Can you think of any car more elemental than a Citroën Deux Chevaux? Well, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Méhari is a 2CV stripped of all pretensions, and you’ll now have to decide if its price should have someone paying that stripper.
Yesterday’s 1981 Mazda RX7 was priced at a modest $2,500, and needed what the seller claimed was carburetor work. That’s usually car seller secret code for “get this money pit outta’ my life.” Still, many of you felt the siren song of a cheap but seemingly intact FB to be too strong, and it walked (or perhaps limped) away with an 83-percent Nice Price win.
Are you a daredevil? Do you like to live life on the cutting edge of personal endangerment? Do you have a robust life insurance policy to support your loved ones in the event of your untimely but totally avoidable demise? You are and you do? Well then, we have much to discuss.
Here we have a 1970 Citroën Méhari, a car based on the mechanicals from company’s 2CV but devoid of most of that car’s inherent safety and convenience features. This is the car for people who feel the VW Thing is too overly burdened by obeisance to government regulation and the “science” of automotive safety.
How is that? Well, first off the entire body is made of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene or ABS. That’s a plastic and the same sort of stuff a lot of our poop runs through as it’s what makes up the black plastic drain pipes you might see at the home center. Next up, the doors on this one are chains covered in black garden hose. As Goth as that sounds, it’s still not going to provide the same side intrusion protection as, say, sticking your arm out and shouting “whoa!”
Okay, enough of the nervous nelly description of this car, there has to be an upside, right? You’re darn tooting there is, and I’d appreciate it if you’d stop with all the tooting too. The Méhari’s plastic body and minimalist design mean that it tips the scales and a waif-like 1,200-pounds. Most of that is focused on the front wheels (make sure all three lugs are on there tight!) as the major contributor is the car’s 602-cc horizontally-opposed air-cooled two-cylinder engine.
That’s backed up by a four-speed manual transmission, operated by a dash-mounted lever. As a side note, I love driving 2CVs and Méharis owing to that shifter. In fact, whenever I’m walking around with a J-handle umbrella I like to stick it out in front of me and pretend I’m shifting a little Cit. Don’t you judge me!
The seller says the car needs its tank boiled out but I’m guessing that it runs since he notes that it can be “driven as is.” It comes with a new soft top and tires and… well, there’s really not much else for it to come with. It does have seats, and those need some new vinyl. Also, there’s something going on with the turn signal switch as it’s in-place in some pics, and dangling below the steering column in others.
Last issue is the body. These are based on the 2CV with its mechanicals and gloriously long-travelled suspension, but that body is all ABS and this one looks to be kind of wavy-gravy in the middle on both sides. It’s almost as if someone tried to fold it in half on a bet but got distracted a quarter of the way through. A thorough inspection of the underside would be warranted. A clean title (and yes, these came to America officially) is an added plus.
The price for this plastic fantastic? $7,500. That has come down from eight-grand just recently based on this ad’s predecessors. These cars are way fun, even if you’re taking your life into your own hands with every twist of the key.
This particular one needs a bit of kit (there are no wipers, and there’s that fuel issue) but all the parts are easily obtainable. Also, there just aren’t that many Méharis on the road any more, especially not here in the States.
What’s your take on this Méhari and that $7,500 price? Does that seem like a deal to go minimalist? Or, is that just too much for too little?
H/T to Jason Mauch for the hookup!
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