The Famed 2CV, a Car with Enduring Adoration among the French, will Dash about the Tour de France again this Year
The Citroen 2CV, unveiled 70 years ago at the 1948 Salon de l’Automobile (today known as the Paris Motor Show) is a classic car that has already been out of production for 40 years in France. Even so, no automobile has won the hearts of the French like the 2CV. Renowned Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki is among its fans, and he has put it in his works.
The 2CV’s origins go back to a project initiated by Citroen’s vice president to reverse the automaker’s fortunes. It is the product of the many dearly challenging requirements he placed on the vehicle. For example, it had to allow a person to ride while wearing a silk hat (even someone as a tall as the vice president, who was a big man), and it had to drive while carrying a box of eggs on a rough road, without allowing any of them to break. Upon the 2CV’s debut, however, it received a very poor reception. Critics derided it as a “kiddie car” or “the ugly duckling.” However, the vehicle’s compact size, good fuel economy and easy handling soon led to a flood of orders that backed up deliveries to three to five years. The 2CV became so incredibly popular that even used models had a premium cachet that drove their price higher than the cost of a new vehicle.
9.1 Tons of Sausage from the Red Gingham 2CVs!
If you’re a spectator at the Tour de France, you’ll see the 2CV in many places. Many people are here on vacation, driving a 2CV packed with luggage. One group of particular note is the impressive red gingham-pattern 2CV caravan.
Everyone reaches out to get a cap or hat with a checkered gingham design, or a salami!
This is the Cochonou caravan contingent. Cochonou is a sausage brand you’re sure to see when you visit a supermarket in France. The maker’s symbol is the red checkered gingham pattern. One or two hours before the cyclists pass by, the procession hands out salami and novelty items to the spectators.
The amount of sausage is amazing: 9.1 tons as of 2017. Cochonou is already confirmed as a sponsor for 2018, the brand’s 21st year supporting the Tour de France. That means we’re guaranteed to see a stream of adorable 2CVs yet again.