Panel ver­dict

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying Guide -

The 2CV’s body and chas­sis can cor­rode spec­tac­u­larly, and the flim­si­ness of the outer pan­els mean you need to an­a­lyse all of it for dents and rust. Rot is likely in any of the seams, which spreads to con­sume en­tire pan­els. Ar­eas likely to be holed in­clude the rear wings, the box sec­tion un­der the rear seat, the sills and the boot floor. The front bulk­head also cor­rodes; if there’s any vis­i­ble sign of rot it’ll be worse out of sight.

How’s the chas­sis?

Try­ing to keep the chas­sis rust-free is a thank­less task but re­place­ments are avail­able, both pat­tern and gen­uine. Con­structed of box sec­tions, cor­ro­sion starts inside and works its way out. Fo­cus on where the front sus­pen­sion bolts on; cor­ro­sion ei­ther side weak­ens the frame and patches aren’t enough to re­store strength. The same goes for the rear chas­sis legs, which also suf­fer from crash damage as the rear bumper at­taches to them.

Oil be damned

A 2CV’s en­gine will last pretty much for­ever if its oil and fil­ter are re­placed ev­ery 3000 miles. The oil acts as both lubricant and coolant which is why fre­quent re­place­ment is worth ev­ery penny. Check that the oil cooler be­hind the en­gine-driven fan isn’t caked with grime. There are no head gas­kets so leaks from the heads are com­mon; run the en­gine with the win­dows and roof closed and any fumes will quickly be­come ap­par­ent. Ex­pect oil leaks too, but noth­ing ma­jor, while the big end bear­ings never go as they’re so tough. The tap­pets aren’t set very tight so th­ese can be noisy but if there’s pis­ton slap, which gives away a tired en­gine, make sure you’ve got £1400 or so to pay for a full re­build.

Crunch time

Gear­boxes are rea­son­ably strong as they don’t have to trans­mit much torque. Even­tu­ally third gear syn­chro­mesh wears out lead­ing to crunchy changes; a re­built gear­box is

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