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This Rare Citroen 2CV Has Two Engines


If we had to choose a car that would perfectly illustrate the basics of European automobiles, it would be the Citroën 2CV. But this is no ordinary version of the cheap and cheerful “two horses”. This is the obscure 4×4 Sahara model of which only 693 examples were made.

Calling it an all-wheel drive version of the 2CV would be an understatement since the car was equipped with two independently operating engines. This meant that owners could choose between driving the car in front, rear or all-wheel drive. Jonny Smith from the Late Brake Show I had the opportunity to get acquainted with a fully restored example of this rare breed, and boy are we in for a treat.

The economical factory-sold off-roader with two engines and two gearboxes had a reinforced chassis and more robust suspension arms to better handle rough terrain. French engineers fitted it with sturdy tubular bumpers as well as two fuel tanks to feed the front and rear mounted engines. Even with full gas tanks, this 2CV 4×4 weighs just 735 kilograms (1,620 pounds).

The starting procedure is as simple as you can imagine since there are two ignition keys – one for each engine. The key closest to the steering wheel column turns on the front engine while the outer key turns on the rear-mounted engine. This 2CV is equipped with two identical 425 cc flat-twin engines each producing 13.5 horsepower and 19.53 pound-feet (26.48 Newton-meters) of torque. With both engines running, the car reaches a top speed of around 60 mph (nearly 100 km/h).

Since both fuel tanks are under the seats, the doors have holes for the fuel pump to pass through. There is a separate lever used by the driver to synchronize the two gearboxes. Citroën had to make several modifications to the bodywork to accommodate the new hardware, making the 2CV even more original.

The wheel arches are cut differently and there are slats in the rear fenders to cool the engine. It also has custom-made taillights flanking the cooling fan needed for the additional engine. At the front, the Sahara 4×4 featured a redesigned hood with a cutout for the spare wheel.

With virtually no soundproofing when you’re flanked by two engines, the car is predictably noisy. Price was also an issue as it cost twice as much as a regular 2CV. As such, it was not a commercial success but rather an experiment.

If you’re wondering how much these cars are worth, Bonhams sold one for €86,250 at an auction in late 2019. The same year, another car sold for $106,400 at a Pebble auction Beach organized by Gooding & Company. Also in 2019, RM Sotheby’s sold the Holy Grail of 2CVs for €74,750 during an auction held at Villa Erba.



Note: The content and images used in this article is rewritten and sourced from www.motor1.com

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