General introduction to building the Drewgard Roadster.
The easy thing about building this car, for those who are familiar with Citroen 2CVs and Dyanes is that for the most part this Roadster embodies just about all the different ways they were put together and maintained.
The 2CV design was subject to the considerations of so many of Citroen’s design staff that it would be foolish not to include the solutions they came up with in order to make an efficient and light weight vehicle. Our starting place to enhance the results of their work, was to convert the suspension from a long travel system that aimed at maintaining a comfortable ride on poor, undulating surfaces and on narrow roads that had a high crown. Today’s roads are much better and we can afford to reconfigure to make the best of them.
So we have modified the spring cylinders with longer pull rods for a lower ride height. We have increased the front spring rate and fitted the Citroen ‘A’ series anti-roll bar, that also serves to firm up the suspension as well. This means that the standard shock absorbers will be able to do their work without needing to be uprated.
The suspension arms were made for quite a narrow car and though the wheels are also narrow, widening the track by a total of 180mm has helped the appearance to be one evoking a later period than when the 2CV was conceived, at the same time affording creating more space in the cabin. There is no point in making the wheels wider to help this idea along as the small engine would not have enough power to make use of them, but increasing the tyre’s width from 125 to 135mm we have found to be necessary and is very effective.
The steering column has been converted to a collapsing design including u/j’s both for safety and to allow for lower seating level and thus a lower centre of gravity.
The kingpins were a perfectly suitable feature of the front swivel hubs in their time, but in today’s MOT environment, when the front wheels are raised from the ramp and the wheel rocked back and forth by the tester, this can produce test failures when the pin has play. Our sealed ball joint conversion eliminates this risk, at the same time as improving the accuracy of the car’s handling. Track rod ends are also vulnerable in this area as well so we provide a sealed ball joint version to further improve the maintenance, testing and performance experience.
The lighter the car, the better will be its general performance. Citroen showed how perfectly reasonable performance for day to day use could be derived from 602ccs. But we can get more by improving lightness with our aluminium chassis and body panels, increasing the engine’s rev range with a fast road camshaft and its torque with larger pistons and cylinder barrels and the higher compression of the Dyane’s engine. A free flow bigger bore exhaust system allows these features to give their best performance (and a modest but interesting exhaust note as well)
Why specify aluminium for the bodywork instead of fibreglass? Well, in the days of Colin Chapman, fibreglass was reckoned to be a more viable material for relatively small scale production, but these days it can work out very expensive to produce, So why not have panels crafted in aluminium instead?
Though instrumentation, steering wheel, body colour and trim will be selected by you, we offer a few appropriate parts to ease selection, but the headlights, indicators, repeaters, rear light clusters and reverse and fog lights should not be altered, otherwise these visual cues would dilute the Roadster’s appearance.
At the completion of purchase of all the Roadster’s components, we supply free of charge the rear polished stainless steel logos and stamped build plate to register our thanks for your commitment to purchase the ‘Drewgard Roadster’.