Really enjoying all of this discussion.
These are great cars because someone very clever worked from first principles to make something as good as possible. I agree
That doesn't happen very often.
I concur with that Autocar roadtest about the fuel consumption, high twenties mpg. But you try driving one gently!
I think the Ami Super rear brakes were the same as the Acadiane van but I can't remember why I should believe that. I also understand that they are the same, having 35mm wide drum pads rather than the 2cv's 30mm. The diameters the same at 180mm. But I'm also led to believe the hubs / wheel bearings on the Acadiane / super are also more substantial than those of the 2cv & Dyane. I cannot yet confirm this though.
I also have this idea that the Super spring boxes were different such that there is no front / rear interaction but, again, can't remember where I might have got that idea from. It would make sense I think, to so increase pitch-stiffness with so much more power. The poor road ride was excellent but I have never driven a 2 cylinder car so can't compare.
Yes, the springs of the Ami-super are both a larger diameter and stiffer than the lighter A-series, in fact the spring canisters needed raised bulges in the floor panels because of this. And yes, I'm also led to believe that the spring canisters were not 'floating' between rubber buffers on this model. In fact I still have to fathom why the 2cv spring canisters did in fact float. I'm just beginning to read an article that starts off to say that it was "to the allow the pitch stiffness to be reduced". I've not yet read the paper though. I'll explain more ...as and when I find out.
I had no Idea that Citroens were ever built in Yugoslavia, was that where all Supers were made? No, like other models of that era, the super was most likely built in several plants. Citroen's main production was in France and in Belgium, but for other markets they needed to overcome import restrictions / taxes. This happened with all manufacturers which is why for example the Ford Fiesta was made in Spain. Import taxes were just so prohibitive unless a certain percentage was made locally.
Amongst others, Citroen had assembly plants in Argentina, Spain, Slough in England, and as we know from my car - the plant in Koper, on the Adriatic coast. This, at that time, was in Soviet block Yugoslavia. Complete car-kit assemblies known as CKD (complete knock down) were initially shipped out to those plants, simply for assembly and local market sales. Later on, as the factories got their act together, they'd take on more and more of the production - which allowed for local variations to be made. Usually the bodies of the light vans were the first to be changed, with variations such as different wheel base lengths &/or pick-ups being introduced. And in Argentina - their 2cv had a lifting tailgate rather than a small boot lid.
Making cars & light commercials in Koper opened up the Soviet Block market to Citroen. But aside from Paris and Koper - I don't know which of Citroen's plants built or assembled the super. Just 48,000 'supers' were built out of some 700,000 Ami's.
Edit - just found this one for sale - are these the later wheels referred too or are they a GS wheel? those wheels are GS. The Ami super after 1974 had perforated wheels but without the indent pressings.
Further reading below.. It's s a letter I sent to the 2cvGB club - Ami Registrar, when I first bought my car. It shares a few more tidbits about Citroen's Koper facility.
Friday, 27 November 2015
Hello again Jonathan,
I write, as I fly home from Ljubljana on ESY 3246, to share that as of yesterday (25th Nov) I became the new proud owner of a 1974 Ami Super Berline Luxe. After some 20+ years I am returning to A-series (or rather AMi series) ownership.
This particular car with its 1015cc motor was built by Citroen-Cimos in Koper, Yugoslavia (Slovenia, since that country's independence in 1991). Likewise, this ancient town on the northern Adriatic is where I bought the car, although I understand that she used to live a little way further inland. Tomo, the car's seller, is somewhat an enthusiast as he also has an Ami-8 Break and a Visa. He bought the Berline some seventeen years ago with the intent of restoring her, but only used her for a year (1,500km) before parking her in the back of a dry double garage.
Buried behind motorcycles and household stores ever since - her speedo reads just 48,449 km (we hope this may be its first-time-around). The car is far from pristine though. As a cheap car / workhorse - it has minor scrapes & dents consistent with it having been used for 25 years around the community's old towns and farms. The front seats, now singles rather than it's original bench, its wheels, and perhaps a few of the body panels are from Tomo's father's 1972 Ami-8 Break Club. Those aside she appears pretty original and has matching numbers.
There's plating welded over the front footwell floors.., which is quite solid but of course hides 'the unknown'. I'll have this corrected by Janez of '2cvKeza' in the north of Slovenia, before I drive the car back to the UK next May or June. Janez not only restores A-series Citroens but also makes faithful reproductions of obscure A-series structural panels (those otherwise not available or are rather poor fits - from the usual sources).
Working directly from originals - he makes his as near true to the original as possible, except that they're from zinc-plated steel. He's a really nice chap to deal with and like myself, prefers where possible to spot (or if necessary plug) weld these panels togetherâ€¦ again as near original spec as practical.
He & his wife drive an Ami-8 Break from 1970 (with sliding front door glass) and a rare Citroen-Cimos DAK (van) from 1985. This model of van is shorter than the usual Acadiane and has numerous detailing differences. When I visited on Tuesday he was busy reconstructing a client's 2cv6 and a Cimos Geri (Acadiane pick-up)
Apparently, 'Citroen Tomos Koper' used to assemble Citroen A-series from CKD (complete-knock-down) kits of car parts supplied by Citroen Paris. 'Tomos Koper' changed company name in 1973 to 'Cimos Koper'. Serving the even-more economical / socialist Yugoslavian market, a generally very dry climate - the cars made were not chemically dip cleaned before paint, as in Citroen's own French or Belgian factories, but were just wiped over before being lightly spray painted.
