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1971 Citroen Ami 8 Wagon

1971 Citroen Ami 8 Wagon


The Citroën Ami had its formal French launch on 25 April 1961, four months ahead of the August introduction of the widely anticipated Renault 4. Both the Renault 4 and the Citroën Ami responded to a perceived market need for a vehicle slightly larger and less rustic than the 2CV. The Ami is a rebodied 2CV with certain mechanical upgrades (particularly a larger engine than the 1950s 2CV), to compensate for the added weight. At launch all the cars were powered by an air cooled 602 cc two-cylinder flat engine which would also be offered at extra cost in the 2CV from 1970.

The platform chassis and suspension is similar to the 2CV, being independent all round using leading and trailing arms and coil springs interconnected front to rear. For a detailed suspension description see Citroën 2CV.

The Ami's seats were easily removable. Sales pitches of the Ami included photographs of the seats being used as picnic chairs.

The 1961 Ami 6 sedan is distinguished by an unusual reverse-raked notchback rear window, similar in style to the 1959 Ford Anglia 105E in Great Britain. A similar design feature was used on the first generation three-door Citroën C4. This design feature first appeared on the US 1953 Packard Balboa-X show car. It was first put into production on the 1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser and 1958-1960 Lincoln Continentals. In the American cars the rear window could be opened as an aid to ventilation before air conditioning became standardised, and in the American fashion was given a name, the "Breezeway Window".

The later Ami 8 saloon has a fastback rear window. It was redesigned by the French car design and bodywork company, Heuliez. Most notable changes were the front part and bonnet and the sloping, rather than inverted, rear window on the saloon. The estate version of the Ami 8, the 'Break' had a similar general appearance to that of the Ami 6 although the later car's taillights were integrated into the rear wings.

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