The Citroen project began in the late 1930s, before the start of the Second World War. The initial plans and the only hand-made prototype were kept, well hidden, throughout the war to keep hidden from the Germans.
The idea of the project was to make a car as simple as possible, primarily intended for French peasants. One of the specific requirements was that this car could carry a basket of eggs in the trunk, through a patterned field, without even one egg being broken.
Heavy post-war years prompted Citroen to re-launch this project in 1946. The following year, at the Paris Motor Show, it is presented as a Citroen 2CV. The 2CV was the tax norm for the cheapest tax bracket in France. Probably because the 2CV had a two-cylinder boxer engine of only 305 cc and 9 hp. It is clear that 2CV could not boast at speed, but it was a car with incredible comfort and pass ability. Its peculiarity remained in the most difficult terrain until the end of production.
Trying to simplify production (and thus to make it cheaper), the first 2CV had only one light (far). Legal norms force Citroen very fast to add another farther and increase the engine volume, adding “luxury” accessories – such as a windshield wiper with an electric motor (the first specimen had hand-operated wipers).
This “luxury” 2CV was also required in other markets, and has begun to export since the mid-50s. „The beast“ from 450 cc and 16 hp allowed this car to reach 90 km / h, probably on the downhill. Imports and licensed production make possible for this car to expand all over the world, so it gets a nickname. With us (in the Balkans) this car was popular as “Spachek”, Duck or Frog, because of his stinging lights on the sticks.
Global success encourages Citroen to improve 2CV, so it gets an even stronger engine from 605 cc with 24 hp and ashtray in the year of 1967! The attempt of the 70’s to modernize this vehicle with a new type, on the same basis which they called Diana, did not go well. „Frog“ fans did not like Diana.
Production of this incredible and eccentric vehicle ended in Portugal in 1990, after nearly 6 million 2CV’s produced in all versions!