Desert conqueror – the Citroen 2CV Sahara

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For those of you interested in automobile history, a very rare twin-engined, four-wheel drive 1965 Citroen 2CV Sahara is up for auction at the Practical Classics Classic and Restoration Show Sale in Birmingham this April. Number 657 of just 694 models built for use in the French colonies in Northern Africa, this particular 2CV variant featured separate 12 hp engines to power the front and rear wheels, as well as twin fuel tanks underneath the front seats. Top speed with both engines running was 105km/h (65km/h on just one engine).

Believed to be one of only 100 still in existence, this particular model has the distinction of having crossed the Sahara desert twice. The 2CV was first delivered to Nigeria in December 1965, bought by an Englishman who was working as an anthropologist with the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria. As the story goes, he chose the Citroen because it was seen as a far more friendly car – he found that if he used a Land Rover for his travels between remote villages he was regarded as being a Government inspector.

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Blast from the past – Porsche’s tractors

Some people are often surprised to learn that their favourite supercar brands also produce vehicles that are more at home in a field. The first Lamborghinis, for example, were tractors, and are still manufactured today (after approaching Ferrari about a broken clutch on one of his cars, Ferruccio Lamborghini was told that as a tractor manufacturer he couldn’t know anything about sports cars, a mistake that led Lamborghini to peruse the creation of the perfect grand tourer). Then there’s Aston Martin, which was acquired by Sir David Brown, founder of a company of the same name that began manufacturing tractors with Harry Ferguson in 1936. Brown later purchased Aston Martin in 1947 and, although the two companies are no long aligned, what has become known as the ‘David Brown era’ saw the production of the famed DB series, the best known of which is probably the DB5.

Porsche falls under the same category. Their older tractors are quite rare, and quite expensive if they’re in good condition – late last year a lovingly restored 1959 Porsche Master 419 was put on sale via Done Deal for €49,500.

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