When I think of French cars, I typically think of tiny cars with odd angles and quirky looks, but when I saw this Peugeot that Mike H found here on eBay, I was surprised by how conventional it actually looks. If you didn’t know better, you might even mistake it for a ’50s American built classic. Of course once you start to study it closely, you can tell it wasn’t built on our shores, but it will surely create a stir at local car shows! And if the looks don’t cause some interest, this car’s history should! It has traveled all over the globe, from Sri Lanka to Kenya and then somehow to Virginia! The seller has done a lot to this car to get it running and safe to drive, but they have decided it’s time to find a new project. They have started bidding at the odd amount of $4,826.12. Special thanks to Mike for the tip! Read more »
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a good candidate to own a Jeep. I’ve got nothing against them, personally, but I just don’t quite have the bravado to use one to its full potential. And it’s not an elitist thing, at all – I just have way too much appreciation for the weird and quirky to ever do a Jeep justice when pulling up to the fire pit on the beach. Now, a Citroen Mehari on the other hand, would plaster a goofy grin on my face 24/7. This 1985 example is here on eBay with a price-tag of $12,900 (thanks to Barn Finds reader Robert R. for spotting this) and you’ll need a boat to get it home, as it’s in the Netherlands. I know a Citroen of all things doesn’t scream Americana and is far from patriotic, but when I consider the Mehari, all I can think of is a design team that understood the universally-appreciated sentiment of a beach buggy: it’s slow, but beach traffic always is; the roof and windows disappear to let in that salty, humid air; the colors are bright, something much-needed after a long New England winter; and you can just hop out of the thing to get to the water faster – no doors needed. It may not be a Jeep, but if your taste in people carriers errs on the side of eccentric, a Mehari may be just what you need.
Often, cars are not all that different from those of us that own them: as we get old, systems and the body that houses them can slow down and become vulnerable to forces that never used to affect us, like the arrival of winter. This very original 1973 Peugeot 504 here on eBay with the reserve currently unmet reminds me of almost every older neighbor I have here in New England: when the time is right, they pulled up roots from a northern state and headed south to the more hospitable climate of Florida, where this car currently resides after being purchased by the seller from the original owners in New Hampshire. However, he didn’t get it out of our salt-encrusted climate soon enough and it will require some rust repair and patching along the floors and other low-hanging points to stay watertight. But with the interior already done and decent original paint, this seems like an example where some bodywork would be worth the investment.
The guys over at Lucky Auctions just let us know about a 1963 Facel Vega Facel II that was recently pulled out of a garage in Hollywood. It may not look it in the photos, but when this car was new it was one of the fastest four-seaters around! The styling was unique, but the mechanicals were fairly common. Power was provided by a Chrysler 383 V8 and shifting was handled by a Torque Flight automatic. Apparently, when fitted with a four-speed, these could easily outrun a Mercedes Gullwing! The combination of exotic good looks and reliable American muscle attracted quite a few celebrities so the company enjoyed some notoriety until it eventually went belly up. This particular example needs some help, but the engine is claimed to have been rebuilt and much of the chrome redone. It will cross the block during Lucky’s Spring Classic auction at the end of month. Keep reading for more photos. Read more »
If you open almost any book about achievements in automotive history, the Citroën Traction Avant will likely grace at least one page. These front-drivers were considered revolutionary in their day, both for the drivetrain configuration and the ample space within the interior. Although the car effectively bankrupted Citroën to produce, it gained notoriety for its durability and comfort. This 1952 example here on craigslist looks dusty but solid, and has some interesting garage mates – a vintage hot-rod is not what I’d expect a Citroën owner to have parked nearby! The seller’s asking price of $30k is high, in my opinion, but he does stress that reasonable offers won’t be refused. Would you make an offer on Andre Citroën’s creation to see if the seller would bite?
