1962 Citroën 2CV Sahara 4x4
Chassis no. 5400185AW
Engine no. 05400185 and 05400158
On the face of it, a 4x4 with two complete engines and drive trains seems like a crude approach to an off-road vehicle. On the other hand, it minimizes development costs for the manufacturer, eliminates the complicated transfer case and provides greater reliability, should one of the engines fail. For Citroën in the late 1950s, it seemed a logical approach to making an off-road utility from their already-versatile 2CV. The concept was not unknown. Walter Christie, the American pioneer of front-wheel drive, had built a race car in that image in 1906. Moreover, the British followed Citroën's lead with a "Twini" version of the Mini Moke, intended for military use, a few years later.
The recipe was simple: a second 2CV power train adapted to the rear end of the vehicle. Actual development was done by Panhard, recently taken over by Citroën. The two clutches operated from a single hydraulic supply and the transmissions were controlled through a single lever. The 425cc engines started and operated separately, which allowed one to be turned off for greater economy. The suspension was beefed up and larger tires were fitted. The whole package, while exhibiting some idiosyncrasies, operated well and was effective in its job. Most of the 694 built were used by the Spanish police or for rescue work in the Alps. They were typically driven hard, so finding a solid Sahara, let alone a really good one, is difficult.
The offered Sahara was found in Chile with its known history starting in 1984 when Carlos Artuo Acuña Becerra of Santiago, Chile sold the car to fellow Santiago resident Ricardo Lyon for 70,000 pesos. Largely original and finished in drab green, the Sahara was kept by Mr Lyon until 1993 when it was acquired by Dr Jean-François Puyfoulhoux of Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris, for the princely sum of $1000. Upon acquisition, Dr Puyfouloux had the car air freighted to France and immediately undertook a comprehensive restoration that saw the Citroën taken to bare metal and completely refurbished. Completed in 1998, the Sahara emerged beautifully finished in grey livery with a photo album and listing of work completed accompanying the completed car. The car was purchased by the vendor in 2002 and brought stateside where it has lived in the company of a fantastic collection ever since.
While the restoration has mellowed over the years, the Sahara still shows well. Quirky and unique, Saharas are exceedingly rare with only about two dozen examples surviving today. As far as opportunities to obtain an eight cylinder Citroën are concerned, your opprotunties are limited. Finding one with four wheel drive is even harder. Presented here is your chance to storm the beaches of Boca without fear of getting stuck in the sand.
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