I'm trying to find information on an automobile from 50s or 60s, I think French manufactured but not positive.

I saw this automobile in the late 60s or early 70s in the States. It was unusual enough that I walked over and talked to the driver as he
was putting gas in it.
It resembled a dune buggy like those built on VW chassis's with fiberglass bodies but the man told me it was plastic. At that time I wouldn't have known the difference in plastic or fiberglass. The body was very open, no doors, a fold up top. The body on this one was red and the top black.
What really stuck with me was he said it was multi fuel. It would run on almost anything you could put in it that was petroleum based. The engine I believe he said was was 3 cyl and it sounded much like an air cooled engine, not as smooth as a 6 cyl or V8.
He told me he had found it advertised in Canada and had gone there specifically to buy it. The best I can remember is he said it was a French vehicle and was built for the French Foreign Legion.
Would anyone have any ideas what the make was or the manufacturer? I would guess it could have even been from the 40s era?
Wayne Thompson
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Hi,

Damn... They use to use the very same vehicles than the whole french Army.

A picture would greatly help us.
I'll give a try : could this be a Citron Mehari, which has been exported (or planed to be exported, it's lacking in my mind) in whole America (north & south) ?
http://www.careos.com/pics/BiblioPHO/net/mehari_1963.jpg
(there were some of them sold to the french army, with 24V electric system as main modification)
Regards, -- G.T
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I wish I had gotten a picture but I just happened to be at this store when that gentleman stopped to get gas. It was on the beach in North Carolina at a little grocery/gas store.
No, it was not the Mehari, though it does look very interesting. It looked very similar to a dune buggy (you may have seen something similar that the US miliary uses today with a driver, passenger and a gunner standing in the back with a machine gun mounted on the roll bars) running around in deserts. Or at least in the movies.
This is close to what I'm talking about. The difference is the one I saw was more utilitarian and the door area was cut down level to the floorboard... but it was a small vehicle much like this one... http://search.ebay.com/dune-buggy-kit_W0QQfclZ4QQfnuZ0QQfsooZ2QQfsopZ32QQrprZ8QQxpufuZx
With the big rear tires and all the tires underinflated, it's an ideal vehicle for running on soft sand. I was under the impression that more than the French Foreign Legion had them but that they had originally been created for their operating environment.

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Hi Wayne.
Damn I can't see such a vehicle in the french army (but I may not know them all, not being in the army myself). As light vehicles, the french army mostly used Jeeps and US vehicles left aside the road after the WW2, then some "custom built" vehicles which were all derivated from a known range (so the Berliet GBC8KT truck was derivated from the GBC8 "Gazelle"). There were a lot of jeeps I said, which were all replaced, between 1983 and 2001 by the Peugeot P4, a kind of, eeer, tasty mix between a Mecedes G-series and a Pug engine & drivetrain. You really should have had a camera with you :-)
Party on, Wayne !
Cheers, -- G.T
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Hi G.T,
You gotta remember this was between 40 and 45 years ago... My recollection of those events might not be perfectly accurate about everything (the red plastic (looking) body is an absolute).... and it's also possible that the guy was b.s****ng me... but I don't think so...
Just looked at my Pilots License and it was issued in 1971 so I did have a camera then because I kept it in my shirt or jacket pocket when I flew. I know I had it in the plane because I have hundreds and hundreds of slides shot from the air but I can't remember ever seeing any other pictures I shot with it. Obviously it stayed in my flight kit all the time.
Today, with digital cameras, I almost always have one with me. I never had a cell phone with a camera, in fact got rid of my cell phone...
But I promise you, in my next life I'll carry a camera all the time. and maybe a tape recorder too....... ;-)
Thanks,
Wayne
BTW I had a Pug for awhile.. a 502.. loved it but the drivers door rusted out where the mirrow was attached... then the dealer went out of business and there wasn't another dealer within 300 miles of me... so I traded it on a Mercedes...

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