The amazingly innovative suspension design of the Citroen 2CV

First, a technical explanation from an author who seems to know a bit about suspension design:

Then, a ride in a 2CV, which seems to prove that Citroen’s engineers accomplished what they intended–a very smooth riding car which was cheap enough for poor post-war French farmers to purchase:

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The guy is a hard-core 2CV enthusiast and shows his bias in the video…

The hydragas suspension Original Mini enthusiasts would argue they had a better ride. And the Mini handled a LOT better and was much faster.

The 2CV fit the needs of post war France. It was cheap and simple much like the Ford Model T. The 2CV sold 9.2 million cars, the Model T 15+ million cars. The 2CV was regulated out of existence. The Model T because buyers wanted more modern cars.

A few years ago spotted the 2CV successor, the Dyane driving on US1. Wow, could be had with up to 32HP and 40 ft/pounds of neck snapping torque.

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In HS, one part of our technical class was to strip one of these Citroens to the chassis and then put it back together. I know in here you can sign up for similar classes, but I wish my kids HS would do something remotely close to this with them as a general education part.

I loved the ride of my two Austin America’s with the hydralastic ( I think that’s what they called it) antifreeze filled suspension, but I don’t think it had anywhere near the wheel travel of the CV2.
The CV2 was really good on primitive post WW2 French roads .

Kids these days are often told no chance of future success w/out going to college, so they focus on activities during HS that will get them into college. Taking stuff apart to see how it works isn’t thought to be helpful in gaining college entrance. Studying how to take SAT & get a good score is better use of HS time I guess. The flea markets in this area are usually flooded with books about how to study for the SAT. Apparently the SAT changed format not too long ago, then all the previous SAT study books were thought to be no good for anything … lol … . works out good for me, some pretty comprehensive & informative books on science, physics, math for 50 cents each.

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I loved the ride of mine too. I didn’t love the top end job required at about 7000 miles when a couple of valves burned up. A friend was laughing about my Austin at a party one day and a Brit told him that it was SOP to do a top end job on all British Leyland vehicles at 5000 miles as preventative maintenance. Warped heads were a very common problem for them. Did you shave the heads on yours?

I bought my first one with about 50,000 miles. I rebuilt the engine. If I remember correctly the metal debris from the integrated ( the engine and transmission both used the same crankcase oil) four speed transmission put metal debris throughout the engine. It didn’t warp the head but needed bearings and rings.

This one might have needed the Sport Suspension option…

Like said, French engineers copy no one and no one copies them. I cannot comment on the ride or how it works but seems like a lot of extra parts.

My brother used to have a neighbor who owned one, and the liquid suspension developed a severe leak after just a few years, losing all of its fluid. Between that situation and the engine overhaul that it needed, it sat in his driveway for the next… God only knows… how many years before my brother and SIL moved away. Knowing that neighbor, I wouldn’t be too surprised if the Austin was still sitting there in the driveway–dead.

There was a commercial on TV where Stunt drivers drove the A.A. over a ramp becoming airborne and landing. I think they did it for 24 hours (switching drivers of course) to show how tough the suspension was.
As with many of my British cars the engineering was always much better than quality control.

2CV common topic in UK magazine Practical Classics . Current issue article, restored 2CV takes a splendid tour of Europe, great photos, mountains, glaciers, 2CV fully up to job; well, until an unfortunate crash w/ an SUV. Owner returns to UK 2CV-less for now.