The 1954 Citroën 2CV holds a special place in the hearts of every French man and woman, evoking a wave of nostalgia as it was often their first automobile. The program, drawn by Pierre Boulanger, was the rescue plan for a bankrupt Citroën in the 1930s and for the French people. Making a car that any working French person could afford to purchase and maintain would open a huge market. The plan was simple but required great engineering and foresight.
The TPV, launched in September 1939, embodied simplicity with its four wheels under an umbrella design. The initial 375-cc, eight-horsepower engine made the first models sluggish, but the car's lightweight four-door sedan, weighing only 1300 pounds, compensated for its modest power. Despite the omission of CV joints, causing a jerky steering experience, the 2CV became known for its economy, indestructibility, and ease of maintenance.
Evolving through several models, the 2CV maintained its core values of simplicity, robustness, and efficiency. With over 5 million units produced worldwide from 1948 to 1990, it left an indelible mark on automotive history. Notable models such as the 2 CV AZ and AZU with a larger 425cc engine showcased improved power and enhanced features.
In 1954, Citroën celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Traction Avant, introducing the 15 Six H (Hydropneumatic). This model featured a self-leveling rear suspension system, a technological leap reflecting Citroën's commitment to innovation. The Traction Avant, the 2CV, and the DS 19 (born in the mid-1950s) were considered avant-garde without any concession to the conservative approach of the marketing specialists of other companies.
The 2CV's iconic design and functionality, rooted in Boulanger's vision, made it a beloved vehicle for generations. Its economical nature, nimble handling, and regenerative braking, ahead of its time, contributed to its enduring popularity. The 1954 Citroën 2CV stands as a symbol of French automotive ingenuity, capturing the hearts of enthusiasts and defining an era.