Based on the already off-road capable 2CV and ironically named after a fast-running camel, the Mehari kept the 2CV’s 602cc two-cylinder engine and added plastic body panels and a removable roof, creating a kind of off-road roadster. Just a very slow one.
This superb Speed Champions scale recreation of the plastic snail comes from TLCB regular Jonathan Elliott, which is both built and presented beautifully, and there’s more to see at the link.
Small cars are different depending on where you live. Today’s other small car, a revolution in gas-guzzling America, had an engine more than three times the size of France’s equivalent.
France was in a rather different place after the Second World War though. Well, it was in the same place as it is now, but economically and infrastructurally it couldn’t have been more different from America, thanks to seeing the worst of the conflict.
The country therefore needed a small, cheap, reliable car that used the minimum of materials and ‘could cross a ploughed field’, or – we suspect more relevantly – a road network blown to bits by years of war.
With a two-cylinder engine around half a litre or less, easy maintenance, and minimal material costs, Citroen produced nearly 4 million 2CVs over a forty year production run, and – effectively – remobilised France.
This brilliant Town-scale replica of the ‘tin snail’ captures the iconic peoples’ car superbly, and it comes form previous bloggee Jonathan Elliott of Flickr. A myriad of curved plates has been deployed to capture a shape that was easy to make in metal, but fiendishly difficult to create in bricks, and bar the inappropriate tyres (get yourself some ’80s Town tyres Jonathan!) the result is about as good as it’s possible to get at this scale.
There’s more to see of Jonathan’s Citroen 2CV on Flickr, where this build and a host of other brilliant Town vehicles can be found. Click the link above to make the jump.
Short of Brigitte Bardot in a beret, a broken Peugeot, or a strike, is there anything more French than a Parisian street scene complete with a Citroen 2CV? This gorgeous diorama complete with everyone’s favourite air-cooled twin-cylinder people’s car is the work of Markus Rollbuhler of Flickr, and follows his brilliant Far Cry gyrocopter scene featured yesterday. Click the link above to jump on the Eurostar and be in Paris in time for a lunchtime crepe.
The Citroen 2CV, affectionately (and unaffectionately) known as ‘ the tin snail’ owing to its looks and glacial speed, is one one of the world’s most important cars. Yes, you did read that right.
Designed in the 1930s, Citroen’s Car-for-the-People was intended for France’s numerous rural workers who were largely still dependent upon the horse for transportation. Reliable, fuel efficient, easy to maintain, and above all cheap, the 2CV was engineered to mobilise an entire population class. And then Hitler decided to be ‘a bit of a dick’.
The German invasion and the subsequent commandeering of French factories to build stuff for blowing up the British meant production for the innovative and much-needed 2CV never started. Fearful of the Nazi’s stealing the design, Citroen hid their 2CV prototypes across France in the hope they would remain undetected (some of which are still being unearthed today).
The Allied victory in 1945 left behind a ruined France, but thankfully for Citroen an undetected cache of 2CV prototypes. Three years later, and a decade after the car was first engineered, the 2CV finally reached production.
As much as Europe’s poor workers needed cheap reliable transportation before World War 2, they really needed it afterwards, and the little Citroen was a huge success. Half the price of Germany’s ‘People’s Car’ – the Volkswagen Beetle, the 2CV sold almost 4 million units in a production run that spanned five decades and nine different countries.
When Citroen 2CV production finally ceased in 1990 the car had become a bit of a joke, but for much of its life the 2CV was the most important car in Europe, and is surely one of the greatest car designs ever created.
This fitting tribute to one of France’s icons of motoring comes from previous bloggee and Technic building legend Nico71 who has recreated the simplicity of Citroen’s engineering beautifully. The 2CV’s legendary leading and trailing arm suspension (designed so a peasant could carry eggs unbroken across a ploughed field) has been faithfully reproduced in Lego form, plus there’s working steering and the doors, hood and trunk all open.
There’s lots more of Nico71’s brilliant Technic 2cv to see via Brickshelf, plus you watch a video of the model on YouTube by clicking here.
