Citroën may be the quintessential French car maker but it's a little known fact that it had a British satellite. The Slough operation was tasked with building right-hand drive Citroëns for the UK domestic and Empire markets. Remarkably, it continued to churn them out until 1965. But the Slough set-up was more than a mere copycat - it had its own design and engineering team who often made substantial changes to the donor cars coming across the Channel. The iconic 2CV had been a European-wide hit but it flopped in the UK. A legal wrangle over the inboard brakes delayed the launch until 1953 and the Avant Garde looks were too much for British buyers. In a bid to solve this problem, Citroën gave Slough the go-ahead to dress the 2CV up in a new fibreglass body.
The body was made of fibreglass, on a 2CV chassis and the car featured the two-cylinder 425 cc 12 bhp engine also seen in the 2CV with centrifugal clutch as standard. It incorporated some components from the DS, most noticeably the single-spoke steering wheel, has Lucas electrics and also parts from the Citroën Traction, Morris and Triumph. The windows are all Bijou specific.
It was designed by Peter Kirwan-Taylor, by now already known as the stylist of the elegant 1957 Lotus Elite, another fibreglass-bodied car. Bijou bodies were initially moulded by a company called "Whitson & Co", close to Citroën's Slough premises, but it later proved necessary to transfer this work to another supplier.
Disappointing sales levels for the UK's own Citroën seem to have been down to the Bijou's price, which at the time of the 1959 motor show was £674. At this time the British market was acutely price sensitive, and buyers could choose a Ford Popular with four doors, four seats and a much larger engine for £494.
The Bijou's more modern styling gave it a higher top speed and lower cruising fuel consumption than the equivalent 2CV; however, the greater weight of the bodywork had an adverse impact on the car's more general performance, especially its acceleration. The Bijou was considered expensive by the testers. It was also more expensive than the Austin Mini, but the Bijou was supposed to be more distinguished.
The Bijou is the least known of Citroën's offerings. Built between 1959 and 1964 at the Slough factory for the U.K. market only, it was never made in left-hand drive form and never sold abroad, apart from 6 exported to Australia. As of 2013, of the approximately 211 made, nearly 150 Bijous were on the 2CVGB club register, but fewer than 40 are still on the roads. These cars are rare now, and highly sought after.
This Coral Pink 1964 Bijou has genuine low mileage. The car is like a 60's time capsule with all original interior in good but aged condition. In excellent working order. The car has been owned by the last owner since 1990's, kept dry stored, regularly maintained and serviced. Only 3rd owner from new. Very original car with headlining, carpets, ash trays, etc. Comes with x4 spare original Michelin tyres.
Flat 2 cylinder
|Bore x Stroke||
66 x 62 mm
12 pk or 12 hp by 4000 rpm
25,5 Nm by 2500 rpm
50 mph or 81 km/h
1235 lb or 560 kg
93,3 in or 2369 mm
|LxWxH or LxBxH||
149 x 58,3 x 61 in or 3785 x 1480 x 1549 mm
|Production numbers Citroën Bijou||
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