Look what has come up for sale on the French auction site Leboncoin – a 1966 Sahara 2CV. (Arguably a 4CV when you consider that it has 2 engines!) Saharas are very rare as Citroën only built 791 between 1960 and 1967.
Developed for use in hard to reach regions of France and in the French colonies of Africa as a sort of French answer to the Jeep and Land Rover, rather than redesigning the entire drivetrain for 4×4 capabilities Citroën fitted two 12 hp engines with gearboxes, one in the front and one in the rear. Two fuel tanks were placed under the front seats, and a single gear shift, clutch, and accelerator operated the engines/gearboxes either individually or together. The dual drivetrain provided the advantage of significantly reducing your chance of being stranded since, if one engine broke down, you still had another that could get you home.
As scarce as Sahara’s are, this one, production number 785, is unique in that it has a folding windshield and as the seller states; “The only one we know to date in 40 years of frequenting the Citroën enthusiast community.”
Did Citroën make such a feature on this particular Sahara, or is it an after-sale modification? It appears to have a Citroën innovation look to it that makes us think it is original. Another reason we believe it is original is that the Méhari was Citroën’s replacement for the Sahara, and since this is a very late model Sahara perhaps Citroën wanted to try incorporating the flip-down windshield feature of the Méhari after seeing the prototype presented to them by the SEAB company. It would have most likely been around that time. And they had done a folding windshield on the Traction Avant Cabriolet back in the 1930s.
What also piques our interest is the price – just 50,000 euros, which is very low as Saharas that have come up for sale in the past few years have commanded significantly more.
It is unlikely that the folding windshield is a deterrent to its value, though the seller does disclose that the front fenders are not original, the rims have been repainted and brakes along with a full servicing of the engine, the brakes need to be overhauled because they are not currently functional.
We wonder about the front fenders… They do appear to be the ripple bonnet type. The cut-outs look to be where the turn signals are on late model 2CV’s. Maybe at some point the owner wanted to add that feature and just got around to cutting the holes in the original fenders? Or maybe there was a desire to integrate driving lights? Another unsolved mystery like the folding windshield.
The car has been stored in a barn for many years in good condition. What a charming find! Here is the listing URL: https://www.leboncoin.fr/vi/1723731664.htm/?fbclid=IwAR0kuE-GcZpE3kVXA3jukfrzA7HcAF9qEClqSNSrJyRpjEpJVwK0zx_72eg
Thanks to Citroënvie member Prakash (Raj) Raja for bringing this to our attention.
I have only seen two with a fold down windshield like this one, though I am going back in time to the country where I was born, recalling a 2CV Sahara expedition or some similar note, I was ten years of age at the time when East African Safari was taking place, whilst by the side in the field, away from the lightening speeds of the Safari , thought to be safe and view the Citroens and the Peugeot , some of the safari attendants are no longer around , deceased , like Shekhar Mehta had always rallied in French cars, that said there was one 2CV Sahara 4×4 going around, though I didn’t think that it was part of the safari, as it climbed through the muddy terrains where none other rear wheel drive vehicles could go.
A similar 2CV Sahara that was seen being driven, also had a windshield similar to this one on the Auction site.
I don’t know if it was an aftermarket add-on or a very few late model conversions as a test run?
Hard to say.
The one at the safari had two windshields, the one that usually comes in all the models, only in it , the fold down frame had both assembled in it as in dual pivotal point, I.e , one independent of the other for some reason, maybe for a double protection ?
I don’t know…
Then the other question that comes to mind, how would the windshield wipers arranged?