The Worst of cars — the Citroën’s Deux Chevaux Vapeur

Posted: April 9, 2012 in Best & Worst, Cars
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   Citroën’s Deux Chevaux Vapeur (two steam horses) is a French car designed in the 1930s as entry-level transportation for people who had never before owned a car. The ultimate goal was a low-cost vehicle that could transport two sturdy French peasants and 100 kg (220 lbs) of produce at a speed of 60 KPH (37 mph) on unpaved roads, or across a plowed field, without breaking any eggs carried in the cargo area.

   The original Deux Chevaux body design was developed in the late 1930s, but it was not put into production until after World War II. The car rides on a surprisingly sophisticated fully-independent suspension. What it lacks in pavement-burning and corner-carving performance it more than makes up for with ruggedness and reliability.

    It is powered by a simple but robust, easily-serviced 9HP air-cooled 375cc engine.

   Seemingly against all odds, it remained in production for several decades with only minor changes. Thanks to its cute, cuddly, fashionably unfashionable looks, it inspired a level of affection all out of proportion to its actual worth as a motor vehicle.


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