RAC Cars News


The Return of The Citroen 2CV

By raccars Published

A trend for all things retro in décor, dress and even food, appears to have filtered down to the motor industry too, with the Citroen 2CV coming back from the dead. After 40 amusement inspiring years on the road, the 2CV was dropped from the Citroen line up in 1990, but has since built up a huge cult following.

The 2CV was launched as Citroen's answer to the need for super budget, back to basics vehicles, an equivalent to the VW Beetle, Mini and Land Rover. Those core values still apply for a number of restorers and licensed parts manufacturers. Long a target of restoration enthusiasts, 'new' 2CVs have become a serious business. The number of 2CVs being newly registered in the UK is growing every year, but strictly these don't count as brand new cars, as the law limits new cars to only one reconditioned part.

The simple to work on 2CV is a favourite project for amateur restorers, but should you lack the space, skills or wherewithal to restore your own, £10,000 will buy you an 'as new' version from The 2CV Shop. The 2CV boasts some pretty modern fuel economy figures too, getting up to 55mpg. However, it's not a car for the impatient, with a top speed of about 72mph – but that's not what the 2CV is designed for. These days, 2CV enthusiasts are all about the fit and finish, with an incredible array of colourways and interior decorating schemes making every model unique.

Restored models use the original 602cc air cooled engines, as they are incredibly resilient if maintained properly, but other mechanical components have been subject to significant modern improvements.

While restorations usually require a donor vehicle as a starting point, there's a hefty list of new parts for each restoration, including the chassis, wheel bearings, shocks, brakes, alternator, carburettor, windscreen, wings and rear window. Generally, about half of the car gets replaced. One of the most important parts of the process involves removing the original contact points set up in favour of an electronic ignition, which makes for a much more reliable car. The boot lid and bonnet are often originals, in addition to suspension arms, doors and side windows and spring tubes, while the gearbox is usually rebuilt.

While the 2CV has definitely earned classic status it makes a pretty practical everyday car and, with its popularity rising, now is the time to invest.

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