1961 Citroën 2CV Sahara

Lot 38
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80 000 - 120 000 €

1961 Citroën 2CV Sahara

Meticulous restoration
Only 694 built
Staggering off-road abilities!

Chassis number: 0091/body: 4005. 000169
Engine number (front): AW 05200157
Engine number (rear): AW 05100142
French registration papers
Technical references: Type AZ 4/4
1961 model

According to a deep-rooted legend, Pierre-Jules Boulanger, the head of Citroën, was said to have started the 2CV programme with the phrase “Four wheels under an umbrella”. Development of the 2CV began in 1937, but the car was only introduced in 1948, after the TPV (for ‘Très Petite Voiture' or ‘Very Small Car') had undergone a prolonged gestation due to the war. Powered by a 375cc engine, the first 2CVs were sluggish but full of practical ideas, making them exceptionally versatile. Born for the countryside, the 2CV quickly became middle-class and thanks to its attractive features won over a new, urban clientele and above all became a favourite with the young. Now equipped with a 425cc engine, it could keep up a better pace. Citroën looked after its appearance, fitting a boot lid, tweed upholstery, new colours and, at the same time, a more modern bonnet. It was only the beginning of an evolution which would continue until 1990 and see 5 million cars sold.
In 1957, an industrialist from Normandy who was looking for a light off-road vehicle set his sights on the 2CV and fitted it with a second engine at the rear, giving it fourwheel drive. It was the period of oil exploration in the Sahara and Citroën got to hear of the prototype, improved its design and put it into limited production. To the 2CV's original qualities this 4WD model added an excellent potential for use on snow or sand, as well as unexpected off-road abilities now that it had a total capacity of 850cc, with maximum power of 24bhp and a 5CV fiscal rating.
The 2CV ‘Sahara', as it was initially known, can be recognised straightaway by the air vents on the rear quarter panel, its cutaway rear wings, the section let into the boot lid, bonnet-mounted spare wheel and the fuel fillers in the doors. Citroën sold 694 of these workhorses solely between 1960 and 1965, making it a rarity, and just 95 cars are recorded today.
The model presented here has just emerged from a long and meticulous restoration, dating back to 2011. First, the body and electrical system were restored by Haberbusch, then the mechanical components by G. Stoeckel - who carried out a painstaking restoration of the engines and hydraulic system - and the gearbox and brakes by Aloïs Peter, so that the car appears in near-new condition. The seats are covered with ‘Bayardère' blue cloth exactly matching the original specification. In addition, the model we are offering for sale has the extremely rare carburettors with their specific float chambers and all its mechanical components stamped AW, true to the original model.
With the current craze for 2CVs, the 4x4 ‘Sahara' model clearly stands out from all the other variants: it is a classic for a well-informed enthusiast, and the model's occasional presence in international auctions has shown that it can reach high prices.
Its existence has left a special memory in the story of Citroën's two-cylinder cars, making this a rare opportunity to add such a model to a collection just of Citroëns or one that is broader in scope.
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