Saturday, May 10, 2014


France, I love your Chardonnay and your Castles, your Culture and your Cars, but there is one thing that you got wrong: "Cocorico"! That is the sound the rooster makes in France, or so they say. As a native English speaker, I firmly insist that the rooster most certainly does not cry 'cocorico' in the morning, but instead 'cockadoodledoo'...
Thankfully, the French do a better job of making legendary cars than naming the sounds of farm animals. I have written about the Citroen 2CV several times in the past; one can't be an automotive fan in France and not fall under the spell of the fantastic '2-chevaux' (2-horse(power)) and its unique and uncopied silhouette. Exposed round headlights, wide, curved fenders, and a long sloping back are but a few of the wonderful details that make this car stand out.
Right from the beginning it was regarded as a highly innovative car, and played a huge role in allowing rural people in France to join the driving class. Its simple, rugged structure and construction meant that it would last for a long time and was easy to fix, and the high ground clearance, front wheel drive traction, and suspension with long travel made it an excellent choice for less than perfect roads and country lanes.
Many different models of the 2CV existed over its production run that started in 1948 and ended in 1990. One of my favourites is the lovely Charleston model, with its two-tone paint:

Another excellent model is this Cocorico version. Prepared after France's semi-final qualification in the 1986 world cup of football (soccer) in Mexico, it had a less than successful introduction when France was eliminated. Originally planned with football-shaped logos, these were replaced with more generic 'Cocorico' labels. Not only is this the cry of a French rooster, it is also a sort of national-pride rally call, and suited the 'bleu, blanc, rouge' colours copied from France's flag.
This beautifully restored version belongs to a fellow Canadian that I work with. He purchased the Cocorico in a rather sorry state a few years back, and toiled over it in his garage to fully restore it to all its original glory. I even had the privilege of taking it for a test drive, and absolutely loved the noise, feel, and even smell of this piece of automotive history.

I'm just thankful that the horn doesn't blast 'COCORICO'!

1 comment:

  1. Hoping to go see this car again soon, would love another drive!


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