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YouTubers Drive Citroen 2CV, Admit It's a Fun Classic With a Distinct Driving Experience

The Citroen 2CV is not the most popular car (especially on American roads). But despite its awkward exterior and feeble athletism, it’s been in production for 42-years (1948 to 1990). Thomas Holland and Brit James of Extra Throttle House got the chance to drive a 1986 Citroen 2CV Charleston (production version of the limited edition).
1986 Citroen 2CV Charleston 9 photos
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As frail as it might look with its thin bicycle-like wheels, the Citroen 2CV was designed to be a rugged 4-seater with the ability to go off-road. As Holland puts it, “it was only sold to people who needed them, who couldn’t afford any type of car.”

While it doesn’t look like anything anyone would fight over at an auction, the Citroen 2CV had a cult-like following during its hay days.

While affordable, the 2CV (two-horses) or La Deux-Chevaux isn’t the most luxurious or safe. Its name came from fiscal power, according to the French tax system. According to the collection owner, the 2CV’s safety is “like driving an umbrella.”

The Citroen 2CV was never a fast car. The initial version came with an air-cooled 2-cylinder, 375 cc engine making 9 hp (9 ps) with a top speed of 40 mph (64 km/h). The 1986 Charleston variant was slightly more powerful, producing 29 hp (29 ps), and could do the 0 to 62 mph (0-100 kph) run in approximately half a minute (about 33-seconds).

The Citroen 2CV was all about simplicity. As Holland puts it, “instead of trying to make some fancy linkage, they wanted to keep it simple. The shifter is a rod that goes in and attaches to a little “L” bracket and into the transmission.”

According to Holland, the more weight you put in, the longer the wheelbase. Therefore, the heavier the load, the more stable the Citroen 2CV got.

Behind the wheel, the Citroen 2CV isn’t fast or thrilling to drive, not from a performance perspective. The duo reported a lot of lean turning on a full circle. They also recommended taking your time getting into the highway (its snail-paced acceleration could put you in harm’s way).

On a lighter note, James feels the Citroen 2CV is the kind of car he’d feel the need to pull over and have a picnic with some wine and cheese.

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