1963 Citroën 2CV AZ 4X4 Sahara
Unique unrestored twin-engined car
Citroen produced over 9 million 2CV in all variants, with nothing more extraordinary than the four-wheel drive 2CV Sahara. Between 1958 and 1971 Citroen built 694 unique cars, the first production car with two engines. It is estimated that only 100 or so original Sahara are still around.
The tiny engine at the front is switched on with one of the two keys, started with one of the two starter buttons, takes its fuel from one of the two tanks and drives the front wheels. The other engine at the back has its own key, own starter button, takes its fuel from the other tank, and is driving the rear wheels. Modern type power synchronisation is completely unnecessary with the limited power available. Interestingly enough, there is lever that allows to run the car as a front-wheel drive car, using the front engine only.
The drive-train set-up is quite something with some unexpected complexities. The clutch pedal is extremely heavy for a car of this type, as it disengaging two clutches simultaneously. The gear stick is not the umbrella type as usual in a normal 2CV, but is a more conventional gear stick in the place you would find it more standard cars. It operates quite heavily as it operates two gearboxes simultaneously, not something you will find in other cars.
Driving the car is a true experience. Noise is coming from two directions. It should be possible to drive at 100km/h, and even more but the car is better suited for the country lanes.
This car is truly unique in several factors. First and foremost, it is in completely unrestored condition, with a very nice patina. Mechanically, it is full matching numbers and running very well. Another unique element is the spare wheel on the roof. Where a standard Sahara has the spare wheel in the front trunk, the first lady owner in France asked Citroen to change the layout as this was too heavy for her. She was using the car to travel through the woods to work on her paintings and drawings. With the car comes a French book from the sixties that was illustrated by her.
With only 100 or so original Sahara’s left, the car is very rare. Most Sahara’s have been restored at some point in their history, or are complete wrecks needing restoration. This car is in full driving condition for many years to come, and is completely unrestored (note that wheels have been restored and painted at some point for safety reasons).
This marvelous car has a very happy new owner!