The Citroen 2CV was produced over a 40 year period and was aimed at appealing to as wide an audience as possible thanks to its low cost and practical features.
Since first being introduced in 1948 it has become a bona fide classic and remains popular despite its age.
A host of historical details led to the production of the 2CV and it was developed from the TPV project which was released a decade before its arrival.
While many were sceptical about its austere design when it was revealed, the 2CV quickly became a hit and orders flooded in, to the point where people were told that it would take three years for them to take delivery of their new car.
By 1952 over 21,000 2CVs had been produced and the capacity for production had been increased to keep up with demand.
Interestingly Citroen actively offered preferential treatment to people who could prove that they were in particular need of an automobile when allocating 2CVs in the early years. This meant that farmers, doctors and even priests would receive their cars as soon as possible because they would be able to make their jobs so much easier.
While the C2V arrived in a post-war period when cars were still a relative rarity, the 1950s saw competition in the affordable market increase. Italian and British rivals, like the Fiat 500 and Austin Mini respectively, arrived to try and encroach on its share.
1960 saw the 2CV get a major overhaul, adding aesthetic elements like the rippled bonnet and more practical features like electronically operate windscreen wipers.
People were also able to actually purchase the 2CV in a broad range of colours from this point on, which suggested that the austerity required in the years after the Second World War was gradually abating.
The 2CV's chassis was lent to a wide range of models over the years, including commercial vehicles, rally models and even off-road cars.
The 2CV managed to last for 42 years as a production vehicle, but it was phased out in 1990 because consumers of the day were now in the market for faster, better equipped cars. In addition its safety features were very much behind the curve by this point.
Citroen never quite managed to replicate the enigma that is the C2V with it subsequent small cars, although there are still plenty of examples of this original model around to carry the torch.
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