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Hemmings Find of the Day – 1978 Citroen Lohr Fardier

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Recently serviced 1978 Citroen Lohr Fardier for sale on From the seller’s description:

The Citroen Lohr Fardier was designed in the seventies as a light, all-terrain 4×4 vehicle for the French army. Because of its compact size twelve FL500’s would fit in the French Air Force transport planes instead of the usual four off-road vehicles. Because of the low weight the FL500 could be dropped by parachute, or two could be transported at the same time dangling from a helicopter. It could carry a load of 480 kg, or tow 500 kg. (The weight of a 20mm canon). It could take a 50% incline fully loaded. Hence the name Fardier, French for a transport vehicle for heavy loads. The French Army placed an order for 218 units in 1978. Citroen chose to have the vehicles built in the Forest factory in Belgium. A practical choice since the design called for the use of many existing Citroen parts. The engine was the same as the one used in the Military Mehari. Gearbox and brakes came from the Ami8, drive-shafts from the Ami Super, fuel tank from the AZU, steering gear from the H van, wheel rims from the GS etc. All this was wrapped in a tough tubular frame and topped off with a flat aluminum plate. A sturdy roll-over bar was standard. The vehicles had many interesting features such as a double clutch, (centrifugal and regular) four wheel disk brakes, cutting brakes on the rear wheels for fast cornering, a center differential lock, a mechanical rev limiter, manual accelerator and so forth. As you can see from the pictures the engine / transmission unit is turned 90 degrees in the chassis to allow for a simple four wheel drive construction. The vehicle offered for sale here is governed to a top speed of about 50 km/h. Equipped with the highly compliable Ami 8 suspension she can be driven flat-out over rough terrain in amazing comfort. Before shipping to the US she received a major service in by well-known Citroen specialist Garage Sander Aalderink in the Netherlands. Engine and transmission mounts were replaced, a new stainless steel exhaust was fitted, both engine and transmission received a major service, a 123 electronic ignition system was fitted, a new master cylinder was installed, the carburetor was rebuilt, the gas tank flushed, and so much more. The vehicle starts readily, runs, steers and brakes very well indeed. She has very low miles, just 2000 km (!) and the clock shows just 140 hrs. Included are the user’s manual, the Army workshop manual, and the Army manual on how to prepare the vehicle for a parachute drop. This being army, these manuals are insanely detailed and heavily illustrated. If you were stuck on an uninhabited South Sea Island with a tool box you should be able to take the whole vehicle apart and put it back together without much trouble. Please note: while all mechanical parts are Citroen based and readily available, these are extremely rare vehicles. There are just two in the US. One in Lane Motor Museum, and this one.

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mount airy, Maryland
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