In contrast to some actresses who strive to pass as younger, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 2CV is a more recent model trying to pass as older to get by certain regulations. Let’s see if its price tag gets a pass too.
By the narrowest of margins yesterday’s Wankel-powered 1974 Porsche 914 warmed our hearts but hummed its way to a 52% Crack Pipe loss. What really pushed it over the top wasn’t the seemingly misplaced mazda motor though, it was the radiator that looked under-spec’d and called into question the car’s build overall.
Do you know how many 914s Porsche (well, to be pedantic, Karmann) originally built? About 118,000 over the course of its life, including about 3,500 914-6 cars, but excluding the two 914-8 concepts. In contrast, how many 2CVs do you think Citroën produced over the 42-years of its remarkable production run? That number would be about 3.8 million. That’s a lot of cars, and it includes this 2CV6 Charleston.
Now, they say you shouldn’t keep all your eggs in one basket. Those who say that however have probably never driven a 2CV across a rutted farm field. That’s because one piece of design criteria for the 2CV was for it to absorb imperfections in the terrain over which it travelled without breaking any eggs in a basket carried within. That hence made it the perfect rural French farmer’s car.
The planning for what would become the 2CV began back before WWII and Citroën’s higher-ups had the prototypes hidden from the Germans upon their occupation lest the innovative design be stolen by the opportunistic invaders.
Germany already had the Volkswagen, but France’s “People’s Car” would prove to be roomier, more versatile, and cheaper to build and operate than would the Bug. That extremely basic nature is what engendered its success around the world, and probably what hampered it from succeeding here in the U.S..
2CVs are reasonably rare in the States, and ones like this 2CV6 never came here at all. U.S. imports of the 2CV ended in 1970 and while the “6” model, with its extra window aft of the doors, debuted the same year, 2CV sales here were dunzo by the time of its arrival. The Target 2CV Kit VIN plate on this one in fact indicates that it’s one of a number of cars that were brought over here in crates during the ‘80s and assembled here to avoid certain regulations. This calls into question this car being listed as a 1963 model.
Another factor that makes this later car appealing is its larger 602-cc engine. That air-cooled flat twin (yes, two cylinders) gives the car enough poop to keep up with bicycle messengers and prevent the frustration of having pedestrians pass you on the sidewalk. Still, it’s only about 29-bhp and so don’t plan on out-dragging that shit-talking kid on his Big Wheel.
The ad notes that about $3,000 in parts has gone into the car. That’s gone towards both mechanical and practical elements including things like a new alternator and bumpers. There’s still work to be done however as the car does suffer from some surface rot along the body and what might be some bad Bondo® on the front wing.
The interior seems tidy and neat—and has it’s ignition on the left, just like a Porsche 911! There’s a later-to-the-car but oh so retro now radio under the dash, sharing space with a pair of speakers and the umbrella-handle parking brake. Above the shelf is the 2CV’s weirdly wonderful push-me/pull-you shifter that takes some getting used to. Seats and whatnot seem to be fine here too.
Above all that you get a panoramic roof that folds back like the lid on a can of Chef Boyardee. That’s a cool feature, as are the windows that fold up for drive-thru burger access.
The seller says that the car has been owned by the same family for 20 years. Obviously none of the members of that family is an expert at auto paint as the car needs a new top coat once the rust issues have been addressed. It’s also a Charleston according to the badge and hence should have a jaunty two-tone paint scheme instead of the monochromatic one it presently sports.
Those are about the only concerns noted or notable in the ad. They are also probably the factors driving the $6,000 price tag, which is far lower than running examples typically go for here in the U.S..
What is your take on this 2CV for $6,000? Does that seem like a deal to get your Deux Chevaux on? Or, is this a Citroën priced to lead you on?
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