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Zut Alors! Sacre Bleu! We drive the 1978 Citroen Dyane

Zut Alors! Sacre Bleu! We drive the 1978 Citroen Dyane

Don’t fear, we ain’t goin’ mushy on ya’. As quickly because the pictures arrive after which as quickly as we write the phrases you’ll be studying opinions of a Shelby Cobra, a Shelby GT350 Mustang and a Lamborghini Aventador S, although possibly not in that particular order. However within the meantime, to display the breadth and depth of our automotive tradition appreciation, we drove this 1978 Citroen Dyane.

Ain’t it cute?

The inside is the peak of simplicity, with fabric seats and a handbook shifter poking out of the sprint.

First time we noticed it was within the new Citroen exhibit on the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard a short time in the past. That exhibit has tons of Citroens going all the best way again to the start of the corporate and contains many examples of 2CV, DS, SM and people Tractions Avant that had been in that Adventures of Tintin cartoon method again in your youth (in the event you’re as outdated as us). The factor in regards to the Mullin Museum’s Citroen exhibit, along with being very complete and fairly fascinating, is that it contains even the less-glamorous mass-market automobiles that had been a part of on a regular basis life in France 50 years in the past however that are actually simply ignored by the general public eyeball. The lovable and angular Dyane is one such easy-to-overlook automotive. Plus we appreciated it, so sue us.

As chances are you’ll know, the Dyane rides on the identical chassis and makes use of the identical air-cooled flat-two driving the entrance wheels because the 2CV. The 2CV, as you additionally know, was conceived throughout the Nice Despair to switch horses on French farms. A pair issues bought in the best way there for some time and it didn’t see manufacturing till 1948, however then it actually bought going. The 2CV (pronounced doo-shove-oh) was the peak of simplicity and price little or no to fabricate in comparison with roughly “actual” automobiles. It will develop into the Ford Mannequin T of France, one thing everybody may afford and one thing everybody may use.

However the iconic 2CV was getting lengthy within the tooth. By the 1960s, the Dyane and the equally cool Ami had been alleged to be extra fashionable variations of the 2CV. There was speak that the Dyane and Ami would exchange the 2CV, nevertheless it turned out the 2CV outlived them each by a few years. C’est la vie.

Cabriolet

Cabriolet is a French phrase.

If we’re recalling appropriately our go to to a French junkyard 10 years in the past, these automobiles rode on large torsion tubes that had been easy in design. The 2 cylinders of the engine lay transversely in entrance and drove the entrance wheels. The shifter for the four-speed handbook transmission poked out of the dashboard. The seats had been fabric cloth draped over easy steel frames. The glass was all flat, together with the windshield. The facet home windows slid again as a substitute of rolling down, which saved cash. The material roof rolled again to make it a cabriolet. Simplement!

We bought to drive this simply by asking if we may. Let’s simply say we all know some folks on the museum. Once we arrived the Dyane was parked out again.

“Wanna drive?” requested Mullin mechanic Nathan McNeil.

Positive! The automotive had already been warmed up, so there was no want to tug out the mechanical choke. Simply flip the important thing and it began proper up. Whereas the shift sample has no less than the potential for catastrophe — since first gear is left and again and reverse is left and up — there’s a spring load that lightly pulls the shifter knob to impartial as you permit first. We had been cautious to not get close to reverse.

The engine is surprisingly robust. By the point our Dyane was manufactured in 1978 energy had risen to as a lot as 33 hp, relying on which Citroen guide you’re studying. Curb weight is listed in books at 1,452 kilos, however the VIN plate lists one thing known as P.T.C. at 930 kg, or 2,046 kilos, which is likely to be a GVWR. With three folks in it including one other 500 kilos, we’d have anticipated it to be a slouch, nevertheless it bought up and went. One supply lists Zero-60 at 52 seconds, so it’s no drag chevaux. However its acceleration was absolutely practical.

Likewise, cornering was nowhere close to as unhealthy as we’d anticipated it to be. Positive it leans like a sailor on depart in Marseille, nevertheless it’s not prefer it rolled over or something. The tires are skinny little issues, however they’re greater than bicycle tires. And all of it labored. It was cute! We appreciated it simply as a lot as we thought we might. Merci, Mullin!

We, no kidding, began taking a look at traditional automotive classifieds as quickly as we bought again house. With nearly 1.5 million of those revamped 16 years of manufacturing, there need to be 1000’s left, a few of which haven’t fully rusted out. We additionally determined we’d settle for an Ami 6, too. Possibly purchase certainly one of every. They wouldn’t take up an excessive amount of area. And what an entrance we’d make at The Better of France and Italy automotive present Nov. 5. Vive la France! Vive La Mullin!

On Sale: Plus maintenant

Base Value: Pas cher

Drivetrain: Air-cooled two-cylinder, four-speed handbook, fwd

Output: 32 hp? 33?

Curb Weight: 1452 or 2046 kilos?

Zero-60 MPH: 52 seconds

Gasoline Economic system: 50 mpg?(EPA Metropolis/Hwy/Mixed)

Professionals: Cute as a button and really sensible…

Cons: …in the event you’re not in a rush

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