You just missed your chance to buy one of the most unusual cars ever made: the twin-engine Citroen 2CV Sahara. In the late fifties, when France was still very involved in the Sahara regions of Northern Africa, the ever-creative engineers at Citroen came up with a novel idea to build a 4×4 2CV (4CV?) by adding a second engine and transaxle in the rear. The controls operated both engines and transmissions simultaneously, or just one. How great is that? Now we know where the CoronoroC got its inspiration from, although it has twin 440 CID engines instead of the Sahara’s twin 425 cc engines, rated at 12 hp each. No wonder they added a second one; 24 hp goes a bit further conquering those giant sand dunes in the Sahara.
Yes, the Sahara was well named, and one of the advantages of its double drive train was that there was no need for any sort of central differential, since each engine and transmission worked essentially independently. If the front one starts losing traction and encounters wheel slip, the rear one is still chugging away.
The regular 2 CV’s umbrella-handle dashboard shifter had to be ditched for a floor-mounted one that was coupled to both transmissions. Not surprisingly, performance with only one of the engines was modest, with a top speed of 65 km/h (40 mph). But with both of the little 425 cc boxers at work, the Sahara’s top speed was raised to a blistering 65 mph.
Here’s that second engine, taking up valuable trunk space, which explains why the spare had to be moved to the top of the hood. Another apparent advantage of the second engine is twice as much heat for the interior, if those two ducts are what I think they are.
Only some 694 Saharas were ever built, and 27 are known to still exist. That makes this one pretty rare, which probably explains why the final bid of $30,099 wasn’t good enough to win it. Oddly enough, this Sahara now resides in the wonderfully named town of Boring, Oregon.
Hat tip to johnnyangel! Full 2CV Curbside Classic here