[ Own­ing a Citroën 2CV]

Classic Cars (UK) - - Buying Guide -

Jon El­lis­ton, Eve­sham, Worcs

The 2CV pic­tured is one of seven Jon owns and de­spite its vin­tage (it was built in 1960) he’s not afraid to take it places. He says, ‘I bought my first 2CV in 1995, when even quite good cars were be­ing sold as break­ers. My first 2CV was a Beachcomber bought for £50 for parts, but it was too good to scrap. Since then the col­lec­tion has grown to in­clude the Bel­gian-built yel­low car which is one of just nine sur­vivors.

‘Th­ese Bel­gian cars were posher than reg­u­lar 2CVS, with higher-quality trim and the avail­abil­ity of brighter colours; un­til then most 2CVS were painted grey. An­other un­usual fea­ture is the Traf­fi­clutch trans­mis­sion, aimed at city driv­ers who didn’t want to have to use a con­ven­tional clutch. This is ef­fec­tively a cen­trifu­gal sys­tem which dis­con­nects drive in stop/start traf­fic”.

Com­pletely stan­dard, Jon’s 2CV still has six-volt electrics. He con­cludes, ‘They have foibles but they’re bril­liantly com­fort­able and af­ter a stress­ful day a drive in a 2CV sorts things out. Best of all they’re dirt cheap to run.’

Si­mon Saint, Worces­ter

2CVGB club chair­man Si­mon Saint bought his first Citroën in 1970; now he runs a 2CV and Trac­tion Avant as ev­ery­day trans­port. He says, ‘I bought my 2CV new in 1986. Since then it’s cov­ered 150,000 miles and the car is still largely orig­i­nal, al­though it had an engine re­build a few years ago. The dis­place­ment was in­creased to 652cc which makes quite a diëer­ence to us­abil­ity on the mo­tor­way. It used to be our fam­ily car, taking us all over Europe, and still goes to France sev­eral times each year; I fit a boot ex­ten­sion when needed.

‘I cover about 6000 miles each year in my 2CV. The key is to in­vest in buy­ing or creat­ing a good car and the run­ning costs will then be tiny; over many years the aver­age an­nual cost shouldn’t be more than £300-£400.

‘Per­haps the most ap­peal­ing thing about the 2CV is how ver­sa­tile it is. I do all of my own main­te­nance be­cause they’re easy to work on, and you can fit an as­ton­ish­ing amount into one. You can even take them oëroad­ing – I’ve driven across ploughed fields in mine, but never car­ry­ing a tray of eggs.’

Dorothy Mo­ran, Hamil­ton, Scot­land

When Dorothy Mo­ran used to go on fam­ily hol­i­days to France as a child, she was in­ter­ested in only one thing – the 2CVS that splut­tered their way around the French coun­try­side. So when she was look­ing for a new fam­ily car in 1987 she knew ex­actly what to buy. She says, ‘Back then our 2CV was our fam­ily car, used to trans­port five of us with camp­ing gear. Very tough me­chan­i­cally, the 2CV is a joy to drive be­cause you just roll back the roof and glide along as the world smiles on – th­ese cars make peo­ple happy.

‘In some ways the 2CV is ide­ally suited to mod­ern con­di­tions in that it copes well with poor sur­faces and it’s plenty quick enough for con­gested roads, but stay­ing on top of rust is a prob­lem and a lot of main­te­nance is re­quired, so if you do a lot of miles that be­comes a bind. That’s why for many peo­ple the 2CV is a per­fect sec­ond car rather than their main one. It’s easy to do most things on a DIY ba­sis though, es­pe­cially once you’ve got a copy of the work­shop man­ual that the club has pro­duced with in­put from its mem­bers.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.