An good ideaIn 1935, Michelin, celebrates it manufacturer of tires, repurchases Citroen. The brothers Michelin, founders of the family company, have then the idea to create an economic, cheap car for the peasants and the social classes with low-incomes. At this point in time they ask Pierre-Jules Boulanger, new owner of Citroen, launching a market research in order to probe waitings of the future customers with respect to this automobile project.
Following this study, Boulanger writes the schedule of conditions of that which will be a long time called within the largest French car manufacturer of the pre-war period TPV (Any Small car): four wheels under an umbrella with four seats, 50 kg of luggage transportable, 2 CV tax, traction before like the 11 and 15/Six, 60 km/h out of top speed, box at three speeds, easy of maintenance, having a suspension allowing to cross a field plowed with an egg basket without breaking only one of them, and consuming only 3 liters of gasoline to the 100 km.
At the dawn of the Second world war, the projects directed by André Lefèbvre lead to a very fine corrugated iron car, equipped with a twin-cylinder flat cooled by water of 375 cm ³. Following the rout, all the “ Type has ” already assembled with the factory of Levallois-Perret are dismounted except three, which are hidden with Ferté-Vidame in the attics of the center of test, and another, hidden as for it in the basements of the research department of Citroen, Rue of the theater.
During the war, the Germans, who were with the current of the study of this TPV, ask Pierre Boulanger to place at their disposal the plans of this TPV in exchange of the disclosure of the plans of Hitler concerning that which will become the “Volkswagen”. The owner of Citroen refuses this exchange.
As from the year 1941, after the bombardment of the factory of the Quay of Javel, the studies of TPV show in hiding-place of the German occupant. One decides to give up expensive materials, as the Magnésium which became untraceable. The engine remains still a long time cooled by water but present of the problems of freezing at low temperature. The studies are long and constraining for the period of the occupation.
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