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Baby Brousse Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

2CV Index Citroën Baby Brousse

Originally conceived in 1963 by two Frenchmen, Mr. Letoquin and Mr. Lechanteur,who were the owners of les Ateliers et Forges de l’Ebrié, a company in Abidjan in the Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), the Baby Brousse was originally based on the Ami 6 chassis and mechanical components but with a pressed steel body that required no welding.

Citroën Baby Brousse Côte d'Ivoire

Above and right - Côte d'Ivoirienne Baby Brousse
Below - interior of Côte d'Ivoirienne Baby Brousse showing 2CV instrument panel

Citroën Baby Brousse Côte d'Ivoire

Meanwhile, in what was then South Vietnam, SAEO (the Vietnamese subsidiary of Citroën), decided in 1969 in view of the success of the 2CV vans that had been imported, to build a vehicle equipped with a rolled steel body, using the 2CV chassis and engine. The Dalat was very similar in conception to the Baby Brousse and can be recognised by its square grille and Dyane headlights.

Citroën Baby Brousse Côte d'Ivoire

Above - Côte d'Ivoirienne Baby Brousse

In 1973 Citroën brought three Dalat bodies to France from Vietnam and analysed the design. From these studies they designed a vehicle whose simple manufacture can be carried out without requiring heavy investments in pressing tools and used the Baby Brousse name originally used in Côte d'Ivoire.

Citroën Baby Brousse Côte d'Ivoire

Above - Côte d'Ivoirienne Baby Brousse

It can thus be seen as a sort of metal-bodied Méhari.
Some 800 vehicles were produced "unofficially" while negotiations continued with Citroën to put things on a more formal basis. In 1969, Citroën bought the licence to build the Baby Brousse from Ateliers et Forges de l’Ebrié.

Citroën Baby Brousse Côte d'Ivoire

Below - Côte d'Ivoirienne Baby Brousse

Citroën Baby Brousse Côte d'Ivoire

The Baby Brousse was based on the mechanical underpinnings of the 2CV Fourgonnette and it was intended that the mechanical components would be exported from France as CKD (Completely Knocked Down) kits for assembly in countries without the industrial infrastructure to build automobiles. It was thus quite similar in conception to the FAF.

The bodywork was made of pressed steel, required no welding and was bolted to the chassis.

Citroën Baby Brousse Côte d'Ivoire

The Baby Brousse and vehicles similar to it were built in a number of countries including:

  • Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) from 1963 to 1979 where it was called Baby Brousse - 31,305 examples;

  • Vietnam from 1969 to 1975 where it was called Dalat - more than 5,000 examples;

  • Iran from 1970 to 1979 where it was called Mehari;

  • Sénégal from 1979 to 1983 where it was called Méhari;

  • Chile from 1972 to 1976 where it was called Yagán - 651 examples

  • Greece where it was called Pony. Namco, the Greek Citroën concessionaire built the Pony in a factory constructed specifically for the purpose in Thessalonika and used the mechanical components of the Dyane 6 and was better built and equipped than the others and a wider range was marketed - 17,000 examples.

  • It is believed that in addition to the FAF, a number of Baby Brousses were built in Guinée Bissau but it has not been possible to substantiate this.

© 2009 Julian Marsh/Citroënët
My thanks to Mathieu Goutelle of Club des Amis de 2CV for permission to reproduce some of his pictures and to Pierre 'Rotule' in Sénégal.