Automotive History Capsule: Citroen Bijou – World’s Slowest Hardtop?

(first posted 11/21/2011)   One learns something new everyday, like the Citroen Bijou. Someone at Citroen’s factory in England had the brilliant idea to prettify the ugly duckling 2CV, and  hired Peter Kirwin-Taylor, who previously designed the handsome Lotus Elite, to come up with a hardtop coupe body.And just how slow was it?

Citroen Bijou_2cv

Since it was made out fiberglass, it was heavier than the 2CV’s steel body, hence also slower accelerating, if that was possible. The Motor magazine tested its top speed at 44.7 mph (it was still using the original 2CV 425cc 12hp motor). ) Zero to 40 mph came in at 41.7 seconds. Only 207 Bijous were built between 1959 and 1964, and given the fiberglass body’s rust-resistance, an unusually large percentage of them seem to still exist. I just couldn’t resist sharing that with you; it seemed rather important at the time.

Citroen Bijou conv

And there was apparently a convertible version too. Looks better, especially from this angle.