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Citroën Dyane: Weather resistant

Half a century ago, the Citroën Dyane was presented in society, a genuine representative of the genetics, creativity and practicality of the French brand.

The genesis of this model occurred in 1964 when those responsible for Citroën sat at the table of one of their usual board meetings and defined that it was necessary to offer a product that would be located between the popular Citroën 2 CV and the revolutionary Citroën DS. There were no shortage of ideas and immediately several precepts were defined to embrace the new product with good arguments.

It had to have a fifth door hatchback type in order to give it a new practicality and load possibilities, a more powerful engine, but that did not exceed the two French fiscal horses - and thus pay less taxes than its rivals -, and the simplicity and versatility of the 2 CV. All this in a more chic, more elaborate presentation, without forgetting its utility car DNA.

On the other hand, in order to offer it to the public at a competitive price, it was defined that it should be based on elements already tested in the 2 CV and in the rural AMI. The external dimensions should also be similar to the first, in order to take advantage of the existing assembly lines, which resulted in less need for industrial investment and the possibility of diversifying its production in different plants in Europe and Asia.

Under the tutelage of the then Citroën director, Pierre Bercot, the different departments of the factory got down to business. The aesthetics issue was initially addressed by the designers of Panhard, a French car manufacturer at the time recently acquired by the “double chevron” brand. There, some of its nodal points were proposed, such as the trapezoid or V shapes that characterize its different panels, an identity that would reach the desired massification.

At an advanced stage, the project returned to the Citroën design studio where other essential characteristics were defined, such as the headlights and their square frame integrated into the fenders, the hood forming its characteristic negative nose or the concave-shaped doors, a solution that provided rigidity and, according to its mentors, isolation of noise coming from the outside. The straight hatch that included the rear window and pivoted on the rear, opened up a whole new world of cargo possibilities. And the roll-up canvas on the roof, a new world to contemplate and enjoy up there, giving passengers the same feeling of freedom that the 2 CV always boasted.

Everything was ready for launch, in time for the 1967 Paris Motor Show, initially equipped with a 425cc opposed two-cylinder engine that would soon see its displacement grow to 435cc. The following year, another of the living heirs of the 2 CV, the AMI would begin to lend it its 602 cc engine that, with 28 horses, allowed it to reach 115 km / h.

Its higher price than the "two horses" was not based on the aesthetic novelty, or the possibility of having greater benefits. It was obvious that, as it was proposed from the beginning of the project, it was a vehicle of a superior construction quality, with better equipment and with very careful materials.

With different technical developments and some slight aesthetic interventions, the model remained in force for long periods, reaching an enviable longevity, since the last ones would leave the assembly line in 1983. Furthermore, the commercial derivation of the Citroën Dyane, called Citroën Acadiane –appeared in 1979–, remained in production until 1987, exactly two decades after the birth of the model from which it was derived directly.

Throughout its 16 years of commercial use, it was manufactured at the Rennes plants in France, Vigo in Spain, Mangualde in Portugal, Koper in what was then Yugoslavia, then Slovenia, and at the SAIPA plant in Iran. In total 1.443.493 units were produced.



The Argentine market also made its contribution to the successful commercial trajectory of the model. With the opening of imports in the 80s, Citroën decided to market this model, brought from Europe, together with its contemporaries Visa, GS, GSA or CX.

The Dyane was a model that generated a lot of loyalty among its local owners and today it is a sought after and valued model among collectors. As a color data to close this anniversary, a specimen in impeccable condition, the sales room of the Citroën Lourdes dealership, in the city of Salta, stands out. With very few kilometers traveled and maintaining the original “mimosa yellow” color and the cheerful jersey upholstered with stripes in different shades of yellow, orange and black (a combination that was only offered worldwide during the years 1979 and 1980), he is proud of the place it occupied in its time and of the legacy it projects in the most recent models that accompany it.


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Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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