Mods and Consequences
One of the most basic utility cars ever created, the Citroën 2CV is ripe for improvements. All 2CVs were fitted with an air-cooled flat-twin engine and a four-speed manual gearbox. The first 2CVs had a 375cc engine, increased to 425cc in 1954. From 1963 until the end of production there was a 602cc powerplant and it’s this edition that’s by far the most common, while most 2CVs have disc front brakes; these were fitted to all cars from 1982, replacing the previous drums.
Pete Sparrow has spent the past 30 years building go-faster 2CVs. ‘It’s expensive extracting significant power from the Citroën flat-twins while the four-cylinder engines are heavy and outdated,’ he says. ‘I’ve developed a kit based on a BMW R- Series flat-twin motorcycle engine with a choice of power outputs between 70bhp and 100bhp. You can choose from single- or twin-spark versions from 850cc to 1150cc, and either standard 2CV late-style gearboxes or four-/five-speed Citroën GS/GSA gearboxes with a Visa 652cc bell housing.’
The kit costs £840 but you’ll have to source your own engine, starter motor, clutch, oil cooler and exhaust on top of this – expect to add another £2000 to your budget.
Serial 2CV modder, Alex de Vries, says it’s cheap to give a 2CV go-kart handling. ‘ You just wind the tie-rods out, which lowers the car,’ he says. ‘ You need to cut and turn the ends of the front swing arms so you don’t get bump steer and you can fit uprated coil springs along with adjustable dampers. The dampers work the opposite way round to normal; when they’re extended the suspension is compressing so that’s where the damping needs to be. Also you can band the original steel wheels by 1.5 inches and fit 175/65 R15 tyres.’