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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 July, 2005, 20:56 GMT 21:56 UK
Citroen owners celebrate the 2CV
2CV fans
Fans turned out in style for the rally
Citroen 2CV owners have converged on the Scottish Borders for a festival featuring more than 3,000 of the quirky French automobiles.

The 16th World Meeting of 2CV Friends runs from Tuesday evening until Sunday and is expected to benefit the local economy to the tune of 1.4m.

The event, which draws enthusiasts from as far as the US, Japan and Canada, is being hosted at Floors Castle in Kelso.

About 7 million 2CV cars were produced between 1938 to 1990.

Public affection

The first 2CV was designed by Jules Boulanger, joint managing director of Citroen with Pierre Michelin.

The brief was for a "Spartan form of transport for those of modest means".

2CV fans
Events will be running through until Sunday

However, with the start of World War II production was suspended and it was only in 1948 that the car was finally unveiled at the Paris Motor Show.

While motoring journalists described it as "the ugliest car in the world", the public took it to their hearts and by the 1960s sales had rocketed to almost 800 a day.

The car was eventually produced in more than 300 different versions and manufactured in 14 different countries.

Event organiser James Duffell said the appeal of the car was difficult to define.

He said: "A lot of it is the sense of adventure. The perverse pleasure in taking a car that was not designed to be driven long distances, as far as you can possibly get.

"Also the fact that they are so simple to repair, if you really get into trouble you know you can get out of it.

"Some of it is the hippy element, but there is all sorts of people, from all sorts of backgrounds, and for all sorts of reasons."

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