A Méhari is a type of fast-running dromedary camel, which can be used for racing or transport. The Citroën Méhari is a utility car and off-roader produced from 1968 – 1988. In all 144,953 Méharis were built.
The Méhari was based on the Citroën Dyane 6, and has the interconnected fully independent long-travel 2CV suspension used by all of the Citroën ‘A-Series’ vehicles. Its body is ABS plastic material over a tubular frame that is attached to the Dyane chassis. Colour was integrated into the ABS, but tended to fade very quickly so that virtually every Mehari today looks either incredibly scruffy or has been repainted to give a fresh appearance. They come with a soft top that can be rolled up in a number of configurations or removed altogether.
The Méhari utilized the 602 cc flat twin gasoline engine shared with the 2CV6 and Citroën Ami. A four-wheel drive version of the Méhari was produced from 1980 to 1983 and had excellent off-road qualities, due to the lightness of the vehicle. (The standard Méhari weighs just 570 kg (1,300 lb)).
The Méhari was sold in the United States for one year, 1970, where the vehicle was classified as a truck. US models are very rare (only 214 Méharis were sold) and can be distinguished by the sealed beam headlights that sit high in a unique front body section where the lights protrude into the hood that has cutouts accommodate the intrusion. Some also have fixed, rather than folding windshields. One was featured in a brief scene with Charlton Heston in the 1971 film The Omega Man.
There is arguably a no more thrilling car to ride in than a Citroën Méhari!
Citroën stopped producing the Méhari when 2CV production ceased in France in 1988, by which time a total of 144,953 had been made.