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M35 n°430

 

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02/2009: Mehari 1972 (4376 Km)
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M35 N°430 of November 1970 
39 690 Kms

MODEL: Wankel engine with single rotating piston. Capacity 995 cc.
59 Ch (about 57 bhp) at 5,500 rpm. Top speed 144 km/hr
Water cooled. Front disc brakes.
From the end of 1969, Citroen embarked on “operation M35” which consisted of selling 500 prototypes to volunteer clients, in order to test the rotary engine, but only 267 examples were made from 1969 to 1971.
The M35 coupe is a rolling test-bed, clothed in Heuliez bodywork on an Ami 8 base, even though only a small number of parts are common between the two models. They were uniquely painted metallic grey.
The M35 was equipped with the hydropneumatic suspension, adapted for the first time to a model of this type.
The inscriptions on the wings are found on all M35 models, along with the sticker in the rear window indicating “this Citroen M35 prototype with a rotary engine is on prolonged trial in the hands of a Citroen client”.
In the end of 1971, Citroen bought back at a good price from its clients the majority of the M35 models, in order to destroy them. There are about one hundred examples remaining, most of them to be restored.
Price at the time: 14,000 Francs (the same as a D Super!).

HISTORY: Mr Delpech was the Citroen agent in Bretenoux, in the south west. In 1975, he was invited to the annual meeting of the agents and dealers of the Toulouse region. He won the first prize in a draw, this second-hand M35 prototype. On trying it, the engine would not start. Citroen supplied the parts to rebuild the engine, including a stator with one spark plug instead of the original two. The repair was done on site. The car was then used very little, and remained in the garage of the dealership during the following decades.
After Mr Delpech died, his son contacted me to take over his old Citroens, including this M35. I undertook its recommissioning for the ‘control technique’, and a thorough cleaning to bring it to the condition of the two other M35s in the museum. More than one per cent of the total worldwide production is on display.

 

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