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Citroen 2CV: Buying guide and review (1948-1990)

Citroen 2CV: Buying guide and review (1948-1990) Classic and Performance Car
Citroen 2CV Citroen 2CV Citroen 2CV Citroen 2CV Citroen 2CV Citroen 2CV Citroen 2CV Sahara 4x4
The Citroen 2CV is one of those cars that polarises opinions, some love its honest charm, while others poke fun at the very basic and unconventional looks. But even its detractors cannot deny that over its 42 year production lifespan it become an automotive legend. The 2CV is the ultimate example of the automobile distilled down to its pure essence, and while it may look as basic as a wood burning stove from the outside, it also featured some genuinely ingenious technology under the skin at launch.
 
The 2CV’s gestation was a somewhat difficult period, a World War. major changes in aluminium prices and all manner of production challenges meant that despite the initial design having being penned in the mid-‘30s, the first 2CVs rolled off the production line in 1948. 
 
The design brief stated that the car had to be basic, affordable and excel at traversing rough terrain with a full complement of passengers and do it all day long if necessary. It is this last point that lead to the development of an ingenious suspension system that provided the 2CV with both a soft ride and excellent road holding. 
 
Over the intervening years it has provided reliable, fuss free motoring for millions and has become the automotive expression of minimalist French chic.
 
Which one to buy?
 
With production spanning over four decades there are numerous variants to choose from with many detailed running changes along the way. With very modest performance, basically no safety or luxury features and poor protection from the elements the 2CV is best suited for sunny weekend drives, UK models were sold with the 602cc engine which provided a heady 26bhp and were a fair bit speedier than the original 9bhp 375cc versions. 
 
The original body style featured a fabric roof, corrugated bonnet and simple steel panels for easy repair. This basic design was left relatively unchanged so the relaxed ride, quirky body style and basic running gear can be experienced in any 2CV. Derivatives included the Dyane hatchback, Mehari convertible Acadiane van and even a very limited build of twin engined Sahara versions. 
 
With over 3.8million 2CV saloons built and a further 1.2 million van derivatives there are still a lot of cars out there to choose from and with parts being widely available the final choice comes down to whether you are looking for a project, weekend toy or mint condition collectors car. 
 
Peformance and specs
 
1948 Citroen 2CV 
Engine 375cc 4 valve OHV two-cylinder 
Power 9bhp 
Torque 17ft lb 
Top speed 40mph 
0-60mph n/a 
Fuel consumption 65+ mpg 
Gearbox Four-speed manual
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2370mm
Length 3778mm
Width 1478mm
Height 1600mm
Weight 682kg
 
Common problems
 
• Thanks to this little cars enduring popularity the 2CV community is very well catered for in the UK with a number of clubs providing advice and specialists providing basically any part you can think of for your car. 

• The chassis is known to be very rust prone, thankfully repairs and replacement parts are easy enough to carry out. If you intend to keep your car having the chassis components galvanised is highly recommended as they leaked water even from new.

• Body panels, trim and even entire chassis are available from specialists making the 2CV a great starter classic for those keen to get their hands dirty.

• Engines are tough but require regular oil changes (every 3000 miles or so). Cars built after 1970 can run on unleaded fuel without modifications. 

• Front disc brakes are inboard and are labour intensive to replace, drum brakes were standard all round until later in production when the front discs were introduced from 1981. Be aware of the different brake fluid requirements for each system.

• Quirky dash mounted 4 speed gearbox is tough, no synchro on first so some crunching is normal, although worn gearboxes will exhibit this trait in third gear as well.

