Citroën wanted to create a four wheel drive car for use in Africa to take the rugged terrain encountered during oil and mineral exploration. Instead of going with a standard configuration, Citroën mounted one engine in the front and one engine in the rear to create four wheel drive.
The 2CV “Fourgonnette” (or Truckette) played as important a part of the 2CV story as the car. Ultimately, over a million examples were built, which accounted for nearly a third of the total 2CV production.
The Citroën 5CV was shown at the Paris Salon in 1921, and production began in 1922. For the first time in France, the marketing was slanted toward feminine clientele, paying off handsomely for Citroën.
André Citroën introduced his first car to the public in 1919, and within two weeks received 16,000 orders for the Type a 10CV. The company steadily grew through the 1930s, and André Citroën became infatuated with front wheel drive automobiles and began developing a mental picture of the next car his factory would produce.
The Citroën Ami 8 was presented to the public at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1969. The Ami 8 was far more conventional in appearance than the Ami 6 that it replaced. The reverse-rake rear window of the 6 was replaced by a fastback and the front end got a smoother look.
The Citroën Ami Super was launched in January 1973 and, while it looks like the Ami 8, it has a larger, more powerful horizontally-opposed flat 4-cylinder air cooled engine of 1015cc and 55 hp, almost doubling the 8’s power.
André Citroën, the founder of Citroën, was first and foremost a communicator. To promote the brand’s products and image, he decided to take Citroën vehicles to the furthest reaches of the globe–from the heart of Africa with its immense stretches of desert to the untamed tracks of Asia.