The Citroen 2CV, they last forever if you maintain them properly. - Telecaster Guitar Forum
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Old February 20th, 2013, 08:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The Citroen 2CV, they last forever if you maintain them properly.


Ah the 2CV, a timeless classic. One that continues to be seen on the road more than fifty years after the first one went on the road. Lovingly referred to in my country as "De Eend" (The Duck)

2CV's can be good dependable cars if you maintain them properly. However, back in 1985, a Dutch consumer program had a segment called "The wreck of the week" where each week they would showcase a car which the police had pulled over earlier that week. During the time that that show was on the air they had plenty of dumpsters on wheels but the most memorable was this 2CV...


Even if you don't understand Dutch, it's still pretty easy to figure out what exactly was wrong with that car...

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Old February 20th, 2013, 09:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Always thought that was a stupendously cool ride. Wish I had one.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 09:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow...so rusty it broke in half. (I've had 2 cars that did that, just not while I was driving thank goodness)
Cool vid, thanks for sharing this.

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Old February 20th, 2013, 10:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here is one I took a shot of in Paris (in the private parking lot at Notre Dame cathedral!) the autumn before last. It is indeed a classic - and very French - design.

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Old February 20th, 2013, 11:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I love the happy face the dutch kid painted on the front.

The pickup versions are really cool too. The owner of a local restaurant has this one, I see it parked all over, although not in the winter:





Here's how the front looks like without a happy face:

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Old February 21st, 2013, 03:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have seen a hot rod based on it, very similar to this die cast model. Eventually they look so similar that it could have been the original for this model.


The front wheel drive allows for some spectacular designs in the rear end. I really like this one!

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Old February 21st, 2013, 04:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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They do make cool little rat rods:









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Old February 21st, 2013, 05:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I was over in France in the late 70's, surfing....;)

the first time I saw one of these cars I wanted one..... way cool cars.... they were everywhere in the country.... city and rural...

the little wagons are great.. and the soft top sedans.... le cowabunga ;)
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Old February 21st, 2013, 05:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Citroen, it's french for "lemon"
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Old February 21st, 2013, 07:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by HoodieMcFoodie View Post
Citroen, it's french for "lemon"
Ha ha... But no it isn't. That's "citron", which is what the French sometimes affectionately/sarcastically call these cars. André Citroën was a pretty smart designer who came out with some brilliant vehicles before being essentially shafted out of his own firm in 1936 by the Michelin company. The two little dots in his name (without which the spelling is wrong) are not like the German Umlaut, but are called a diaeresis. This indicates that the vowel over which it is placed is to be pronounced as a separate syllable - so in this case the name is properly pronounced "Cit-ro-en" in three syllables. Alternative pronunciations are without exception incorrect.

The pics here all show the later, smooth-panelled body design, but the earlier ones from the late 1940s onwards had corrugated panels and I never saw one that wasn't grey (except two-tone grey and rust). They rattled and bounced their way around slowly and cheerfully for decades and despite their extreme simplicity were superbly comfortable. Seemingly they were designed so that French farmers could transport baskets of eggs across ploughed fields, which explains the very compliant suspension. Strangely, although lean angles in cornering are quite extreme, they hang on very well on their skinny little tyres and are great fun to drive at the modest speeds of which they're capable.

The shocking example in the video would never have got into anything like that state in the UK - it would have failed its annual MoT test and been scrapped years previously. I'm astonished that even in the 1980s it was still allowed on the road in the Netherlands.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 08:03 AM   #11 (permalink)
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dang some of them rods look awesome!!

my girlfriend owns a 02 saxo, and even though it's yet to break down,
it's the worst made car I've ever driven....and i've owned lots of ****ty
old cars: ) and some good ones like a 67 split vw bus.

the car rattles constantly in the doors, chassis...everywhere,
even when you're stopped at traffic lights: )

compared to a friends vw polo of the same year, there's no comparison.

i love the duck, but the french should stick to food and leave the cars
to the germans!
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Old February 21st, 2013, 02:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Every time I see one of those cars I always think of the one in the James Bond movie, where Bond and that gorgeous girl get chased in one by the bad guys. The car gets shot, goes off-road several times, up and down hills and through the trees, and even rolls over at one point. No problem: the bystanders just push it upright and they take off again.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 02:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Very cool car, the "Tin Snail"! Armchair ride and can be driven flat-out (you need to, they're not quick) forever!

There's just something about French design that somehow appeals to the nostalgic in me. The DS is my fave....



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Old February 21st, 2013, 07:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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we knew an old guy who worked on Peugeots and had a yard full of them.... any time we needed a cheap car we'd go over to Steve's and see what he had...