• Interiors tend to wear well, vinyl covered seats stand up to the elements best but a general re-upholstering is required on most older cars
 
Model history
 
1948: Launched at the Paris Auto Salon, the first 2CV features a 9bhp 375cc air cooled engine powering the front wheels and suicide style front doors.
1954: Minor changes to bonnet badging and the addition of dashboard lighting
1955: 425cc 12bhp engine introduced raising top speed to 49mph
1958: 2CV Sahara 4x4 introduced featuring a second engine in boot
1961: Twin engined 4x4 Sahara version launched. A total of 694 units built
1964: Windscreen wipers become electrically operated
1965: Front doors now open conventionally
1967: Dyane version introduced as slightly upmarket 2CV with two levels of trim
1968: Citroen Mehari introduced using ABS plastic for the body shell, a world first
1970: Electrical system now 12V and new indicators and taillights introduced
435cc and 602cc engine variants available
1975: 2CV reintroduced to UK market. Exterior changes include new bumpers, grille and squared off headlights
1977: Acadiane utility vehicle launched – built until end of 1987
1982: Front brake discs introduced on all 2CV’s
1990: Final 2CV manufactured with production having moved to Portugal for last two years
 
A number of limited run and special edition models were made available globally such as the Spot, Charleston and 007 model following its appearance in James Bond's ‘For your Eyes Only’.
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
 
• www.citroencarclub.org.uk – UK Citroen car club
• the2cvshop.co.uk – Source of parts and information on 2CV
• www.mehari-2cv-spare.co.uk – parts supplier for 2CV range
• www.citroenclassics.co.uk – still more parts for your 2CV
• www.2cvracing.org.uk – 2CV racing club for UK enthusiasts
 
Summary and prices
 
If you are looking for an original unrestored 2CV you may be out of luck, with rust and wear and tear claiming many original components it is best to look for a professionally restored one rather than an untouched ‘barn find’. Useable examples can be found for £4000, the earliest cars were built in limited numbers so they command a healthy premium with some trading for £15,000. Restored Meharis are closer to £25,000, and if you can find one, a mint condition Sahara can cost as much as £100,000 in today’s market.
 
In the other camp there is great fun to be had restoring a 2CV and prices for project cars start as low as £1000. It’s wise to get the advice of a specialist on the potential costs of restoration as while individual parts are reasonable a full refurbishment can be a costly exercise.
 
A car that has often been referred to as being more than the sum of its parts, the 2CV is the perfect minimalist classic with style. It remains a very accessible and rewarding car providing a driving experience that no modern car can replicate. 
 
Words: John Tallodi
Citroen 2CV Citroen 2CV Citroen 2CV Citroen 2CV Citroen 2CV Citroen 2CV Citroen 2CV Sahara 4x4
Last updated: 21st Jul 2016
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Citroen 2CV cars for sale

13 Search results
Citroen 2CV
4225 115000 GBP
  • Citroen 2CV AK400 1975

    POA POA

    *** THIS CAR HAS BEEN SOLD *** Please contact us if you were interested in this car. Our inventory is constantly changing and we will have similar examples of this model becoming available soon. ----------------------------- Citroën 2 CV AK 400 1975, promotion car in good condition 1975 Citroën 2 CV AK400 with the closed cargo body. The 2CV (Deux Chevaux) AK400 is delivery van from the french Citroën. The cargo load was 400Kg and therefor this was the largest and heaviest version at that time. The car has blue paint and blue/grey interior and is in a neat and good driving condition. The car has a 602CC 2 Cyl 31 HP engine and a 4-speed manual gearbox. A really nice and outstanding car, perfect as promotion car. Car has Holland title and Holland mot/tuv. Easy to register in every EU country. You do not need to pay any importtaxes. We can help with transport.

    • Year: 1975
    For sale
    E&R Classic Cars
    +31 416 751393 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Citroen 2 Cv 1985

    £4,225 £4,225

    Black 2CV, has been off the road for 11 years, now fully restored, galvanised chis, new tyres, good engine.  A practical and fun clic car that will only go up in value.

    • Mileage: 44943 mi
    • Engine size: 602
    For sale
  • Citroen 2 Cv 1990

    £5,000 £5,000

    A really nice 2cv in very good condition. Galvanised chis, new hood, new seats, new carpets. Just serviced and has electronic ignition so starts on the button. A great little car. MOT to December. £5000 ono.

