Home CitroŽnŽt home

Site search powered by FreeFind
Do NOT include 'Citroen' in your search terms

CitroŽn SM-powered Ligier JS2

Guy Ligier began his racing career riding a motorbike and won the title of Champion of France in 1959 and 1960. In 1966, Guy Ligier was the sole French driver in Formula 1 and competed against the best drivers of the era.

Following the death of his lifelong friend Jo Schlesser who was killed in a Honda RA302 in the 1968 French Grand Prix, Ligier withdrew from motorsport racing and a sports car project he was developing was put on hold. However, in 1969, Michel Tetu, an ex-Renault engineer joined the Ligier team and persuaded Ligier to revive the project.

Guy Ligier named this new car JS1 - 'JS' stood for his friend Jo Schlesser. He displayed the JS1 at the 1969 Paris Motorshow. The body was of Italian design. The French chassis used a steel backbone and was suspended front and rear by double wishbones. The JS1 was powered by a Cosworth FVA Formula 2 engine, which was mid mounted.

A JS1 driven by Guy Ligier and Jean-Claude Andruet was entered in the 24 Hours Le Mans.

During the 1970 Formula One season, the 220bhp FVA engine was replaced by the 240 bhp FVC engine.

For the 1970 Tour de France the JS1 was fitted with a Ford V6 and the gearbox from the SM. The cars were lengthened to accommodate the larger engines. The team used two JS1 cars, one with a 2.4 litre Weslake manufactured engine while the other used the 2.6 litre from the Ford Capri. Neither car was successful in the competition and this brought an end to the project.

A Maserati powered JS2 was launched for road use in 1970 and was built in relatively small numbers until production ceased in 1974 following the oil crisis.

In 1974, the Ligier JS2 won the Tour de France Automobile.

The final SMs were produced in the Ligier factory in Vichy.

Ligier now manufactures 'sans permis' microcars.

© Julian Marsh/CitroŽnŽt 2010