I've driven 404's 504's 505's over a decade 80's/90's and all of them were excellent unkillable reliable cars... most comfortable seats in any car I'd driven .... parts were cheap and interchangeable between models.... handle beautiful on dirt and bitumen...
they had R&P steering, 4 wheel discs, independent suspension, 4 cyl... on 70's cars..... way before most other cars sold over here had features like that...

Steve retired and went fishing... haven't had a Pug since... ;)

I kinda like the cars the French build.... and would have one over a US built car...
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Old February 21st, 2013, 07:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The shocking example in the video would never have got into anything like that state in the UK - it would have failed its annual MoT test and been scrapped years previously. I'm astonished that even in the 1980s it was still allowed on the road in the Netherlands.
Actually, it wasn't allowed on the road. Which is why there's cops in that clip, they were actually astonished that that one was still being driven, when they pulled it over the owner basically said "here take it." because he knew that his car was wrecked.

The clip also says that the owner bought it used (probably from a scrap dealer) for a measly 150 Dutch Guilders which was not a case of money well spend.

There's still a big market for scrap cars which can be bought for very little money and most don't have an MoT. But most of those cars go to tuners who use them for parts, so while a large percentage of those cars will never see a road again, deathtraps will always be around.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 07:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I love French cars, they are so different to the boring transportation appliances we are stuck with here. But if I can barely get my Mazda fixed where I live, I can't even imagine trying to keep up the SM that I've always wanted...
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Old February 21st, 2013, 08:58 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Actually, it wasn't allowed on the road. Which is why there's cops in that clip, they were actually astonished that that one was still being driven, when they pulled it over the owner basically said "here take it." because he knew that his car was wrecked.

The clip also says that the owner bought it used (probably from a scrap dealer) for a measly 150 Dutch Guilders which was not a case of money well spend.

There's still a big market for scrap cars which can be bought for very little money and most don't have an MoT. But most of those cars go to tuners who use them for parts, so while a large percentage of those cars will never see a road again, deathtraps will always be around.
Ah well, that makes a difference. While I can read a bit of Dutch, the spoken language is hard for me to follow and I didn't get that bit. But presumably in those circumstances the guy must have been driving without insurance, which is a serious no-no here that gets severely penalised - I assume it's the same in NL and was so even in the 80s.

Meanwhile I couldn't agree more with redstringguitar about Citroëns in general and the DS in particular. I remember seing the DS when it first came out at the 1955 Motor Show at Earl's Court, London. It was a huge sensation, massively in advance of anything else around at the time. That it remained essentially unchanged other than in detail for some 20 years tells its own story. Even today in my opinion it holds up aesthetically and as a viable motor car. I never owned a DS, though I've driven them, but I did have a 1986 BX19TRS for 12 years from 1990 and it was a most wonderful car. I also had a Peugeot 205XS for a while and that was terrific as well.

It may be fair to say that the French cars are perhaps nailed together a little less thoroughly than their German counterparts, but I've found the latter to be efficient, clinical, cold and impersonal. The French makers, it seems to me, managed to engineer panache and personality into their vehicles.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 09:04 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Very cool car, the "Tin Snail"! Armchair ride and can be driven flat-out (you need to, they're not quick) forever!

There's just something about French design that somehow appeals to the nostalgic in me. The DS is my fave....



Yes, very French.
Most of the RHD vehicles and and some of the design/development was done at the Citroen UK Slough works.
It was perhaps the best vehicle Citroen ever made but French taxation limited it to an undersized engine. Even so the Safari won a fair few rallies.
DS pronounced Desse translates as "goddess"

To turn a deux chevaux around in a tight spot, one simply picks up the back end and walks it about. I have heard them referred to as deux chevres (two goats)
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Old February 21st, 2013, 09:05 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Love those cars, here's my mine, made out of tomato cans . The sardine can key for the folding roof for tinniness, also that's the last fish of a family of four.











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Old February 21st, 2013, 09:12 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Yes, very French.
Most of the RHD vehicles and and some of the design/development was done at the Citroen UK Slough works.
It was perhaps the best vehicle Citroen ever made but French taxation limited it to an undersized engine. Even so the Safari won a fair few rallies.
DS pronounced Desse translates as "goddess"

To turn a deux chevaux around in a tight spot, one simply picks up the back end and walks it about. I have heard them referred to as deux chevres (two goats)
Déesse, actually, but you're right. There was also the slightly lower-spec ID19, or "idée" - idea.

Talking of Citroën Slough, do you remember their Bijou model? A pretty little glass-fibre body on a 2CV chassis. Very few survive, I'd guess, but oddly there's one in the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, complete with its original British registration plates.
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