Ah, the dear old Citroen 2CV is an icon, at least on the other side of the pond, being what the average French car buyer drove during the middle years of last century. But as it aged, even staid Citroen had to start developing cars to meet the expanding needs of mid-1960s buyers. Remember, there was a baby boom going on overseas as well.
Hard as it might be to believe, a car with mild horsepower also was raced in the popular Monte Carlo Rally, and that’s what die-cast maker IXO delivers here in the form of a 1976 Monte Carlo competitor in baby blue. So, you get the Dyane’s classic Citroen lines, but with some cool markings and a big No. 102 on both front doors. And this 1/43 scale cutie is a bargain at just $39.95.
The Dyane was the successor to the popular, if quirky looking, Citroen 2CV and fit into the European supermini category. Dyane was a hatchback made in mass quantities, peaking in popularity in 1974 with 126,854 sold compared with 163,143 2CVs that year as the old reliable was still being sold.
Ultimately 1.44 million Dyane’s were sold through 1983, and lest you think these were just driven around France, Dyane models were made in Spain, Iran, Yugoslavia and Portugal, a true world car. For the record 3.8 million 2CVs were sold through 1990 when it finally was phased out.
How little was a Dyane? Well, it weighed in at just 1,310 lbs. and rode on a 94.5-inch wheelbase (think modern Mazda Miata) and were powered by one of three different 2-cylinder engines over their lifetime.
The Dyane’s first powerplant was the 2CV’s 425cc air-cooled engine that made just 21 horsepower, which was followed by the Citroen Ami’s 28-horse air-cooled engine that boasted a top speed of 71 mph for the car. Road tests of the day put top speed at 68.6 mph with a 0-60 mph runup of a lackadaisical 30.8 seconds. Gas mileage ranged from about 30 mpg to 42.5 mpg.
Certainly, this wasn’t meant as a racer, but that didn’t keep teams from using Dyane’s in the famous Monte Carlo Rally. This model represents one driven in the 1976 rally by racers Michel Peyret and Jean-Jacques Cornelli. Sadly, they didn’t finish the rally, which was swept by Lancia Stratos racers in the first three positions. Only 48 of the rally’s 167 racers finished.
For this price you might expect a bare bones model, something almost toy-like. But IXO has carved out its market with nicely detailed 1/43 models featuring crisply executed bodies and just enough chrome and exterior detailing to make for a satisfying display model.
For instance, this model features chrome front and rear bumpers, side mirror, gas cap, large antenna mid-upper windshield, attractive grille and six lights up front, the two normal headlights and four yellow-lensed rally lights for better illumination while flailing around the countryside at night. Door handles, however, are painted on.
There also are decal license plates front and rear and sharply executed decals to represent the rally car’s few sponsors and the event logo spread across the hood. The driver’s names are in decals atop each door and there’s a Sylvester the cat decal on the hatch along with another Rallye Monte Carlo logo and entry number.
Inside is a gray interior with some dash detail, plus a shifter and detailed steering wheel. But this is not a model you display for its interior, just it’s sporty rally car exterior and the interesting shape that makes the Citroen a unique marque. … a fun model at a modest price.
Vital Stats: Citroen Dyane, No. 102 Rallye WM