Tomo's own father went to the factory to pick 'his' Ami Break from the stream of cars on the production line, and with a quiet word and possibly discrete back-hander, it's paintwork was thicker and more carefully applied than most.!
It's not known how much of my Ami-Super was 'made' in Yugoslavia or else supplied by Citroen to be assembled, but it's likely that the low-production-volume models (such as the Super) were CKD kits made in Paris. Certainly their engines & gearboxe assemblies were French made. As time went on Tomos, and later Cimos, progressively made more parts in-house. The light-commercial's bodies were pressed locally, and their design differences are more easily spotted.
Certainly, my car's under-wheel-arch paint is inadequate for northern Europe's wet, especially in the wintertime. I'll need to address this before I drive the car to the UK. Fortunately aside from the foot wells, this car's rust appears to be superficial ..and there's no under-seal to hide anything. Even a dented rear wing which had (many years ago) been pushed out again - has only the lightest of surface rust around it's flange edges and where dent's creases have cracked the paint. Bottom of the doors are good, as are the wing's return flanges, the inner wings and bonnet. Time will tell though what is yet to be discovered - as I had very limited access when I viewed and bought the car.!
Surprisingly the rubber of the window rubbers & driveshaft gaiters still feel to be supple. I dared not hope for that from a 40+ year old car living in a dry climate. From a quick inspection - the interior headlining is clean and untorn and the door cards are in fair condition. The seats had covers over them so I couldn't assess their state, but I expect that they are past their prime, even though the car hasn't seen much daylight for years..
I'll stop there to keep this report reasonably short, but attach a few photos for your interest.
Peter : 2cvGB 030093
...extracts of the above were used in 2cvGB club magazine January 2016
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p.s. if you're still looking for interesting Shitroen stuff to read.., how about < https://en.wikipedia...rg/wiki/Citroën
p.p.s. (Friday 25th March)
When I went to see Janez (2cvKeza) we continued our conversation regarding Citroen-Tomos and Cimos who built Citroens. Janez is one, if not the foremost expert on the Yugoslavian A-series cars & light commercials. He is getting known to be a collector of anything concerning this company, and so is occasionally given original factory data, either for his own collection or to copy. This includes assembly blue prints which show panel fit 'tolerance' to be between 1 mm and 1 cm ! (this refers to the same gap between panels - not one gap at 1mm and an other at 10mm)
He was also telling me of the import restrictions between Yugoslavia (in the Soviet block) and the West. And that by agreement with the country's Ministers the value of imports from Citroen (and presumably other sources) was dependant on what was exported. I presume this was to maintain the (import / export) balance of payments.
As a consequence Citroen vehicle production in Koper would occasionally come to a halt, simply because the factory needed to import a part ..but their quota for imports was all used up. Janez tells me that often this was just for a month or two but sometimes for as much as for two years. In this time part-complete vehicles would be stockpiled until the parts were obtained, fitted, and shipping might happen. I'd seen in movies like The Russia House ; Sean Connery / Michelle Pfeiffer, Roy Scheider, James Fox, c.1990 where stocks / supplies to the shops had been non-existent, and then almost without notice a shipment would come in.., resulting in long queues in the shops. I'd not even thought that this applied to commodities like cars.
Tomos and (post-73) Cimos would balance out the import of engine and body panel parts by making and exporting things like aluminium castings.. Citroen themselves were having high % reject of their own casting, which suffered from porosity. Tomos / Cimos already making small motorcycle had overcome this. They also made and supplied wiring looms and items like starter motors (note the markings / origin on your old Citroen).
These and other parts were shipped to Citroen for assembly into their vehicles, including those cars 'Made in' Paris, Belgium and Slough. Janez went on to explain that the Ami Super I have was made by Cimos in Koper ..as recorded on the chassis number. And that Citroen France may not even have factory records of this.
I enquired as to how much of my car would have been made in Yugoslavia, and it's his opinion (based on the records) that most of the metal pressings of cars like mine were probably made in France, but then shipped to Koper as a kit of parts, to be welded together. I had written (above) of CKD kits of parts before, as I had some dealing with this (from when I worked in the motor industry), but I'd not imagined the chassis and body shell might have come just as pressings rather than as welded 'assemblies'. I guess in logistical terms it made sense as the tooling for pressings are very expensive but an assembly jig is cheap. And the transport cost saved - in not shipping air (empty body shells), would soon pay for an assembly welding-jig. Of course the import value of panels would also be less than that of assemblies.
So it seems that even low volume production models such as the Ami Super are likely to have been 'built' in Koper rather than just painted and fitted out. That then makes more sense of the comments previously made by Tomo regarding the painting of cars, because if assemblies had been shipped then they would most likley have been painted too.
It also makes sense of stories I heard many years ago about 2cv's which were particularly prone to rust. It was said that the 'steel' for these cars 'Made in Portugal (I think) was sitting on the docks for months awaiting shipping, and the salty wet weather was the cause of the problem. At the time I'd imagined palet loads of 8'x4' sheet steel, but now I thinks of pressings (as yet unpainted because they still needed to be welded).!