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Vivanco loves those French Citroens

He is one of Fallbrook’s own and he loves classic French Citroens. You’ll often see Ed Vivanco and Diane, his wife of 45 years, cruising around the rural roads of Fallbrook and the surrounding countryside in their classic black 1955 Citroen Traction Avant 11B Normale or their gray 1985 2cv (deux cheveaux) Citroen.

“We drive around town and get a lot of questions about the cars,” said Ed. “We enjoy being members of the Fallbrook Vintage Car Club and love to participate in car activities. Our favorite subjects to talk about are our grandkids and cars.”

In 1999 the couple left Vista, where they had lived since 1973, and purchased a home in Fallbrook with a six-acre avocado grove. Ed retired from an executive position at Beckman Coulter Company four years later, the only Beckman executive to transition into farming.

Ed was born and raised in Chile and came to the United States for university studies in microbiology. He never left. Diane probably had a lot to do with that!

They chose Fallbrook to retire because of their love of open spaces and the rural atmosphere. What keeps them in Fallbrook? They say it’s the small town feeling, friendly community, lack of malls and big package stores and, most importantly, the peaceful living that “rejuvenates their spirits.” They say they love to share Fallbrook and their farm with their three children and six grandchildren when they come for visits.

The couple’s black luxury car, which looks like it just came out of a World War II movie set in occupied France, is a 1955 Citroen Traction Avant 11B Normale. This model was designed in the 1930s, went into commercial production in 1938 and was in production until 1957.

The design was decades ahead of its time, featuring front wheel drive, a monocoque chassis, rack and pinion steering, independent suspension and radial tires. It was widely used during WWII by the German occupation forces in France and by the French resistance.

This particular car was renovated in Wolfershime, France, in 1985. It was used in various rallies in Germany. When purchased about eight months ago, it featured a license plate used by NATO personnel stationed in Germany.

The 1985 2cv (deux cheveaux) Citroen design began in 1934, but because of the war, did not go into commercial production until 1948. It was intended as a basic transportation car, primarily for farmers.

During 42 years of production, more than five million cars were produced in France and in more than 20 countries around the world. It was the French equivalent of the Ford Model T. It was the first car for millions around the world who were used to driving bicycles, scooters and motorcycles.

The model was manufactured until 1990. It was the best known and most popular car in the world. It was briefly introduced to the United States in the 1960s.

The Fallbrook Vintage Car Club, a chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America, is open to guests and new members. To receive more information, e-mail [email protected].

Meetings are held the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Fallbrook Woman’s Club, 238 West Mission Road.

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