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Citroën Ami 6: the iconic compact celebrates its 60th anniversary

This compact model first launched as a sedan silhouette, made an impression with its atypical style

With its unique look, the Citroën Ami 6 marked the 1960s. A look back at this model, which sold over a million copies until 1971.

He is a prominent figure of the 1960s who is (already) celebrating his 60th birthday. Presented on April 24, 1961, the Citroën AMI 6 marked its time. If it is rare today on the roads of France, its unique silhouette, with its famous “Z line” leaves it a special place in French automotive history.

“After having designed, with the Citroën styling office team, the Traction Avant, the 2 CV, and the DS, Flaminio Bertoni was entrusted with the creation of the lines of a mid-range car called Project AM. Friend 6, his masterpiece will he confide to those around him, “relates the brand’s press release on the occasion of the model’s 60th anniversary.

The inverted rear window, which gives it this Z shape, “stays clean when it rains and also keeps a good capacity rear trunk with classic opening and roominess in the rear seats, all in reduced dimensions”, which gives the Ami 6 its nickname “big little car”.

The Ami 6 was mainly produced in the Rennes-La Janais factory, which had only just emerged at the time. The industrial site was inaugurated in 1961 in the presence of Charles de Gaulle. His wife, Yvonne, will subsequently ride in Ami 6.

The Ami 6 was also produced at the Panhard factory in Paris, Forest, Belgium, and Catila, Argentina.

The station wagon version was offered in 1964. It logically breaks this Z line but will impose itself as the best-selling version.

In total, the Ami 6 was produced in just over a million copies of Ami 6, including 483,986 sedans (April 1961 to March 1969), 551,880 station wagons (October 1964 to September 1969), 3,518 versions for businesses.

In 1966, it even established itself as the best-selling car in France, overtaking the Renault 4. And its funny name, where does it come from? “It comes from a phonetic mix that plays on the name of the project of studies (vehicle AM), the word miss (” mademoiselle “in English) and amici (” friends “in Italian), probably inspired by its stylish, Flaminio Bertoni, who was Italian, “replies Citroën.

The little AMI, license-free and 100% electric, launched by Citroën last year pays homage to its ancestor by taking its name back. This did not prevent him from having a fairly turbulent start to his career.

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