Update 4/17/15 – Looks like this Facel Vega is still on the market. It has been relisted a couple of times, but is having a hard time generating a bid much higher than $20k. That’s a lot of money, but considering how unique these are, you would think it would be worth it?
From 6/10/14 – French cars just have a certain character and flare that not even Italian cars can claim to have. Of course they aren’t fast, loud, or high strung stallions like what comes out of Italy, but they are quirky and unique. Facel-Vega was one of the few French brands that aimed to build a French car that could rival the Italians on the style and class front, while still retaining its French character. This 1964 Facel III is highly original and was under the same ownership for over 40 years. It needs some work, but looks to be in solid shape. It is one of only a dozen or so in the States and is definitely worth taking a closer look at. Be sure to check it out here on eBay. Read more »
It may be hard to tell from the charred remains, but this was once an achingly beautiful 1937 Panhard et Levassor Dynamic Parisienne X77. Sounds fancy doesn’t it? Well, it was! Panhard et Levassor was a French manufacturer, so you know that you’re not dealing with something ordinary. The exterior features flowing lines with half covered wheels and triple wiper blades. Inside there’s room to seat three across and the steering wheel is mounted right in the middle. This brings a new meaning to the phrase “double date”! The owner imported the car from France back in 1982 and at that time it was in excellent condition. Unfortunately, it was the victim of a tragic garage fire in 1992 and the seller just hasn’t been able to let it go until now. The car is located in Schenectady, New York and is listed here on eBay with bidding starting at $1,500. Thanks goes to Phil D. for the tip! Read more »
It’s rare to find these classic Citroens in working condition when they do pop up, and restored ones are commanding a serious premium as of late. This 1970 example here on eBay is cheap at the moment, with no reserve and bidding at just over $4,000. The DS would be my preferred choice despite the allure of a Maserati-powered SM, in the hopes that it’d be slightly cheaper to restore. The story here is a sad one, as the seller’s grandfather passed away after parking this 1970 example in the garage. As he notes, the interior contains memories of his grandfather from the last day he drove it, including maps and records. I’d have a hard time letting this car go, but if I didn’t have the budget to restore it properly, I’m sure the seller knows that his relatives would want to see it returned to its original glory. Would you take this one on, or hold out for the more sporting SM?
The boys over at Bring a Trailer just featured this stash of Citroen DSs and I thought it deserved a mention here too. There are about 40 cars and prices range from $1k to $4k depending on condition and body style. They all look like basket cases to me, but perhaps there is a gem in there worth saving. The seller claims that many of the cars are “mostly rust-free” because of their southwest location so there is some hope. Either way, this could be a great opportunity to pick up a parts car for your Goddess project. They are located in Colorado Spring, Colorado and you can view the post here on BaT or the ad here on craigslist. See anything you’d like to drag home?
This tiny little French microcar looks like you could put it in a large closet for storage! It’s located in Hopatcong, New Jersey and is for sale here on eBay with a buy-it-now of $5,000 but inviting offers. Short of a Peel, I haven’t seen many cars this small ever. The body appears to be relatively solid and minor spots of rust have been treated to prevent them getting worse. The motor will turn freely and the auction even includes a spare tire and wheel. However, the buyer is going to have to source a carburetor and figure out what to do about a title (although the importation paperwork is present). I’m not even sure I would fit in this car—would you? And do you want to?
This certainly is an unusual one! Caravelles were produced for 10 years, and although over 100,000 were produced the survival rate is very low, especially on this side of the Atlantic. This one is currently in what looks like a Mercedes specialist in Auburn, California, and is up for sale here on eBay with a buy-it-now of $3,500. Read more »
My introduction to the Citroen SM was reading an Automobile Quarterly article on the SM in 1970. I thought it was a concept car, nothing that sleek could actually be a production car, right? Not only did Citroen produce them, but they filled the engine compartment with a Maserati engine—wow! If you have been similarly struck by the sight of one, you may be interested in this pair that are available here on craigslist in Daytona, Florida. Read more »