citroen 2cv? - Ian
I am thinking about buying a citroen 2CV. I would like to know other readers experiences (other than being stuck behind one!), any common problems, economy, and what they are like to drive and own.
Regards Ian.
Re: citroen 2cv? - DAVE DOBBS
Ian,

be careful the chassis goes rotten, you need to be sure this is ok before parting with any money. the later ones - 1985 onward were built in portugal, these are to be avoided as they suffered from much worse rot. cars built in Paris Levallois factory were made of much better steel. there are many specialists around so spares and servicing is not difficult.

I know a specialist in Selby who restores them and I bought a restored Dyane6 in 1994 for £600 quid from him, I had a 1987 Dolly before which was knackered due to the rot in the chassis.

they are fun to own & drive and give 30 - 35 mpg Performance is poor but with a litttle bit of nous can keep up with traffic. there aren't that many decent ones left, and people tend to hang on to them, but you see them for sale occasionally. Dyane is more civilised and faster. ami is better still.

Check where the steering column passes through the floor at the front of the footwell, if it is fouling the floorpan- it should be central in the hole- the chassis is F*cked. walk away.

you can do pretty much all maintainance with one spanner and a hammer,

hope you find a good one !
Re: citroen 2cv? - mike harvey
Ian, with a 2cv you will never suffer from speed bumps again! The faster you hit them, the less you feel it. You would'nt want to change the points too often either. Rest of advice from all is spot on.
Mike
Citroen 2CV - David Lacey
I can recall from my younger days when I thought the 2CV had a V6 engine due to the badging on the back which read 2CV6 or similar - I don't know what the 6 signifies but it remains a childhood memory......

Does David W have a view on these machines?
Re: Citroen 2CV - Stu
Love these cars. Many years ago I bought one with two friends to go on a touring holiday in the south of France. We sourced one in the classifieds for £150, pretty beaten up but servicable, Gave it a bit of a service ( My pal spent half a day cleaning the oil out of the wire mesh air filter to later discover it was supposed to be like that!)
We covered over two thousand miles in it, thought it was exceptionally slow until north of Rouen we unravelled the accelerator linkage and got another two inches of pedal travel! We even managed some overtaking.......It caught fire twice (minor, self inflicted) and provided us with safe trustworthy and reliable transport. It held it's head high in Monte Carlo parked outside the casino, as you could in those days, alongside the Rolls and Ferraris.
Can't tell you much about what to look for when buying one other than using common sense.
If you buy one, expect the unexpected and be prepared to smile alot.
Happy hunting!
Re: citroen 2cv? - richard turpin
A mate had a Dyane 6. There was a girl living in the flat above who had the same car. One day she knocked on his door in a bit of a panic saying that her car would not start and could he help? He did'nt know much about cars but said he would have a look. Now some of the Dyanes had a safety device that prvented the starter from working unless the gear was in neutral. On seeing her car, he noticed that the "umbrella" was in 3rd. He got in and casually, so she did'nt notice, pushed the lever into neutral, and then emptied the ashtray. He replaced the ashtray and the car started straight away.
The young lady was amazed. "Oh" he said "They never start with the ashtray full."

He never told her.

By the way David, CV stands for horsepower in French. (fiscal of course) The 2CV6 is a "2CV" with 6 HP instead of the original 2 HP. I think the original ones had 400 cc approx.
Re: Citroen 2CV - honestjohn
The rear drum brakes are difficult and expensive to maintain. The fronts were too because they are on the transmission, but any car you are looking at will probably have discs which are easier to work on. The underbonnet soundproofing has been known to catch fire. All Dave's input about chassis is correct. The answer is a galvanized chassis. But you don't want one made of heavy guage steel because it will make the car too heavy for its puny 602cc mota.

HJ
Re: citroen 2cv? - David Millar
All that's been said is true but the problems are all solved without resorting to things like new ECUs, abs computers and other gubbins that make self-maintenance of a modern car a real hassle. And there is generally a good supply of 2CV parts and specialists who can help. But, with the exception of winding up the suspension arms (never done it or heard of it being done), I don't think there isn't anything about the mechanics of a 2CV a reasonably competent home mechanic can't handle.

