Weirder Than A 2CV: 1969 Citroen Weekender

Todd FitchBy Todd Fitch

Here’s something you don’t see every day. Thanks to Pat L. who spotted this unusual find here on Craigslist in Seattle, Washington, though the… car? truck? thing? itself is located in Alaska. Citroen mated the front of its ubiquitous 2CV sedan with the rear of a panel-sided Truckette (with windows) to create the 2CV Weekender. Weekenders (also called Fourgonnette Weekender) became the French equivalent of a 60’s “Hippie Van.” For $17,000 this vehicle and its basket of weirdness can be yours.

Many car enthusiasts recognize this “face that only a mother could love” as a Citroen 2CV, or perhaps simply “one of those crazy little French cars.” Conceived for a similar purpose as Germany’s Volkswagen or “People’s Car,” the 2CV at one point sold for half the price of a VW “Beetle.” Sedans weigh only slightly more than half a ton.

Elegant and simple, the 2CV cockpit includes nothing without purpose. Tube-frame seats recall low-budget lawn furniture, needing only some interwoven green and white plastic strips to complete the look. Austere seat cushions offer all the padding of a Paris newspaper. Engineers will appreciate the 2CV’s ingenious suspension design. The long travel and soft rebound perfectly matches the car’s original agrarian mission of giving farmers a vehicle they could afford and trust on back roads instead of a horse. For a wonderful history of this quintessential French vehicle read this page on curbsideclassic.com.

Wait; I think my lawn tractor has this engine. Does that say “Briggs & Stratton?” All joking aside my lawn tractor’s 22 HP V-Twin makes 22 HP, nearly double the 12 HP of the 2CV’s 435 cc (26.5 cu in) flat twin engine (some details from Wikipedia). For comparison a friend of mine had a BMW motorcycle from the ’90s with a a flat-twin motor that made 95 HP. Top speed is under 50 MPH and MPG can reach nearly 50 as well. The seller says this nearly stock Weekender runs great and everything works as it should. It would make a darling “Beach Car” for a vacation home in the Pacific Northwest. What do you think of this French bread van?

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Comments

  1. Rock On

    So weird that it’s almost cool 😎.

    4+

  2. Dairymen

    My uncle had 1 in the late 70’s without windows and used it as his company van for all the parts & tools for his business.

    0

  3. Derek

    It’s possible to fit the aforemention BMW engine (4 valve oilhead) – needs an adaptor plate and some jiggery pokery. The results are highly entertaining….

    2+

  4. 86 Vette Convertible

    I won’t swear it’s the same model, but every time I watch one of the Pink Panther movies, there’s a spot where Peter Sellers is driving something very much like that in the movie. I just always think of that movie when I see something like this. I think it was supposed to be a phone company truck IIRC. No other comments on it.

    2+

  5. Joe Haska

    A friend of mine has two of these both sedans, and beautifully restored, they are really flawless and the color combinations are over the top. Talk about babe magnets, it is un-real, the lady’s just go crazy for them, it is as powerful as walking the cutest puppy in the park.

    0

  6. LAB3

    My first impression before reading was someone had a VW and an old mail truck to use as project to avoid cabin fever one winter. Definitely funky and I like funky for sure although for $17k you could build a two car garage, get some tools and a couple of wrecks and wait for the snow to fly…

    1+

  7. Tony Waters

    Once upon a time, 52 years ago, I was hitch-hiking

    from Grenoble to Paris when a 2CV baker’s van

    stopped for me. The vehicle was much like the one

    listed, but with solid panels rather than windows at

    the back, and the smell of bread. At about 35kph, it

    took five hours for a two-hour trip.

    2+

    • James HGF

      Five hours between what points/towns on your route? Someone may mistake it for 5 hours @ 35 kph between Grenoble & Paris. It’s 575 km between Grenoble and Paris. A minimum of 3 hrs by TGV – high speed train.

