Unusual.  Méhari, Rodeo, Fiat 500… Best beach cars

Unusual. Méhari, Rodeo, Fiat 500… Best beach cars

In the middle of May 1968, at the golf course of Deauville, Citroën presents a model that will break all automotive codes.

Plastic body designed by Roland de la Poype, pilot during the Second World War, 2CV mechanics and unparalleled appearance.

Despite its sneaky launch, when France is in full rebellion, the Méhari is positioned as the ultimate recreational vehicle. Produced in over 147,000 copies, it will never cease to make competitors jealous.

A beach car, a French thing

Méhari’s Renault, Renault 4 Plein Air, despite its charm, could not compete with Citroën. Failure that is now becoming rare. This will not be the only failure on the part.

One thinks of the Renault Rodéo, designed for its rival, or the beautiful Supercinq Belle-île modified in Gruau and sold in 160 copies. Despite these limitations, some French will see in this concept El Dorado.

Mega Ranch and Mega Club sales will exceed one thousand copies.

Mega, recent success

One day, while we were sitting in Saint-Tropez on the terrace of a restaurant with its engineer Philippe Colançon, Georges Blain, the boss of Aixam, launched a challenge: to build a generation of Méhari.

Mega Ranch and Mega Club sales will exceed a thousand copies and the brand will be successful in Andros Trophy and Dakar competitions.

Can a beach car still be successful today? The failure of the e-Mehari sound, a detectable derivative of Bolloré’s Autolib, once again shows the difficulty of replacing the myth.