• Almost £2000 spent on refurbishment since July 2019
• MoT until July 2022
• Good all-round condition with a charming patina
• Well-preserved interior
In the austere years following the Second World War, a lot of hard-up motorists valued economy over and above anything else, and were crying out for a ‘proper’ car (as opposed to a microcar) which could reliably and comfortably transport their family without breaking the bank.
The Citroën 2CV was launched in 1949, much to the relief of French labourers still struggling with a horse and cart, and while it had certain features in common with Germany’s people’s car, the Volkswagen Beetle, Citroën’s idiosyncratic engineering meant it really stood apart.
With thin, lightweight panels, utilitarian specification and an air-cooled flat-twin engine of around 400cc, nothing could rival it for economy, ease of maintenance and general convenience. Moreover, its innovative and specially-designed long-travel suspension system allowed it to cross a ploughed field with minimal upset to passengers and luggage.
The great L. J. K. Setright extolled it as ‘the most intelligent application of minimalism ever to succeed as a car’ and a ‘design of remorseless rationality’.
By the 1970s and ’80s, people’s cars like the 2CV, Beetle and Mini were no longer strictly relevant, as technology had progressed and the economic situation had improved enormously. They were antiquated and basic, but that didn’t matter, because they were irrepressibly charming.
Consequently, they continued to sell in their thousands to people who weren’t fussed about speed or comfort, who valued the cars’ rugged dependability and fell in love with their jaunty looks. As a result, the 2CV became something it had never been before – fashionable.
Introduced in the 1970s, the 2CV6 benefitted from an engine enlarged to 602 cc, and became an unlikely Bond car – Roger Moore used a yellow one to flee some henchmen in For Your Eyes Only. From 1975, the Spécial was the base model with an ultra-Spartan specification but it at least had the 602cc engine fitted as standard from 1981. Production of 2CVs finally ended in 1990 after 3,867,932 saloons had been built, not to mention the many variants.
Registered new in Coventry, the front number plate indicates that this car was originally sold through David Hiam Citroën, a Birmingham dealer, although the earliest history with it dates from 2005, when it appears to have been local to Hereford.
In August 2006, the 2CV was bought by one Anthony Scott of Swansea, who appears hardly to have used it. Its tax expired in March 2007 and the car subsequently saw little action until it was acquired by a new owner in 2019 and renovated. The present owner acquired it July 2021 from M&M Automotive, a well-respected classic car dealership in Lymington, Hampshire.
The vendor drove the car on a few occasions over the summer but regrets that he can no longer drive it for health reasons.
The 2CV’s paperwork file contains a substantial quantity of invoices going back to 2005, including many recent ones for refurbishment and servicing since July 2019, which add up to £1948. There are also some old MoTs dating from between 2005 and 2007, and recent certificates issued in 2020 and 2021.
A logbook was started in 2005 which details a lot of work done throughout the year, although there are no entries in it after April 2006. There is, of course, a current V5C and an original owner’s manual for the Citroën 2CV6 Spécial and 2CV6 Club.
The Citroën’s interior is, generally speaking, in very good condition in all respects, being all-original and showing minimal signs of wear. All in all, the cloth upholstery has survived well, as has the vinyl at the base of the seats, although both may benefit from a bit of clean. It will be seen that there is some slight damage on the driver’s seat cushion where the cloth meets the vinyl, but this is not extensive.
With so little to it, the rest of the interior looks very nice, with just a light patina across all the various fittings. The door cards are in very good condition, although they are just starting to come away from the driver’s door and nearside rear passenger’s door where some of the clips have lost their retentive abilities. The floor of the car is covered with rubber mats which are durable and will never need anything more than a wipe with a wet cloth.
The instrument cluster is delightfully basic, consisting only of a speedometer, fuel gauge and a few switches and warning lights. Unfortunately, the fuel gauge does not currently work but a new sender is supplied with the car for fitment.
Although a bit scruffy, the boot floor appears to be solid and the spare wheel is in good condition.
Citroën 2CVs are not supposed to look shiny and cosseted, and this one looks just as we think a 2CV ought to. There is a patina across the whole car, with some paint defects in various places but most visibly on the black-painted sections. Incidentally, bidders will note that the black paint is not original as the 2CV Spécial was not offered with two-tone colour schemes and it was most likely painted to emulate the Dolly and Charleston editions.
Aside from the paint blemishes, there are a few small dents in the front wings plus some areas where corrosion is starting to appear from underneath the paint. Although corrosion is not at the point where it is a cause for major concern, the MoT test in July advised that underbody corrosion would be something to monitor in addition to the fact that the car has had extensive underbody welding.
It will be noted that all the glass is in good condition, with no cracks. The convertible roof is also very good apart from a small tear in the fabric at the front offside corner.
The wheels also appear to be in good condition with just some superficial patina, although the MoT test highlighted that both front tyres are slightly damaged by way of cracking or perishing.
As far as we can tell, there are no issues with the mechanical components of this car other than the fuel gauge being hors de combat, but a new fuel sender is supplied. The MoT test would have highlighted problems with the brakes, suspension and lights if there had been any, and the vendor reports that the car was running well when he last drove it.
That was back in September, so it has stood for a bit, but a short, spirited drive ought to be sufficient to blow the cobwebs off so that it will drive agreeably and reliably.
The engine itself looks fairly clean and spares, if they are needed, are very easy to source.
In a culture that worships supercars and high-tech trickery, people often forget that, in the right car, you can have a lot more fun in the 30-40mph speed bracket than in anything else on four wheels. The Citroën 2CV is one of those cars. Blessed with a full-length convertible roof, outstandingly flexible suspension and the most wonderfully spongy seats you could ever hope to encounter, who needs to go fast?
The other advantage to the 2CV is that it is a classic you genuinely can use every day, especially in urban environments where parking spaces are at a premium. You can use it for shopping safe in the knowledge that its suspension will protect your more fragile items, and if someone does bump it in the car park, it will wear its scars with pride. It is a common complaint today that cars are becoming too homogenised, but with this 2CV you’ll put a smile on other people’s faces as well as your own.
Notice to bidders
Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.
As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.
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