Pick of the Day: 1966 Citroen 2CV, an elegant solution to simple driving

The little sedan was France’s answer to post-war transportation needs

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The Citroen 2CV was designed to be simple, reliable and inexpensive

After World War II, European automakers vied to put their nations’ populations back on wheels with cheap, reliable cars.  The result was small vehicles that notably defined the characters of the countries in which they were built, much as the Ford Model T had defined popular motoring in America decades before.

In Germany, it was the innovative Volkswagen Beetle, which wound up being a worldwide phenomenon.  In the UK, it was the Morris Minor, and in Italy, the Fiat 500 (not to mention legions of Vespa scooters).

2cv

Meanwhile, Citroen of France was concocting something that not only would transport people in urban centers but serve as rugged everyday vehicles for farmers.  The 2CV was derived with a suspension so flexible, it was said, that one could be filled with fresh eggs, then driven across a plowed field without cracking a single shell.

The Pick of the Day is a 1966 Citroen 2CV (deux chevaux in French, meaning “two horses”) that has been lavishly restored, according to the Fayetteville, Georgia, dealers advertising the car on ClassicCars.com.

2cv

“This is an absolutely gorgeous completely restored Citroen that will get more attention than any car you have ever owned,” the dealer says in the ad.

Looking every bit like a garden shed on wheels, the exceedingly simple 2CV is powered by an air-cooled opposed-twin engine driving the front wheels.  Shifting the 4-speed transmission is done via a lever that sticks straight out from the dashboard.

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2cv

While restored to original, the 2CV has received a transplant of a later 600cc engine, which deploys a resounding 29 horsepower.  Since the car weighs only about 1,300 pounds, that’s enough to get it out of its own way, but just.

The Citroen’s paint and interior are in perfect condition, the seller says, and the 2CV is ready to be driven and enjoyed. All mechanical parts have been refurbished and everything is working, the dealer adds, with the exception of the speedometer that needs its cable hooked up.  Seems like a simple-enough repair that the dealer would have done already.


The asking price is $18,900.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Renault was kicked out of the U.S. in the late 1960’s because their cars were…..well…..French……and junk does not sell well unless it’s Saturday morning and you’re having a yard sale.

  2. I see some misinfo here, these are actually very reliable cars. Do a Google search for Fitzback in St-Hyacinthe, Que. Specializes in rebuilding these cars (plus taking care of my 48 Merc)
    Click on the ENG icon for English

  3. The 2CV cost around a $1000 in France in 1966 (the VW Beetle ran $1500 in the US) while the basic Chevy Belair 2dr ran $2500. Having owned a 2CV in the 70’s, I can say the Chevy was a LOT more bang for the buck. As for appreciation, today’s prices make the 2CV a better investment.

  4. Why do they (the French) still only use 3 lugs per wheel ? Anyone ? Does anyone out there in Auto Land know of a Brake Drum with 4 or 5 lug nuts that will fit on these ? I hate going to a Tire Store with a French Car and having to have a tire repair or worse yet having to buy 4 new tires .

  5. I moved to Canada in 1980 after working for Renault and Citroen dealer. Three lug nut on french and Italian car. When you tighten the lug nuts you are automatically crossing the wheel and pulling it down flat. They are great fun to drive flat out.With the top open in summer time

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