Tuesday, October 6, 2009

1964 Citroen Ami 6

If you took off all your clothes, painted yourself florescent pink, stood in the middle of a busy street and started directing traffic, you would not get as many weird looks as you would get if you drove this car down that same street. This is one bizarre looking car, even by Citroen's standards.

The Ami 6 was built to be a step up from the very utilitarian Citroen 2CV. It had a larger engine and a few more amenities. The suspension was pure 2CV, and a very interesting suspension at that...

"Each wheel was independently suspended by a single curved arm, leading at the front and trailing at the rear with a coil spring for each wheel. These springs were housed inside moveable metal cylinders mounted horizontally under the doors on each side of the car. Each suspension arm was attached to a spring through a rod, and the system was interconnected front to rear so that when a front wheel passed over a bump, the suspension automatically compressed its companion rear wheel spring, preparing that wheel for the impending shock. Wheel patter was controlled by fitting each wheel with an inertia damper consisting of a spring-mounted iron weight inside a vertical cylinder. Shock absorbing was provided by friction dampers at the suspension arm pivots." (From Canadian Driver magazine)

(Click here to see some pictures of a 2CV suspension, which will help make some sense out of all of the above.)

This set up works extremely well and the Ami is an incredibly smooth riding small car (as is the 2CV).

The Citroen suspension and the opposed 2 cylinder 602cc engine found in this car were unusual, but it was the reversed raked rear window that made it so bizarre. Ford was using that style in the Mercury Monterey and British Ford Anglia, but the roofline on the Ami 6 was so abrupt it looked like the upper half of the car didn't belong on the bottom half. The rest of the body is very smooth and almost rounded. (A historical note: The Ami and the Ford Taunus were the first vehicles to be produced with rectangular headlamps.)

The interior was fairly typical Citroen with a single spoke steering wheel and the shifter coming out of the dashboard.

As you can imagine, this was not a quick car. It had a top speed of around 65 MPH and took over 30 seconds to hit 60 MPH. It did get 44 MPG.

Despite (or maybe because of) its looks, the Ami 6 was the best selling car in France of a number of years. While the car was officially exported to the US, very few were sold here.

The car being offered on eBay was privately imported from Holland in 2007. It was restored to a very nice condition.

Take this car to any car show, anywhere in America, and you're bound to get some attention. Take this car for a drive anywhere in America and you'll stop traffic.

Click here to see the eBay listing for the Citroen Ami 6

No comments: