The title of this article was already in my head when I wandered out to the beach to take these photographs. The iconic Charles Trenet song was playing in my head as I climbed among the coastal defence walls and splashed through tidal pools. In my pocket was a car that I’ve covered rather briefly before: Norev’s Citroën Mehari.
The Mehari has a brilliant history. Designed by WW2 fighter ace Roland de la Poype, the plastic bodied car sold over 140,000 between 1968 and 1988. Named after a breed of camel, the rugged little Mehari was designed as a utilitarian and recreational vehicle utilising the chassis and 2 cylinder, 600cc engine from the 2CV, Dyane and Ami. It’s simple construction made it incredibly easy and cheap to work on. The light weight (just 535kg) and high ground clearance made the car very useful to hill farmers, beach goers and anyone and everyone in between. The plucky little Citroëns were even used by the French and Irish Armies.
Normally though they could be seen pottering about in the sun of a Mediterranean beach front, which is what inspired me to take mine along to the waterfront…
While the conditions may not have been as picturesque as the first time I photographed the car, the surroundings were nontheless a good enough setting. And another opportunity to see just how neat this Norev is. The corrugate construction is nicely replicated and the wheels are spot on. There’s really not much to replicate with a Mehari, but Norev have done a very good job indeed. Small details like the handbrake and gear lever are present, and the headlights are moulded in plastic.
The car can be obtained for between £5 – £10 including postage on Ebay (follow link at the bottom of this post to see the available listings) which makes it decent value for money even towards the higher end of the scale. Norev do a great service to French vehicles and this is a must have for Euro fans in my opinion.
(Find the Norev Mehari on Ebay)