Essential Buyer’s Guides Citroen DS, Fiat 500 and 600 – 211

Buyers guide Citroen and Fiat

This series of small, softback guides offers helpful advice for those looking to buy any of the classic cars featured. The Fiat 500 and 600 guide includes information on the saloons, Multipla and Giardiniera, while the Citroën guide covers all DS and ID models. Packed with buying tips, areas to look out for and restoration information, the books within Veloce’s Buyer’s Guide series make a great first step in the purchase of a classic car.

Citroën DS and ID: 1966-’75 ; Fiat 500 and 600: 1955-’92 by Malcolm Bobbitt
Review book supplied by Techbooks
Review by James Black

Great Small Fiats – 205

Fiat Book1 CC205

The Italians may build the sexiest supercars but their most famous cars are probably cute rather than sexy — and that, of course, means baby Fiats. Ward — the creator of Auto Italia magazine — rattles through the history of all the best of them; the Topolino, 500, 850, 128, 127, Panda and Uno, and concludes with the new 500. Along the way, the book also looksFiat Book CC205 at super-tuned Abarth Fiats and coach-built baby Fiats. The author’s enthusiasm for the cars comes over strongly — and he writes about the restoration of his own, Fiat-based Moretti 850. A good book but, alas, Ward seems to know little about New Zealand’s part in the Fiat 500 story — which he dismisses in two meagre sentences.

Great Small Fiats by Phil Ward
Review book provided by the publisher
Review by James Black

Fiat/Bertone X1/9, Lancia Montecarlo, Ferrari 308GT – Brio Trio – 174

There is something about the way Italians do things which is rather indefinable, but fires admiration in all of us

Just listening to Italians talk, in their own language or someone else’s, prompts a quiet private smile — and car manufacturers the world over use Italian-sounding names for their motor cars to give the product a certain brio.

Brio is an Italian word which in many ways sums up their culture, temperament and designs. Italians are spontaneous, artistic, stylish and apparently carefree, and they are damn good engineers too — you just have to drive along autostradas which tunnel ingeniously through mountains and span deep ravines on beautifully-designed bridges to appreciate they aren’t engineering lightweights.

You have to drive in Italy to understand why Italians design their cars the way they do — they drive their cars, rather than conducting them or using them like an appliance. They actually concentrate on what they are doing. Italian manufacturers must supply a vehicle which responds to that. But it’s their free spirit which endears Italian car designs to us. It is so free that sometimes practical details and reliability get lost in all the brio, but those who love Italian cars quite rightly put that down to character!

Read the rest of this entry »

Citroen 2CV – a brief history

1939 Citroen 2CV prototype

The rise of the popular front in France in the mid-1930s made the time ripe for a “vehicle for the people”. Designers in engineering offices were working on a light and economical model that would be cheaper than the other cars of the period. At Citroën, Pierre Boulanger was working on a project called TPV (for “Très Petite Voiture” or very small car). The Marque wanted to develop a car that was economical to manufacture, use and maintain — and sold at unrivalled low prices. The idea was to offer customers automotive essentials: four seats, a top speed of 50 km/h, 100 km on 5 litres of petrol, and low production and maintenance costs. Fiat had just launched its 500 Topolino, so Citroën had to work fast.

The vehicle was homologated by the French government vehicle testing service on 23 August 1939 under the 2CV A name. But the advent of World War II just several days later, on 3 September, put the car’s future on hold. The 2CV A was hidden away during the war, especially from the prying eyes of the Germans, who were developing their own “folks’ wagon”, the Beetle. The 2CV A was so well hidden, in fact, that it was only rediscovered by chance in 1968, when work was being done at Citroën’s La Ferte Vidame test track. The car they found was a real production model, not a prototype. Out of the 100 models that went into circulation, only four are left today. All of them are conserved in Citroën’s collection, one of which is on show at the exhibition.

Read the rest of this entry »

Page 4 of 41234