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Méhari


Above - prototype

The Méhari was Citroën's replacement for the 2CV Sahara and was named after the breed of dromedary used by North African Berber nomads.

The car started life as a protoype by the SEAB company who produced the first batch of vehicles although production was moved fairly rapidly to the Panhard factory in Ivry.

The Méhari was launched in 1968 and used the underpinnings of the Dyane 6 fitted with a moulded ABS body comprising 13 components.

At launch, the Méhari used the 28 bhp version of the 602 cm3 flat twin which was upped to 28.5 bhp in 1969 and 29 bhp in 1979. 

In 1970, a two seater version was launched since the French tax authorities would class it as a commercial vehicle and TVA (French VAT) could therefore be recovered on purchase. 

In 1970, the Méhari also acquired a new grille and new lights.  In 1978, in common with all other A series models, front disc brakes were fitted together with another new grille. 

In 1980, the Méhari 4 x 4 was launched featuring disc brakes on all four wheels, reduction gearing on three gears - these cars may be recognised by the mounting of the spare wheel on the bonnet.

In 1983, production of the 4 x 4 ceased and the Méhari was renamed Méhari Azur.  Production ceased in 1988.

The Méhari name was also used in Sénégal and Iran (although in Iran it was spelled 'Mehari' without the diacritic) for a steel-bodied car based on the Baby Brousse.

It was also manufactured in Argentina.

Above - version destined for export to the USA fitted with oversize headlamps to comply with Federal regulations.

Above and below - Méhari spotted in San José in Almería, Spain in 2009.


© 1999 Julian Marsh

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