Friendly Citroën Makes Everybody Smile
Owner and photographer: Yannick Clukkers
Year, Make, and Model: 1972 Citroën Dyane 6
Location: Mechelen, Belgium
Why do I want to submit my car? Well, I noticed the strangest thing: there are no French cars on Petrolicious [Editor’s note: not true! Check this out, for example. Although, yes, this is the first French ‘Your Car’]. My car is as French as you can get it, so I thought it was a great opportunity to be the very first French car on your website.
It’s not because it’s French that I like it though. I’m mainly interested in cars that were originally registered in Belgium and not imported afterwards. And I like them cheap, and slow.
The Citroën Dyane was launched in 1967 to succeed the famous Citroën 2cv but it never had the same succes. Eventually the 2cv would even survive its successor as it remained in production while the Dyane was cancelled in 1983. Nonetheless, the Dyane did enjoy some success, as it was a very popular car among students and hippies. The Dyane was (next to the 2cv of course) a typical, common car in 1970s Europe.
This particular car was built in France for the Belgian market in January 1972, painted Bleu Camargue and was available in ’72 and ’73. It has an aircooled 602cc 2-cylinder boxer engine that produces around 32hp. Its top speed is about 130 km/h, and you don’t really want to know its 0-100 km/h time. It has drum brakes all around and weighs about 600 kg.
I bought it in March 2012, from a guy who had inherited it from his deceased father-in-law. I was looking for a fun Dyane from the late sixties/early seventies in original condition to have some fun with: do some meetings, go on holiday, drive it when I want to. I stumbled upon this car that was in poor condition when I bought it. Frankly, it was plain ugly. It didn’t run, the brakes didn’t work but it had little severe rust damage. And that’s quite unusual for a 70’s car with 165.000 km’s that clearly hadn’t spent its whole life in a warm and cozy garage. This car had been used and that’s exactly what I liked about it.
After purchasing it, I changed the complete brake system, the engine had a complete overhaul (did that myself too), changed some bearings, the exaust, tires and lots of rubber bits and I cleaned it up, put everything back together and the result is what you see now. Throughout the rebuild, I kept an eye on complete era-correctness. Not every part is original but they’re all from the early 1970s. To get a complete nice original patina look I changed the original rusted and repainted wheels with good wheels that were in original condition with original paint, the same thing for the rear bumper. I didn’t want to lose the patina but I didn’t want it to look dirty and worn out. I put on the large Cibié Oscar fog lights because my dad and his friends had these same Cibié lights back in the day and I bought some extra vintage stickers to finish it.
My dad began driving 2cvs and Dyanes in the early ’70s and never stopped doing so. My brother and I spent our entire childhood in the back seat of many 2cvs and Dyanes, which is the reason that we love, restore, and drive them today. Currently, I’m restoring another Dyane, a very rare 1967 (first year) Belgian-built and my brother also has a 1972 Dyane and two 2cv’s from the 50’s that still need to be put on the road.
This car is my passion: the boxer engine makes a unique sound, the typical 2cv suspension makes it fun to drive, and it handles surprisingly well. I go to a lot of Citroën meetings with it and like to cruise around, take trips with it to France along with my girlfriend. This thing isn’t exotic, it isn’t fast, it isn’t worth much but it makes me and everybody who sees it smile.
To the average American it must be a laugh to see but in Belgium this was one of the best sold cars in the 70’s. Most of them didn’t survive but I’m lucky to drive this little 1970s time machine [Editor’s note: Agreed!].
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