wreck but he made it sparkle.
     
  5. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    That was great!
     
  6. minirab

    minirab Well-Known Member

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    That was just great, I'm not a fan of the French but I am of the 2CV. At

    the Carlisle Import Show a couple of weeks ago there were close to ten of

    them there. And as he said they do bring a smile to your face.
     
  7. Friskie

    Friskie Well-Known Member

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    Remembering the first time I ever saw one my thought was 'well, that's prob'ly about the best the frogs can do'. It seems kinda prophetic now but Mike and this guy seem to be having more fun than I think they should so who's to say.
     
  8. Angib

    Angib New Member

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    The bit about smiling all the time is soooo true. Making it something of a challenge to get from A to B really is fun. But then I owned the fire-breathing later 602cc model with approaching 30hp (madness! what car could ever need so much power?) and capable of exceeding 70mph. Actual warp speed.

    Because the engine is a flat twin, it has an almighty flywheel to damp out the power pulses so revving a stationary engine and then letting out the clutch will actually break traction just on the inertia of the flywheel. Similarly changing up requires a pause between gears to let the engine slow down, otherwise there is an almighty jolt (as Harris demonstrated...).

    And that angle of lean on cornering means that all your nautical jokes get a fresh airing - going through S-bends requires shouts of "ready about" and "lee ho" as you crash from one angle of maximum lean to the other. Smoothness is always needed, but that's hard when you never, ever take your foot off the throttle pedal, certainly not until you see the whites of the enemy's eyes....

    The lean makes door handles a maintenance item, as they get ground down on big bends. And the lean scares other drivers - it once took a Jaguar many miles to get past me as he wasn't willing to follow me closely round the corners since I was obviously about to roll over - but then come the straights, I still had my foot planted on the floor and he had too much ground to make up just to catch me.

    The umbrella gear shift looks weird, but is an ergonomic triumph - all shifts really should be the same. Plus the the outstretched handle provides an excellent place to hang bags of takeaway food so that they don't tip over on the corners on the way home.
     
  9. Steve

    Steve Administrator
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    #9 Steve, May 29, 2014
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
    He mentions the one he bought has electric start. Does that mean the hole I noticed in the grille is there to accommodate a crank handle?
     
  10. Angib

    Angib New Member

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    Yes, the early ones had a hole for the crank handle - later ones like mine you had to open the bonnet/hood first, but they still had a crank handle. And a thousand other idiosyncrasies - like that grille has a plastic 'muff' that you clip over it when it gets below 7degC (45degF). This makes the (air-cooled) engine suck air from under the bonnet/hood, not from the grille, so makes it warm up faster and makes the heater work. Sorta. Fitting the muff adds maybe 3mph to the top speed, so it's tempting above 7degC, but then you can cook the motor.

    The great problem is that the heater only produces heat when you thrash the motor, so if it's icy (the only condition under which a partial throttle opening would ever be needed), you freeze. But this is a basic car. Anyone asking if it has air con gets their knuckles firmly rapped.
     
  11. Friskie

    Friskie Well-Known Member

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    Angib's detailed explanation leads to a question arising from pure ignorance. The explanation implies direct contact and actual experience with the 2CV. The question therefore becomes; should one offer congratulations or condolences?
     
  12. Angib

    Angib New Member

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    The odd thing about the 2CV (fairly true of Citroens in general) is that some of the short cuts or simplifications they used turned out to be better than anything done by anyone else. The indicator warning click was produced by a coil with a metal bar that was thrown against a plastic end cap with some force. The 'tick' was clearly audible from outside the car (even from another county) and I could do with something just like that for my Roadster so that it could be heard when the hood is down.

    In the video you can just about see the opening front door windows which were really cheap - two panes of glass with the bottom half hinging outwards/upwards and clipping onto the door frame.

    [​IMG]

    'How nasty', you say. But the thing is that they worked brilliantly - they could be opened in less than a second; if not clipped open they didn't let rain in when stationary or on the move (stationary they hung down at a slight angle but with speed the airflow swung them open to about 45 degrees); and they were big enough for any normal purpose when fully open. About the only downside was that if driving along with your elbow out, you had to whip it in quick if you drove through mud (or worse), as it was sprayed onto your elbow! Complex electric windows don't work so well or so fast.

    But there were plenty of downsides too. The wonderful engine could be cruised 100% flat out, with the throttle pedal literally clamped on the floor - you moved your foot upwards so that your heel not the ball of your foot rested on the pedal to reduce the effort - that's 2CV cruise control. And while that sort of treatment did the engine absolutely no harm (indeed it kept the plugs nice and clean), it is mighty straining on the nerves as you would half-overtake someone on the highway but then a slight gradient meant you lost top speed - suddenly you couldn't pass them after all and then the BMW behind would start flashing.

    I once spilt a bottle of milk inside my 2CV and that would be a disaster in any other car. But not only did it have just fixed rubber matting over the whole floor, but the floor is above the door sills so you can literally wash it with a bucket and hose, and everything just drains out. Just what the French farmer wanted in 1938!
     
  13. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Is it wrong for me to badly desire a 2CV.... The lack of safety nannies is awesome....
     
  14. Steve

    Steve Administrator
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    I like Chris Harris' videos but I've not particularly liked Chris Harris much until now. The way he seems to genuinely enjoy driving this simple car and talks about how it makes him smile. Suddenly I have more respect for him as a person.

    That's both pro and con for me. That, and the lack of safety in general. I like the idea of driving one around the small-ish town where I live, getting groceries, etc, or just going out for a drive, but then I think of the roads and all the idiot drivers paying too much attention to their phones and I think I'd be too paranoid leave the neighborhood.
     
  15. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    I especially liked that the wipers were driven by the speedometer cable....

    One thing doing two things....

    Yeah.... In town only.... Would never take it on the freeway.... Great city car IMO....
     
  16. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Just saw a beautiful chocolate brown 2CV panel wagon in town...... Looked like it was just painted....
     

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