This charming Town garage comes from newcomer brickbink of Flickr, and it is quite gloriously French. A Citroen 2CV van, Renault 4 (we think), and a baguette all add gallic authenticity, and there’s more to see at the link above.
Possibly the most stereotypically French scene ever created in Lego, Misterzumbi’s cornering Citroen 2CV is only missing a Gauloises cigarette in the hand of the driver and some parking dents on the bodywork. See more of the cheese eating surrender monkey and his voiture on Flickr.
The Lego Car Blog has featured a number of creations by the hugely talented Henrik Hoexbroe since our inception two years ago. Henrik has very kindly given us a sneak peek of this latest incredible ‘Mega MOC’, displayed at a recent expo in Madrid. Depicting the construction of one of Europe’s most famous vehicles, Henrik’s work is on a truly massive scale. He picks up the story below…
Professionally I work with industrial automatization, and have visited lots of different types of plants. I’m always fascinated by the installations and logistics necessary to make a big factory work.
Normally I like to do my MOCs to scale, but this time there was no way that I could do a realistic representation of what you are about to see. What I show here in a couple of meters, would definitely take more than 500 meters of factory production lines to do in real life!
So this MOC is not to scale, and neither is it a reproduction of any particular plant.
The main photo and the photo above are what people initially see when they encounter this diorama at the exposition. It’s an aesthetically nice and clean build (at least I think that), so the spectator is surprised by what they find when they walk around the stand to see the other side of the diorama…
…a totally over-the-top detailed factory floor, showing one of the main events of car-maufacturing; ‘the wedding’ (when the motor joins the rest of the car)!
As my factory depicts the classic manufacturing of the good old Citroën 2CV, the sharp limit between chassis and body is clearly visible. Todays modern technologies with self-supporting framework and chassis integrated into the body rendered this method of car production obsolete a long time ago… still, for almost 100 years (stretching it a little here) the shown method has been the preferred way to build automobiles!
Administrative and ‘other’ working areas are also reproduced, using ‘cut-out’ walls to allow visual access to these parts…
Building time: May to November 2013
Measurements: 3 x 11 base plates
Vehicles: Twenty Citroen 2CVs in various states of completion, ten different cars, trucks and buses, and two rail-vehicles
Mini-figures: Fifty multi-ethnic flesh-tones (no ‘yellows!’)
The layout has been shown at the HispaLUG Expo in Madrid and is currently at display in Bilbao, as part of the exhibition “Toys for all life”. (“Juguetes de toda la vida”).
A huge thank you to Henrik for taking the time to share his amazing Mega MOC build with us. You can check him out on MOCpages and Brickshelf, and you can watch archive footage of the real Citroen 2CV factory via YouTube here.
Henrik, from all of us here at TLCB, all the best for 2014. We don’t know how you’ll top this, but we can’t wait to see what’s next!
Brickshelf’s Nico71, a veteran of The Lego Car Blog, is back with a model a little more unusual than the Ferraris, and Lamborghinis that regularly grace these pages. His superb Citroen 2CV is a fully functioning Technic ‘Supercar’, featuring working suspension, engine, gearbox, steering, and much more besides. You can see the full gallery showing all the technical details on Brickshelf at the link above. Cheap and slow can be just as impressive!
Friend of The Lego Car Blog, Nick Barrett, is back with – surprisingly – something he has built twice before. This glorious Citroen 2CV is his third version of the French Peoples’ Car. Each iteration has improved upon the last, and this latest incarnation is about as close to the real thing as you could hope to achieve in LEGO.
Underneath the wonderful two-tone pinstriped bodywork is one of the most thoroughly engineered chassis we’ve ever seen, complete with fully independent suspension, front wheel drive, ackerman steering, rear angled kingpins and sliding cardan joints. All of this means the suspension is as beautifully supple as that found on the real car – which was designed to carry a basket of eggs across a ploughed field without them breaking. Nick decided eggs are a bit too easy though, and opted for a grand father clock to demonstrate the Citroen’s remarkable suspension, and a quip about the 2CV’s performance stats. View what might be the car of the year at MOCpages.