Citroën Type C

The Citroën Type C or 5HP was presented at the Paris Motor Show in October 1921, just a few months after the Type B2 was marketed. It is the third model of Citroën automobiles. Nicknamed Petite Citron because of its first color "grapefruit", it will be better known under the name "Trèfle" for its particular location of places. The Type C was approved on November 29, 1922, but production did not start until June 1922.

Democratize the automobile

Despite the government's impetus for manufacturers to invest in cycle cars, Citroën opted for small cars which had until then been a monopoly of Peugeot and Renault. André Citroën had the ambition to democratize access to the car and saw in Citroën a brand dedicated to mass motorization. And, in this desire to democratize access to the car, André Citroën innovates by allowing his customers to buy his cars on credit thanks to a consumer credit company created directly by André Citroën.

And Citroën does not stop along the way since it also innovates in the target audience of its advertisements. Indeed, all the advertisements around the 5HP represented the car being driven by a young woman which was, to say the least, totally unusual at the time.

Launched only as a 2-seater Torpedo body in 1922, the Type C range will expand with the addition of a more luxurious 2-seater Cabriolet version and a 3-seater Torpedo version with a rear seat on a folding seat which will be replaced. by a Torpédo 3 fixed places (2 at the front, 1 at the rear) hence the nickname of Trèfle.

A car ahead of its time

True to his habit, André Citroën takes a step ahead of its competitors with the 5HP since it has new equipment on this level of the range: It is equipped with starter and electric headlights in order to satisfy female customers who is very sensitive to its ease of driving.

Very light since barely 543 kilos, the Citroën 5HP reaches 60 km / h at top speed for a very reasonable consumption of barely 5 liters per 100 km.

Assembled in the Levallois plant then in the Quai de Javel plant, the Citroën 5HP is available in left-hand or right-hand drive (both in France and for export).

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From 1924, a change is made to the chassis which will see the wheelbase lengthen by 10 cm to reach 2.35m. It was also at this time that Citroën was going to equip the Type C with Michelin low pressure Comfort tires. Finally, in 1925, the cooling system, until now provided by thermosyphon, was improved by adding a fan.

Equipped with a single door on the driver's side, the doors have invisible hinges and have a special device to absorb vibrations. The spare wheel is mounted on the rear, driver's side. Finally, the rear receives a small safe closed by a cover accessible from the top.

A huge success for Citroën ...

Launched in 1922, the Citroën 5HP became, in 1924, the first sale of Automobiles Citroën representing up to 50% of the brand's total sales. It must be said that the launch price of the 5HP was particularly attractive since set at 8,500 Francs, or 60% of that of the B2.

The Citroën 5HP is a model of frugality and reliability that marks a leap from the competition. It is also extremely robust as evidenced by the 17,000 km raid carried out in Australia by two students with a 5HP purchased second-hand.

Thanks to low fuel and oil consumption, to its almost zero maintenance cost, the Citroën Type C was surprisingly successful, particularly with women, the target audience, who adored the Type C for its size and ease of handling. conduct.

... But insufficiently profitable

Despite this significant success, the Type C proved to be too unprofitable and Citroën needed cash to finance its future automobile projects. Thus, André Citroën, against all expectations and alone are all, decides to stop the production of the Type and operates a strategic turn for Citroën by deciding to return to a unique model, more upscale and therefore able to generate more margin. . In addition, this vehicle requires significant resources thanks to its innovation, an all-steel body: it will be the B14.

Thus after 80,232 copies, the Citroën 5HP saw its career come to an abrupt halt. It was the first Citroën very popular to the point that in 1960, still 5000 copies circulated on the roads of France.

Technical characteristics :

  1. Dimensions:

    Length: 3.15 m

    Width: 1,33m

    Weight: 543 kilos

  2. Motor:

    4 gasoline cylinders

    Power: 11 ch

    Displacement: 856 cm³

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