Citroën Bijou

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Citroën Bijou
Citroen Bijou reg 1961 602 cc.JPG
Overview
Manufacturer Citroën
Production 1959–64
207 made[1]
Assembly Slough, England
Body and chassis
Class Economy Car
Body style 2-door coupé
Related
Powertrain
Engine 425 cc air-cooled two-cylinder
Transmission 4-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 94 in (2,388 mm)[2]
Length 156 in (3,962 mm)[2]
Width 61 in (1,549 mm)[2]
Height 46 in (1,168 mm)[2]

The Citroën Bijou is a small coupé manufactured by Citroën at the premises they had occupied since 1925 in Slough, England. The Bijou was assembled from 1959 until 1964. It was based on the same platform chassis as the Citroën 2CV, sharing its advanced independent front to rear interconnected suspension. The car's appearance was thought to be more in line with the conservative taste of British consumers than the unconventional and uncompromisingly utilitarian rural look of the standard 2CV.

The body was made of fibreglass, and the car featured the two-cylinder 425 cc 12 bhp engine also seen in the 2CV. Only 210 were produced, plus two prototypes. It incorporated some components from the DS, most noticeably the single-spoke steering wheel.[3]

It was designed by Peter Kirwan-Taylor, by now already known as the stylist of the elegant 1957 Lotus Elite, another fibreglass-bodied car.[3] Bijou bodies were initially moulded by a company called "Whitson & Co", close to Citroën's Slough premises,[3] but it later proved necessary to transfer this work to another supplier.[4]

Disappointing sales levels for the UK's own Citroën seem to have been down to the Bijou's price, which at the time of the 1959 motor show was £674.[3] At this time the British market was acutely price sensitive, and buyers could choose a Ford Popular with four doors, four seats and a much larger engine for £494.

The Bijou's more modern styling gave it a higher top speed and lower cruising fuel consumption than the equivalent 2CV; however, the greater weight of the bodywork had an adverse impact on the car's more general performance, especially its acceleration. The Bijou was considered expensive by the testers.[2] It was also more expensive than the Austin Mini, but the Bijou was supposed to be more distinguished.

As of 2013, nearly 150 Bijous were on the 2CVGB club register, but fewer than 40 are still on the roads.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sedgwick, Michael; Gillies, Mark; Pressnell, Jon (1993). A-Z of cars 1945–1970. Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-39-7. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Citroen Bijou". The Motor. January 4, 1960. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Automobilia". Toutes les voitures françaises 1960 (salon Paris oct 1959). Histoire & collections. Nr. 15: Page 19. 2000. 
  4. ^ http://www.citroenet.org.uk/foreign/slough/ken-smith/ks1.html


External links[edit]