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Austin Mini 850 HL & amp; Citroen 2 CV 6 Club: Quite a few with Mini and Duck

Uli Jooß
Austin Mini 850 HL & Citroen 2 CV 6 Club
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Maybe you can like them both. Even if that should be just as difficult as getting enthusiastic about Britpop and French chansons alike. Both, Austin Mini like C itroën 2 CV, should become small and simple mass-produced cars. But Mini and Duck could hardly have achieved this goal more differently.

The duck is the innocence of the country

Maybe you can like them both. Even if that should be just as difficult as getting enthusiastic about Britpop and French chansons alike. Both mini and duck were to become small and simple mass-produced cars. But Austin and Citroën could hardly have achieved this goal more differently.

The duck is the innocence of the country. Her shy, simple nature testifies to the hardships after the war into which she was thrown. She was never cool or sexy. The Mini, automobile city fashion since the swinging sixties, has never been anything else.

For Austin, the drive layout of the Mini designed by Alexander Issigonis means a revolution. Front-wheel drive has a long tradition at Citroën. Nevertheless, the Mini 1959 points far into the future with its space-maximizing concept. At that time the duck was only considered special, but no longer particularly progressive.

The 2 CV goes back to the TPV- Toute petite Voiture - from 1939. This explains the curved pre-war design with free-standing fenders, which the duck could save until the end of the Cold War. The original Döschewo from 1948 only developed 9 hp, but its most important detail already adorns it: the large roll-up roof. With it, the 2 CV masters air and water like a real duck, can use one element to refresh the occupants and protect them from the wetness of the other. The convertible sedan owes its greatest fame to the roll-top roof.

The duck welcomes four passengers

Everyone has its own little door. All four hatches slam into the lock by themselves with the force of a leaf falling to the ground. The car then tweaks a bitShoulders. But that seems more cozy than cramped. The soft cushions invite you to sit down. And that's the first rule for ducking. Because if you sit too upright, you can see the upper pane frame.

So the driver is lounging comfortably and a little startled when he has switched, like the author, from a 740 Volvo straight to the duck. From the driver's seat you can see some cracks through which the asphalt shows. Even those who have several years of 2-CV experience will need a moment before the somewhat windy facade construction of the duck no longer worries them. Then you slowly notice what an enormous burden you are leaving behind. And turns the ignition key.

The starter gently shakes the longitudinally installed two-cylinder boxer engine awake. If necessary, there is also a crank. It was enclosed until the end, but it disguised itself as a crank for the jack. It remains unused in the trunk. At the second turn of the key, the boxer jumps on and chatters a little excitedly while idling.

The most important rules for duck drivers

It takes five kilometers before the other duck rules come back come to mind: Always drive open, otherwise the roof will hang like a quiff in the field of vision. Shift gently, shake the gears loosely from your wrist over the ball on the shift stick. Otherwise the transmission will creak. When shifting down, the four-speed box is happy about a Tappser double-declutching. Never try to go as fast as the others want. That will not do. That destroys the joy of the duck. So endure that TDI-armed half-amateur racing drivers brake up to the trunk lock and sniff the duck's butt unseemly.

Finally alone, the duck crawls gently on its narrow 15-inch wheels on bad roads. The 2 CV is often called a rolling umbrella, but it is much more of a moving beach chair. Or two, one behind the other screwed onto a particularly soft, sprung frame. Such a construction hardly gives hope for excessive cornering skills.

In bends, the duck shows itself as a stubborn poultry. She defends herself against any change of direction by understeering as much as possible. So tear violently on the single-spoke steering wheel. Then the car almost tips over into the curve. What looks much more dramatic from the outside than it feels inside because of the strong list.

The duck still likes the straight, wide open country, away from the hustle and bustle. What a wonderful car hike it is on lonely, winding roads. The wind is whirling through the car. Even climbing small hills is an uplifting experience. The duck is a sensual vehicle because it gives the driver pleasure. You want to travel with her, not arrive. But don't drive too long now. Otherwise you will just fall completely in love with the duck again. And then the Mini has a hard time.

You buy a Mini because you can and will afford the shortness

It just extends the Citroën a bit above the waist. A colleague recently asked why the Mini has to be so terribly small? That cannot be explained. One can only understand that. If you don't do that, you won't recognize the advantages of a mini skirt.