    • Mileage: 39500 mi
    • Engine size: 602
    For sale
  • Citroen 2 Cv 1987

    £5,999 £5,999

    Blue and Cream 2CV Dolly in very good condition and full working order.  Leather upholstery, excellent soft top roof and liner, boot rack, multiple CD changer and player.  A much loved and maintained car by an owner besotted with 2CVs. 

    • Mileage: 100000 mi
    • Engine size: 660
    For sale
  • Citroën 2CV Le Patron '88

    €13,950(£12,270.42) €13,950(£12,270.42)

    The “Le Patron” kit car based upon the famous 2CV is an easy to build and fun to drive kit-car that has it’s roots in the Netherlands. The Brand is the propriety of VVDBI (Van den Bergh Import) founded in 1991 by the nephews Wim and Godfried Van de Berghe. The “Le Patron” kits combine the best of kits cars by 3 ways : British design, French techniques and Dutch craftsmanship. The kits are available in left and right hand drive. Kits and turn-key cars are offered both. Garage Van den Berg (Ophemert, Netherlands) is active in the kit car business since 1991 >>>>> Oldtimerfarm is going to renovate! Due to renovations we are currently publishing less pictures per car on our website. For more pictures or more information please contact Xavier via phone: 0472/401338 or via e-mail: sales@oldtimerfarm.be Oldtimerfarm specializes in consignment sales of vintage and collection cars and we are proud to present you this car. Oldtimerfarm is located in Belgium, 9880 Aalter, Steenweg op Deinze 51C, where this car is in our showroom. We are open from Tuesday to Saturday 10-17h (also without appointment). We are closed on Sundays and Mondays. Mondays on appointment only. Make sure you scroll down

    • Year: 1988
    For sale
  • Citroën 2CV Club Vert Bambou '76

    €12,950(£11,390.82) €12,950(£11,390.82)

    26Hp >>>>> Oldtimerfarm is going to renovate! Due to renovations we are currently publishing less pictures per car on our website. For more pictures or more information please contact Xavier via phone: 0472/401338 or via e-mail: sales@oldtimerfarm.be Oldtimerfarm specializes in consignment sales of vintage and collection cars and we are proud to present you this car. Oldtimerfarm is located in Belgium, 9880 Aalter, Steenweg op Deinze 51C, where this car is in our showroom. We are open from Tuesday to Saturday 10-17h (also without appointment). We are closed on Sundays and Mondays. Mondays on appointment only. Make sure you scroll down to look at the extensive photo report (100 pictures). Of course, a more detailed description can be obtained by telephone. Contact us: Xavier: 0032 472 40 1338 (NL, FR, DE, EN, IT) info@oldtimerfarm.be Olivier: 0032 473 11 7300 (NL, FR, DE, EN) olivier@oldtimerfarm.be Oldtimerfarm from Aalter would also like to sell your classic car or car collection. For more information, please contact Xavier. Exhibitions where you can find us: Pictures of the car:

    • Year: 1976
    For sale
  • Citroën 2CV Charleston Black & Yellow '82

    €11,950(£10,511.22) €11,950(£10,511.22)

    The Citroën 2CV (French: “deux chevaux” i.e. “deux chevaux vapeur”, literally “two tax horsepower”) was an economy car produced by the French automaker Citroën between 1948 and 1990. It was technologically advanced and innovative, but with uncompromisingly utilitarian unconventional looks, and deceptively simple Bauhaus inspired bodywork, that belied the sheer quality of its underlying engineering. It was designed to move the French peasantry on from horses and carts. It is considered one of Citroën's most iconic cars. In 1953 Autocar in a technical review of the car wrote of "the extraordinary ingenuity of this design, which is undoubtedly the most original since the Model T Ford". It was described by CAR magazine journalist and author LJK Setright as "the most intelligent application of minimalism ever to succeed as a car". It was designed for low cost, simplicity of use, versatility, reliability, and off-road driving. For this it had a light, easily serviceable engine, extremely soft long travel suspension (with adjustable ride height), high ground clearance, and for oversized loads a car-wide canvas sunroof (which until 1960 also covered the boot). During a production run of 42

    • Year: 1982
    For sale
  • Citroën 2CV 4x4 Sahara '62

    €115,000(£101,154) €115,000(£101,154)

