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Cars come and cars go, but the Citroën 2CV is a car that just won't quit. Originally designed in the 1930s, the French automaker had to destroy most of the prototypes before the German troops marched in to avoid them falling into Nazi hands.

Citroën kept three hidden away, a fourth hidden by Michelin, finally unveiling the revolutionary finished product after the war ended at the 1948 Paris Motor Show. From then until 1990 when it finally went out of production, Citroën sold over 5 million of them. And now, a record number of the cars are set to gather for what's expected to be the largest 2CV gathering in history.

Organizers are expecting over 6,000 owners to bring their 2CVs to Salbris, France, for the 19th annual International "Amis de la 2CV," where the faithful will be able to compare their cars, swap parts, participate in a disassemble-reassemble competition and gaze at one of the original prototypes (pictured above) as well as the contemporary Revolte concept.

Maybe not your idea of how to spend the weekend, but for those who still love one of the most basic cars history's ever known, it promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Read all about it in the press release after the jump.
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A record-breaking global gathering of Citroën 2CVs is set to take place from 26-31 July at the 19th International 'Amis de la 2CV', an event expected to attract over 6,000 examples of the legendary and iconic Citroën model.

Held every two years, the meeting attracts participants from all over the world who come together to celebrate one of Citroën's longest-running success stories. The 2011 event, involving many of Europe's 2CV owner's clubs, promises to be the biggest yet.

In the setting of a 60-hectare site near Salbris in Central France, four pre-war prototype 2CVs will be on show alongside the contemporary Citroën REVOLTe concept - a chic city car combining luxury and technology, inspired by the 2CV's distinctive silhouette.

Originally developed in the 1930s, most of the 250 prototype 2CVs were destroyed before war - with the exception of three, which were hidden to stop them falling into enemy hands. The fourth was stored by Michelin®. The 2CV was finally unveiled at the 1948 Paris Motor Show, before going on to enjoy a fantastic career with 5,114,940 units sold between 1948 and 1990.

A wealth of activities will be taking place on and off site at the meeting, including; a 2CV 'disassemble-reassemble' competition; a bring-and-buy sale; various children's events; and the use of driving simulators. Road routes will be provided for those wishing to explore the local region and a small number of 2CVs will be on hand for those wishing to discover, or rediscover, the feeling of driving this automotive legend.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      The best 2CV variant ever has got to be the 4x4 Sahara model. One motor for the front wheels, one motor for the back. Two ignitions, a two chambered gas tank, two generators, two transmissions, one shift lever and steering wheel, totally insane.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, that was really bizarre. I read it was built that way because they could not find a 4-cyl engine powerful enough to serve all 4 wheels. Odd, surely it would have been easier to engineer a more powerful engine than make the queer double-engine version.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Deux Chaveaux = 2 Horse in french. As relevant as the Volks Wagen = "Peoples Car" in german. Or the Model T in the U.S., making personal transportation possible to the masses. Humans didn't just spring up out of nothing. Neither did cars. All Fords came from the said Model T, not the prettiest vehicle on the planet. And all VW's from the the Type 1. Or "Käfer", german for beetle, as it was known as in Germany. Again not very pretty. But an important vehicle none the less, because it gave mobility to the common man.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I never thought that the original 2CV's were that bad looking. They kind of had their own charm. But the original concept pictured here... you have to admit, it's pretty damned ugly. If I owned this car, I'd call it Igor.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Actually the picture in the article is of the TPV which was redesigned to become the 2CV after the WW2 to make less use of aluminum and to make it less crude.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Possibly the worlds most ugly car
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ugly, maybe, but purposeful and functional for its time. And perhaps not in the same league with the VW Beetle and Chevrolet Suburban, but in my opinion it shares with those two the distinction of longevity and a faithful fan base. Good for Citroen.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "...the French automaker had to destroy most of the prototypes before the German troops marched in to avoid them falling into Nazi hands." Hah! As if the Germans cared for anything engineered by the French... especially during a period of overwhelming national pride.
        Leather Bear
        • 4 Years Ago
        André Lefèbvre's design brief for TPV (Toute Petite Voiture – "Very Small Car", which evolved into the 2CV) is arguably among the most brilliantly engineered (some say THE most brilliantly engineered) automotive designs of all time. If you ever have the chance to examine one up close (and I have!), the utter simplicity and utilitarianism of the drivetrain, the suspension, the interior layout, etc. will blow you away if you're a serious student of automotive design.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The did an unecessary job, the germans would destroy it anyway, hahaha Although the VW had its design almost copied from the Tatra 88, the history prooved which project were better, the VW or that from Citroën. Jam, it was damn ugly even in the 30"s!
      • 4 Years Ago
      They hid it from the Germans because they were embarrassed! Just joking! This is pretty much the French VW Beetle.
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
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