The Citroen 2CV came from very humble beginnings to become a national icon for France. Whilst now officially dead from Citroen’s point of view, it has been resurrected by Florent Dargnies the CEO of 4 Rous sous 1 Parapluie (4 Wheels under an umbrella) as an electric 2CV.
The origins of the previous humble (very humble) 2CV came from the requirement for a low-priced, rugged “umbrella on four wheels” that would enable four small farmers / peasants to drive 50 kg of farm goods to market at 50 km/h, in clogs and across muddy unpaved roads if necessary. The car would use no more than 3 L of gasoline to travel 100 km. Most famous, was the design brief requirement to be able to drive across a ploughed field while carrying eggs, that the envisaged smallholder customer would be taking to market, without breaking them.
Production began in earnest after WWII and continued through till 1990 with the early models being completely austere, with a pull-cord starter and a fuel dipstick and only battleship grey paint being available (remember the black Model T Fords). Wipers, electric starters and a fuel gauge all came later.
However, the 2CV has been resurrected as a city car, most likely Paris, where an electric version of the 2CV will be whizzing round the Route Peripherique on the way to the Eiffel Tower.