    12Hp >>>>> Oldtimerfarm is going to renovate! Due to renovations we are currently publishing less pictures per car on our website. For more pictures or more information please contact Xavier via phone: 0472/401338 or via e-mail: sales@oldtimerfarm.be Oldtimerfarm specializes in consignment sales of vintage and collection cars and we are proud to present you this car. Oldtimerfarm is located in Belgium, 9880 Aalter, Steenweg op Deinze 51C, where this car is in our showroom. We are open from Tuesday to Saturday 10-17h (also without appointment). We are closed on Sundays and Mondays. Mondays on appointment only. Make sure you scroll down to look at the extensive photo report (100 pictures). Of course, a more detailed description can be obtained by telephone. Contact us: Xavier: 0032 472 40 1338 (NL, FR, DE, EN, IT) info@oldtimerfarm.be Olivier: 0032 473 11 7300 (NL, FR, DE, EN) olivier@oldtimerfarm.be Oldtimerfarm from Aalter would also like to sell your classic car or car collection. For more information, please contact Xavier. Exhibitions where you can find us: Pictures of the car:

    • Year: 1962
    For sale
  • Citroën 2CV Safari Orange '80

    €10,750(£9,455.70) €10,750(£9,455.70)

    >>>>> Oldtimerfarm is going to renovate! Due to renovations we are currently publishing less pictures per car on our website. For more pictures or more information please contact Xavier via phone: 0472/401338 or via e-mail: sales@oldtimerfarm.be Oldtimerfarm specializes in consignment sales of vintage and collection cars and we are proud to present you this car. Oldtimerfarm is located in Belgium, 9880 Aalter, Steenweg op Deinze 51C, where this car is in our showroom. We are open from Tuesday to Saturday 10-17h (also without appointment). We are closed on Sundays and Mondays. Mondays on appointment only. Make sure you scroll down to look at the extensive photo report (100 pictures). Of course, a more detailed description can be obtained by telephone. Contact us: Xavier: 0032 472 40 1338 (NL, FR, DE, EN, IT) info@oldtimerfarm.be Olivier: 0032 473 11 7300 (NL, FR, DE, EN) olivier@oldtimerfarm.be Oldtimerfarm from Aalter would also like to sell your classic car or car collection. For more information, please contact Xavier. Exhibitions where you can find us: Pictures of the car:

    • Year: 1980
    For sale
  • Citroën 2CV AK250 Fourgonnette '71

    €7,150(£6,289.14) €7,150(£6,289.14)

    Lowered price from €7.950 -> €7.150 >>>>> Oldtimerfarm is going to renovate! Due to renovations we are currently publishing less pictures per car on our website. For more pictures or more information please contact Xavier via phone: 0472/401338 or via e-mail: sales@oldtimerfarm.be Oldtimerfarm specializes in consignment sales of vintage and collection cars and we are proud to present you this car. Oldtimerfarm is located in Belgium, 9880 Aalter, Steenweg op Deinze 51C, where this car is in our showroom. We are open from Tuesday to Saturday 10-17h (also without appointment). We are closed on Sundays and Mondays. Mondays on appointment only. Make sure you scroll down to look at the extensive photo report (100 pictures). Of course, a more detailed description can be obtained by telephone. Contact us: Xavier: 0032 472 40 1338 (NL, FR, DE, EN, IT) info@oldtimerfarm.be Olivier: 0032 473 11 7300 (NL, FR, DE, EN) olivier@oldtimerfarm.be Oldtimerfarm from Aalter would also like to sell your classic car or car collection. For more information, please contact Xavier. Exhibitions where you can find us: Pictures of the car:

    • Year: 1971
    For sale
  • CITROEN 2 CV 1.6 VTR MULTISPACE 2011

    £6,995 £6,995

    citroen berlingo 1.6 diesel fawn green with grey red interior lowered floor light wieight ramp for wheelchair and mobility scooter access very modern car air conditioning electric windows power steering 1 owner full service history

    • Mileage: 28000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.56
    For sale
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