It’s Greek To Me: 1983 NAMCO Pony-Citroën

040816 Barn Finds - 1983 NAMCO Citroën Pony 2CV - 1

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Have you heard of NAMCO? National Motor Company is based in Greece and their somewhat turbulent early history goes back to 1957 as a company called FARCO. They were gobbled up by Chrysler not long after and were reborn again in 1972. That isn’t a long history compared to a lot of other vehicle companies but I wasn’t around in 1957 so it seems like a long time to me. This is a 1983 NAMCO Pony, based on the Citroën Dyane, which, of course, was based on the 2CV platform. This unusual vehicle is in Atascadero, California, about 20 minutes north of San Luis Obispo.

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This is the last year of the first-generation Pony and it sure would be a fun way to advertise your business. Not to mention would be a stand-out at the next Cars and Coffee event in your area. They sold about 17,000 of these vehicles, mainly to the Middle East and Africa, but supposedly a few trickled in to the US. This ad spells it out, as you can plainly see… It sure would be a fun beach cruiser with the top down. These are metal bodies as opposed to the Citroën Méhari which had a body made of ABS plastic.

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The seller says that the paint and interior are all-original and they look like they’re in almost perfect original condition. But, they also say that it’s in “excellent original condition” but that it has some “surface rust.” I’m not sure how those two things can exist in the same universe, but I guess we all have different definitions for things.

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“That thing got a Hemi?” No, no it doesn’t, quite the opposite. This would be a 602cc, 32 hp flat-twin, air-cooled powerplant here. There are no burnouts in this vehicle’s future. But, the engine should be uber-reliable as Citroën sold a bajillion of these and you can probably get parts at Target. Well, maybe they aren’t that easy to find, but you’ll find what you need for the maintenance of this engine. This one has about 90,000 miles on it and newer brakes, tires, and exhaust, so you’re ready to go. The seller has it listed on eBay for $6,500, which is a good deal when comparing it to the Méhari which would probably go for a couple of times that amount. If you were looking for a unique way to advertise your business, this would be worth checking out. How would you use this unique Greco-French ride?

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  1. Eric

    I’ll stick with my Geo tracker

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  2. HotRodLincoln

    Cool little grocery getter !..It would also be very useful on Our acreage for hauling flower flats, tools, beer, wood to the fire pit, beer, trash to the road, beer…..I like it ! For $6500, you could get a JD Gator with a much better support network though. Too bad it’s priced way too high and at the other end of the country.

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  3. Woodie Man

    Its all Greek to me :)

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  4. Ken NelsonMember

    This engine IS a HEMI – and has been since ’46. Fact is, the hemi is nothing more than a hemispheric head design with valves splayed at approx 90 deg. to each other, and this design has been around for decades and in use way before the “hemi” term was made famous by Mopars. Heck, every one of my post ’46 Panhards is a pure hemi-head in an 850 cc engine, as are all the Citroen 2CVs and DS19’s since ’55 and thru end of production in ’75. So the term “hemi” is as over-used as “awesome” these days. C’mon folks, about time we started using better adverb synonyms instead of sounding like highschool kids –

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    • Scotty GAuthor

      Ha, you’re right, Ken. I was just thinking of the size and power, not the actual design. Good call!

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    • Dtkennedy930

      And the Jaguar XK I6 had a Hemi head since ’48 and the latest Chrysler / Dodge “Hemis” aren’t hemis(pherical combustions chambers).

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    • Francisco

      “Hemi” is a noun and “awesome” is an adjective, so where are the adverbs here Ken?

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  5. James HGF

    Beyond liking the Namco Pony let’s take the WABAC machine to 1902/03 for a look at the first American “Hemi” engine by way of the following link:

    Note the patent drawing of Nov 5, 1907 for the 3 valve SOHC “Hemi” (the valves are “inverted” – that is valve face down, valve stem up; opposite of a contemporary “T” head – per text from The Automobile Feb 1903). They built 4 and 6 cylinder versions with base prices in 1908/09 of $4500 and $7000 respectively. Welch Motor Car Company was acquired by General Motors in 1910 with the last of the Welch automobiles produced in 1911.

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  6. grant

    The only reason a modern “Hemi” is a “Hemi” is because that’s what Chrysler calls it.

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  7. Matt Tritt

    If any of you are interested in this car, I live in Atascadero and can take a look.

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  8. Mark S

    I’ll do my best to sound educated, this little automobile looks like the tool and die work came straight out of the 1890’s. The hood looks like it was formed by sheet metal workers using a manually operated metal break. I can’t remember the last time I saw an automobile that is as unsightly as this one. To top the who thing off the manufacturer installed a grossly underpowered hemispherical cylinder headed horizontally apposed two cylinder engine under that hideous hood. This little crapper couldn’t pull a sick crow off its tree branch, I’m not sure who in there right level of sanity would want this very unique automobile. My rantings are complete thank you, how well did I do.

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    • Matt Tritt

      Heh heh…. Not exactly the prettiest girl at the dance, is it? On the OTHER hand, itmight get really great MPG. I hope.

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  9. Ken NelsonMember

    Ah, you’re right Francisco – forgotten my English! Still, each is a word that is overused in my opinion – worn-out words, when we’ve got so many alternatives. Variety folks is what keeps things interesting, such as this very site.

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  10. Andrew

    The Vietnamese also had a version of this called the Dalat. Citroen were also in Indo China.
    Actually you CAN get a burn out. Sprinkle a little bleach on the road floor the gas pedal and slip the clutch. Voila – wheelspin, smoke and some very quiet V-8 owners.

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  11. Ken NelsonMember

    Hah! Great note Andrew – yes, a burnout’s easy with FWD! Don’t think you even need bleach, but then I’ve seen a lot of burnouts at the Woodward Dream Cruise & lots of smoke and bleach, but then the Birmingham Miichigan cops have no sense of humor – They threatened to ticket me one year when I was driving my ’70 Citroen DS on 3 wheels to the WOWs of the crowd and a kid comes up to me telling me I’m missing a wheel. I told him who needs 4? Not with a Citroen. Wish I’d had the nerve to ask the cop to show me the rule against driving a car on only 3……..then again, no sense of humor……..

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  12. Peter Roberts

    I just love these little oddballs and having owned one for 8 years cried when it had to go,,now all that love has come back and I want another, I feel sure this has long gone but if anyone has one or knows of one let me know,. I am in Scotland so Europe location of one would be better, here’s hoping, kind regards to all, Peter.

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