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The Carchive: The 1973 Citroen Ami range

Chris Haining August 26, 2016 Cars You Should Know, The Carchive 10 Comments


It’s Friday afternoon, and coming pretty close to time for downing tools. Let’s take the scenic route home, maybe try the overgrown lane of curiosity, perhaps pausing at the lake of history. Then have a rummage amongst the driftwood on the shoreline of discovery, see you find. Welcome to The Carchive.

The last trip we took into obscurity wasn’t actually in the least bit obscure – we took a fond gawp at the now 21-year old Dodge Avenger. Well, now for something completely different. We’re moving a long way away both geographically and temporally, to France in 1973. It’s the Citroen Ami.

All images clickable for greater bigness.


“Ami Super, Ami 8: top value motoring with performance and comfort”

Who could possibly argue? The Ami first appeared in ’61 with its mechanical basis in the humble 2CV. The Ami was a development on the same theme, adding a little extra power, a little extra comfort and a little more status.

And another batch of absolutely unmistakable styling.


“At 70mph you’re cruising gently, using only a fraction of the engine’s potential”

This is a UK market brochure, and the 70mph national motorway speed limit had only been relatively recently introduced. However, these claims of unstressed performance applied mostly to the 1015cc four-cylinder engine choice with its rorty 61bhp. This was exclusive to the Ami Special, which was a later addition for the more bourgeoisie of Citroen enthusiasts.

High speed cruising would be rather less effortless with the 602cc flat-twin boasted by the Ami 8, with its less thrusting 32bhp.


“As a driver, you’ll feel confident and secure at the wheel of the Ami super.”

It’s not as if you’ll be distracted by a surplus of information, nor incessant bickering from the radio. It don’t get much more simple than this, and the umbrella-shaped pull ‘n twist parking brake handle took a while for the novelty to wear off.

It was comfortable, though. And spacious, with a flat floor and precious little technology to rob any of the space.


“The Ami Super gives you sophisticated Citroen motoring at a budget price”

And this is where the magic happens. You can see the suspension which is interconnected mechanically front and rear, which lent the Ami (and the 2CV and Dyane) its legendarily soft ride and resistance to brake dive.

Though points should be deducted for the fact that production vehicles didn’t actually have major components finished in bright primary colours.

(All images are of original manufacturer publicity materials, copyright for which remains property of Citroen, who are at seriously little risk of ever producing something like the Ami ever again)