I receive many queries through this website. It is one of the things that makes the Webmaster’s job rewarding. One query last week evolved into a wonderful experience. Gerardo M from Bahia Blanco Argentina contacted me though our “something to share” contact page. In his message, he explained that he was in Ottawa, on a temporary but long term basis. He told me that he needed to take some measurements on a 2CV engine, and wondered if any of our members could help. Terry H and I had a quick discussion, and proposed to Gerardo that he could have a look at the engine from Terry’s 2CV Sports Coupe project. Since the engine currently is sitting on an engine stand in Terry’s workshop, it would be easy to examine. Gerardo, Terry and I met at Terry’s house last Thursday. As we made introductions, we learned that Gerardo is in Canada on a two-year work assignment, from his native Argentina. He and his wife own a 1971 2CV6 (known as a 3CV in Argentina). Although his 2CV had to stay behind at home, Gerardo has not forgotten the car. During their separation, Gerardo is preparing to convert the car to electronic ignition and (here is the amazing part) electronic fuel injection (EFI). As we chatted, we learned more about the 2CV in Argentina. Gerardo’s car has been in his wife’s family since it was new. They still use the car, even for quite lengthy trips to visit family members. Gerardo wants to undertake a lengthy road trip covering much of Argentina. This trip would include mountain passes as high as 4000 metres. That is the reason for Gerardo’s interest in EFI. He hopes such a system would eliminate the problem of lost power that plagues carburetors at high altitude. Gerardo told us that there still are many 2CVs in Argentina, where they were manufactured from 1960 until the late 1970s. After Citroen ended production, a new company called IES took over, producing a slightly modified 2CV called the America. Eventually the America was replaced by the Super America, but by this time the differences from the original 2CV were quite extensive. They included a locally-sourced engine, a Dyane-style hatchback, a larger windscreen, and a wishbone suspension system. Gerardo’s opinion is that the modifications of the Super America were not improvements. You can read more about Argentinian 2CVs on Julian Marsh’s excellent Citronet site. Be sure to click on the “Next” button at the bottom of that page to see even more photos, as well as this list of Argentinian models. Gerardo’s immediate challenge is to figure out where to place the trigger wheel that will provide the signal to the ignition and fuel injector systems. With Terry’s help, measurements were taken and many options were discussed.

After the technical questions were finished the conversations continued in a delightful and wide-ranging cultural exchange. Gerardo was happy to answer my many questions about life in Argentina, and I was happy to provide insight into life and customs in Canada. I hope the club will have a chance to show our cars to Gerardo, if the snow melts before Gerardo and his wife have to return to Argentina. Such visits are an aspect of the Citroen hobby that I value the most. These cars have allowed me to meet many warm and interesting people from around the world. Viva las Dos Caballistas!

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