Like the skirt, a mini is not bought because its owner can't afford anything bigger. You buy a Mini because you can and want to afford it short. Because the fun that the Mini makes cannot be outweighed by space and comfort. A certain tightness remains unavoidable. For example, no larger animals such as St. Bernard or sheep should be transported in the trunk. In the duck, on the other hand, with the rear bench seat removed, a couple of large goats should also ride.

But four adults can really travel with the Mini. Although the interior is so short that the rear vent windows can be opened from the driver's seat. The only problem is slipping into the rear. This does not work every now and then without minor knee and shoulder injuries.

In contrast to the duck, which always has half the electrical system - three cables - dangling out from under the instrument panel, the inside of the Mini looks like a small one Jewelry box. British Leyland did not invent the invisible joint either. But the Mini looks more solid than the 2 CV.

The Mini needs a committed pilot

The Austin- Four-cylinder supports the more adult appearance. He crouches across the engine compartment and directly on the transmission. Although only 6 hp more than the 2 CV two-cylinder, the 850 sounds smoky, sonorous, extroverted. And thus ensures a completely different driving experience. Because, contrary to the 2 CV, the Mini is not particularly light and filigree for its size. So the feeling of the Mini should always be a little more powerful, while with the Duck you would always get along with a little less.

The Mini needs a committed pilot. Its chassis is perfectly matched to the requirements of Great Britain. There the road network - especially in the cities - consists almost exclusively of roundabouts. The little one whistles for roundabouts, nastily turning in, as quickly and safely as if he were screwed onto a carousel. With such talent: What should you hold up to the Mini because of the stiff steering, the hacky gearshift and the consistent renunciation of any suspension comfort. That would be ungrateful.

Because the road holding is sensational. That only changes if it falls into a bump with both wheels on one axle at the same time. Then the Mini jumps out so suddenly that at higher speeds it takes some time and a large portion of gravity to get it back on the ground under the tires.

The Mini loves the fast beat of the big city

It is always right at the front - instead of bustlingcruising. He makes a special test out of every trip to the cinema. No matter whether he competes as a sporty Cooper or as a noble HL.

In the 90s, Rover ruffled the economy car with wood and leather into a fun accessory. 2001 the New Mini, an elaborate, impractical premium car with the same name but a completely different character than the Mini.

A few years before the retro hype, the duck's career ends with no prospect of a Nouvelle Deuxchevaux. Maybe that's one reason to like the duck a little more than the mini. Because she left when she was still herself.

History of the Austin Mini

  • 1959 Presentation as Austin Seven (843 cm3, 37.5 hp)
  • 1960 Van and station wagon
  • 1961 Cooper (997 cm3, 56 hp), pick-up
  • 1963 Cooper S (1071 cm3, 70 hp)
  • 1964 Cooper S (1275 cm3, 75 PS), introduction of Mini Moke
  • 1967 Mini MK II
  • 1968 Moke discontinued
  • 1969 MK II by ADO 20- Models 850 and 1000, Cooper replaced by 1275 GT with 77 hp, Start Clubman
  • 1971 Cooper S discontinued
  • 1976 Mini MK IV
  • 1980 Production stop pickup, Clubman and 1275 GT
  • 1982 Stop station wagon and van
  • 1984 Mini MK V: front disc brakes, 12-inch wheels
  • 1990 New Cooper with 1273 cm3 and 61 PS
  • 1991 Restart Moke in Italy
  • 1992 MK VI: 1.3-liter with 53 PS replaces one-liter engine
  • 1993 Start of series production of the Mini Cabrio, discontinuation of Moke
  • 1996 MK VII: Airbags
  • 2000 Production stop Mini
  • 2001 Production start of the New Mini

History of the Citroen 2 CV

  • 1948 Presentation at the Paris Salon with 375 cm3 and 9 HP
  • 1951 Production start of box duck 2 CV AK Fourgounette
  • 1958 Two-engine all-wheel drive model Sahara
  • 1964 Front doors now hinged on the front instead of the B-pillar
  • 1967 Presentation of Dyane
  • 1970 New model range: 2 CV 4 with 431 cm3 and 23 HP, 2 CV 6 with 602 cm3 and 28 HP
  • 1974 Square headlights
  • 1976 basic version 2 CV Special
  • 1981 special model Charleston
  • 1982 Fourgounette discontinued
  • 1982 Front disc brakes
  • 1983 Production stop Dyane
  • 1984 Large tailgate for an extra charge
  • 1988 Production stop at the main plant in Levaillos
  • 1990 Production stop at the plant in Mangualde /Portugal


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