In Toronto, I got the pleasure of meeting up with Citroënvie's President, George Dyke. After having eaten lunch with him and some of the local Citroënists, he decided to show me around Toronto. In a 1985 Citroën Méhari.
Now, the Méhari is probably the complete opposite of my car. The Xantia Activa V6 is quite possibly the most complicated car Citroën has ever built, to this day. On the other end of the spectrum, the Méhari may quite possibly be the simplest car they ever made.
The Méhari is based on a 2CV, which to begin with is already quite simple. But Méhari went further to reduce cost, increase longivity and ease maintenance. The car is effectively a plastic car on top of some wheels, with 2 cylinder 600 cc engine (same as in a 2CV).
As you can imagine, this is a car that gives you attention around a big city like Toronto, where we went through all the trendy neighbourhoods and downtown.
In the suburbs of Toronto, a couple of people were meeting in expensive cars like Ferraris and Lamborghinis. But the Méhari was the one that got all the attention for the brief time we were there. We had to leave again, we did not want to upstage inappropriately on these guys' event. I mean, when you have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars on a Lamborghini, it must feel tough to get upstaged by a small plastic car, the windscreen of which can fold down on the bonnet.
It was quite an experience, and I must unfortunately add, that I now have added a Méhari to my car wishlist. I am still not sold on the 2CV, but the Méhari got me.