As said they are not particularly frugal on fuel by today's standards but I've had a Dyane 4, Dyane 6 from new, 2CV and 3CV van and they were all very reliable. I crossed the Sahara with the van years ago and met several others in Amis and Meharis happily doing the same--it really narked the Hooray Henrys and Henriettas paying a fortune to the adventure companies.

I looked at a couple of cheap ones (£500-600) this spring but they have sadly deteriorated bodily since I last had one seven years ago. That said there are always good ones that people hang on to. A couple of local female 2CV owners swear by Rob Sansome in Leamington Spa (01926 426582) who is a self-taught 2CV enthusiast/mechanic who sells only good quality ones for £1000-1200. He had until recently a virtually brand new one of his own. There are 2CV specialists dotted around most places. I used to swear by Arthur Howse at Central Garage, Chadlington in Oxfordshire but I think they have moved on a bit now.

The 2cV itself is the best fun, while the Ami is the sensible family one if any are left, the Dyane only lacks the 2CV's quirky looks. Meharis are the most valuable but have problems of their own with shredding plastic bodywork and rotting frames.

David
Re: citroen 2cv? - chris watson
a mate has one which has just has a light weight galvernised chassis fitted, with a two year warranty. he wants to sell it but he wants £1300, its also just had the heater pipes fitted. its also red and cream in colour.
Re: citroen 2cv? - chris watson
my mate has just told me that he has something called a 2cv 4X4, which has an engine in the boot to drive the rear wheels aswell as the engine under the bonnet driving the front wheels. he is not selling it just yet, but he will in the near future because the petrol tank is under the passenger seat (very dangerous), its black in colour, and its from 1956.
Re: citroen 2cv? - Ash Phillips
Great fun, apart from the noise - at 70mph the doors bow so much you can see the road wizzing by. The top of the windscreen is a little low - you hunch forward to see through it properly, which can give you back/neck ache. Probably as the original had cloth deckchair seats, whereas 80s cars had real padded seats which may have been higher. They came out of the factory with rust but it seemed to be the slow kind (unlike the Lancia Beta / Alfasud variety). There are a few places manufacturing new chassis and you can even get alloys!! Car magazine had a 2CV turbo (45hp) for a while (until it burned out) which would do 90ish mph, scary. There are/were (I lose track of these things) some kit cars, 3 wheelers (the right way round, a la Morgan) based on engine/suspension that were supposed to be fun and a decent drive.

My only reservation is that I think the only think you could crash into in a 2CV and come off the better is a pedestrian/cyclist
Re: citroen 2cv? - David Millar
I wouldn't want to be in a major prang with a 2CV but they are pretty forgiving in lesser bumps. I thumped a roadside rock while distracted by a wasp on holiday in Corsica with a hire 2CV. Wing ripped off and nearside front chassis arm was bent back and downwards so that side scraped on the road on bumps. Solution: beat the bent front wing out with jack and rebolt, then place very large rock in the wheel well in the boot to raise front end. When I took the car back 100 miles later, the hire company had me fill out an accident form but declined my offer to inspect the car in the airport car park. How they got the boulder out of the wheel well I don't know because it was well and truly wedged.
Re: citroen 2cv? - Brian
HJ
Spot on with the fire risk. 2CV's do seem to suffer from spontaneous combustion.
I think that I have seen two on fire at the side of the road without them having been in accidents!.
Regards
Brian
Re: citroen 2cv & fire risk - Andrew Barnes

The fire risk results from the cardboard heater tubes falling onto the exhaust manifold. As long as these tubes are in good nick the risk is minimal.

I would say it is essential that you are prepared to carry out quite a bit of diy if you are going to use one of these cars, you almost need to be an enthusiast. Whatever you do, get one with a galvanised chassis, or you will get all sorts of trouble.

Andrew
 

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