Citroën's 2CV is so basic and elemental, it's hard to imagine it could be deconstructed any further. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mehari does just that, being little more than a plastic dog dish on wheels, but will its price bowl you over?
Not plastic, but instead all kinds of heavy metal was yesterday's 1992 Marquis, which was notable for having a hoon handle added in between its front seats. Getting both a panther platform's presence, and the ability to row your own, put that blue battleship firmly into Nice Price territory, with a hefty 78% of you giving it the double thumbs up.
Thumbs up is the traditional sign of the hitchhiker, a rare breed notable for being eaten by backroad cannibals and their total lack of both autos and good judgement. Many car manufacturers have, over the years, attempted to cater to this audience, but their typically being poor as church mice, the offerings have been commensurately parsimonious.
Today's 1969 Citroën Mehari is about as simple as they come, and may even sway your typical Jack Kerouac or Woodie Guthrie to get his own damn car. Based on the Dyane 6 platform, itself a derivative of the iconic 2CV, the Mehari eschews much of even those simple conveyances' luxuries. In fact, the only way you could possibly simplify your transportation any further would be to ride the tiny 602-cc opposed twin bareback.
The body of the Mehari is plastic - not fiberglass which has fibers reinforcing the glass - but honest to god plastic, just like your old Big Wheel or Heidi Montag. That helps the Mehari maintain its girlish figure with a curb weight of a gnat-like 1,270-lbs. This one appears to be a little worse for wear, but then again I personally know two people who own Meharis which don't look much better, and they drive ‘em almost every day. If you find the prospect of dealing with a middle aged plastic body daunting then never fear, not only does the seller offer up links to a restoration primer and source of replacement body parts, but he's also throwing in - are you ready for this - another complete Mehari, that's two for the price of one!
Of course, in Frankenstein fashion you'd probably end up making one good Mehari out of the two projects offered, plus the pile of parts being thrown in. The seller says the important bits - that kitten fart of an engine and the platform upon which rests all that plastic - are in good shape, although you will need to hitch a ride home folowing the purchase as a leaky gas tank and the fact that none of the parts has been registered in decades means your Mehari mayhem will have to wait a bit.
Like a Mini Moke, or a VW Thing that's been washed in too-hot water, there's something wondrously elemental about the tiny Mehari. Citroën built nearly 150K of the plastic fantastics and it was officially offered for sale in the U.S. for the 1970 model year, when 214 were sold.
These days finding one that hasn't totally returned to its elemental chemical compounds is rare indeed, and while a sizable project, this Mehari menagerie looks like an excellent way to get your basic transportation on. Of course the whole batch comes with a not-so basic price tag of $3,850. That's a lot of escargot.
What's your take on that price that should have buyers whipping out their own plastic? Or, does this Citroën's price need to be far more basic?
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