Raise a glass of chablis and toast the birthday of one of the strangest and most beloved vehicles France has ever made.
These days most cars on the road look pretty much the same. Some are bigger, some are smaller, some are taller and some are shorter. But swap the grille and the badges and a good 90% of the cars out there could pass for any other. But back in the day, cars were different. Not better, mind you, just different. Like the Citroen Diane 6 Mehari. First introduced in 1968, the Mehari was the brainchild of a WW2 fighter pilot and, though rather unusual in form, was a favorite among everyone from surfers to farmers to soldiers.
Its squared-off form was made of ABS thermoplastic and had a fold-down windscreen (like an old Jeep) to make it completely open from the waistline up. Over the course of nearly two decades of production, Citroen made 150,000 Meharis, of which some even participated in cross-country races like the Dakar or were airdropped by French legionnaires into war zones. The model took its name from an African name for a dromedary camel, and this year celebrates the 45th anniversary of its introduction in Deauville, France.