For $4,000, Vivre Dans Un Van Au Bord De La Riviere

From the French L'Acadiane is derived Cajun, and from that is derived tasty southern cookin'. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Citroën Acadiane could cart your crawdads, but will you find its price palatable?

Priced high sweet Chariot, comin' for to Crack Pipe me home. Dang, listening to you guys sing is like hearing angels farting from on high. You know what else was high? The price of yesterday's 1991 Dodge Colt Vista, that's what. At least that was the take away from the massive 96% Crack Pipe vote. Okay, now knock off the singing, it's not helping my hangover.

France - maker of fabulous food and wine, giver of giant lady statues, and maker of cars so eclectic in personality a blind man could devine their origin from no more than riding in one - you just gotta' love the Gallic nation. This Citroën Acadiane proves that the French don't just sit around side-street Bistrots nursing café au laits and smoking Gauloises, they also occasionally work.

For $4,000, Vivre Dans Un Van Au Bord De La Riviere

The Acadiane is based on that 2CV with big-boy pants, the Dyane, and the van's name is a play on that car's plus Citroën's typical prefix for commercial vehicles AK - i.e. AK Dyane. The Acadiane looks like a Dyane up front, but out back it has more booty than a Sir Mix-A-Lot video. The van also gains a full half-ton carrying capacity, load-dependent brake proportioning, and in a strange nod to civility roll-down door glass in place of the Dyane's horizontal sliders.

Built from the late seventies through ‘87, the Acadiane supplanted the 2CV Fourgonnett in Citroën's commercial lineup. The seller doesn't seem to know what year this one was built, but there must be some sort of tag somewhere on it with that info. Or, like many a 2CV perhaps that has been replaced with an earlier plate allowing this ‘80s refugee to pretend it's from the era before the Feds started caring. After all, the Dyane was sold here for a while.

For $4,000, Vivre Dans Un Van Au Bord De La Riviere

Like the contemporary Dyane, it's powered by a 602-cc horizontal twin that hangs ahead of the front wheels, and connected to a longitudinal 4-speed manual gearbox. The 32-horse opposed twin also has what is either the cleverest engineering multitasker in the automotive world, or its lamest supercharger, as the cooling fan also provides pressurized atmosphere to the carb.

The engine in this 56,000-mile Acadiane is said to work fine, as does the recently (750-miles ago) rebuilt transmission. Unfortunately the clutch mediating the two is claimed kaput, although the seller says he has a replacement ready to go. Of course dropping the motor on one of these fly-weight Frenchies is easier than dropping a deuce after a trip to Taco Bell, so getting this little truck up and running should mean an easy weekend at most.

For $4,000, Vivre Dans Un Van Au Bord De La Riviere

Once you do address the clutch issue you might want to take stock of the rest of the car which appears good from far but far from good. There's rust - a little on the door edges - which is to be expected, and doesn't seem to make it as sieve-like as the Maginot Line. The rest of the truck is claimed to be as sound as a pound - er, Franc, um Euro. . . oh the the hell with it. Equally importantly, all the glass and what trim there is seems to be intact, both plusses.

What could you do with an Acadiane? Well, if your love of all things Citroën runs sufficiently deep, this would make for a very cool around town grocery-getter, its maybe 55mph top speed limiting it to that sort of duty. Or, alternatively, you could use it to hide a Ferrari.

Whatever the decision of the new owner, the current one wants $4,000 for the honor. What do you think, does that price make this one ragin' Cajun? Or, for that much would you French kiss it goodbye?

You decide!

I knew I should have taken that left turn at . . . Craigslist or go here if the ad disappears.

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