      Per a French site the vol d’oiseau (as the crow flies) distance is 481 km, which can be covered in 36 mins @ 800 kmh. Kinda tough to get a crow up to that speed. Love to know why they chose that particular speed. A subsonic cruise missile in the chicken coop?

      0

  8. Tony Waters

    I assume that the origin of the 2CV is well known, but

    here it is. At the time, France taxed cars according to engine size. Renault was state owned. Citroen came

    out with a 2hp car which attracted much less tax

    than Renault’s smallest car. The govt responded by

    changing the way cars were taxed, which negated

    the CV’s price advantage. As a result, the 2CV

    became a symbol of rebellion, of giving the finger to

    the government, and had a cult following for years.

    5+

  9. Will Owen

    I have not seen the window-van version; the commonest Fourgonette has a sort of Quonset hut (Quonsette?) back there, though the first time I was up close and personal with one I tried hard to figure out if me and a sleeping bag would fit. Unfortunately it was full of tools and stuff … I am always on the lookout for The World’s Smallest Camper; my Austin Mini wagon kinda made the grade, though it required a floor extension and the back doors open, with a tarp thrown over. This just might be the ticket, though I suspect that passenger seat would have to move. Luckily, that’s just a few bolts …

    1+

    • Steve Cota

      I have an AK-400 same basic vehicle as this one, the seats come out without any tools, (just pull the pin) they are designed to be used as camp chairs when out of the car and leave plenty of room for sleeping when they are out, The previous owner of mine built little wooden cabinets in the back and did some extensive camping with it (here in the USA) They usually have only one side window in the back, I suspect someone added the extra windows as a modification.

      0

  10. gaspumpchas.

    that 2cv had the gearshift coming thru the dashboard.Had a bud who had 4 of them,kept em going!!!

    0

  11. GlenK

    The price is pretty optimistic, these are not that rare in the 2CV world. About 12 to 13,000 is more like it. That if you can get that much as they seem to have hit a low as demand has caught up with supply.

    1+

  12. Howard A Member

    Horribly inept for American roads today.

    1+

    • MikeH

      Actually, that’s not true. I drove an ’86 for ten years [86-96] as my daily driver in Dallas, Texas. My daily commute included freeway driving. They will run 55-60 with no trouble—well, maybe, up a long hill. BTW, mine had the 12V, 602cc engine, as does this one. I now have a ’56 with the 425cc engine.

      1+

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Mike, I should clarify, inept for modern intercity, freeway driving. I live in a very rural area, no 4 lanes, all 2 lanes ( maybe a 3 lane here and there) and 55-60 is fine for that, however, on a recent visit to southern Wis., I would go between 65-70, and passed no one. I’d say the median speed on I-94 was about 75. ( they just raised the speed limit to 70) I like this truck, be perfect for in my little town, but you’d kill this thing in modern traffic. Wouldn’t be fair, it was never designed for that.

        2+

  13. Chas

    I grew up in France in the late fifties to late sixties. These cars were all over the place and the first car I ever drove. They came in all sorts of configurations and were adapted free style as well. Hard topped wagons without windows, these ones like offered here with the windows, canvas tops stretched over wooden frames, flat beds were all pretty common. The soft suspension was designed specifically to give a smooth ride over plowed fields while carrying a basket of eggs. That was the standard they aimed for. Not so reliable but fun and bouncy to drive. In those days when you applied for a drivers license you had to know all the component parts of an automobile as well as basic mechanics to get things started and keep them running. I have fond memories of riding around the countryside in these.

    2+

  14. juan

    They were born and made for another country/time/reality, yes, it´s slow, underpowered, noisy and not tough but simple, eaay on gas, pats and dependable, Inever liked them but I learn to see the good side of them and most of you don´t know how it goes on muddy roads, it´s almost unstoppable!
    I rembember when I was 14 a friend of mine owned a junkyard and bought one for scrap it but it wasn´t that bad so we used it (it had the 12HP engine, later came with 18 both numbers not Tax, real power), one time we were painting the numbers of an airfield,when we finished onour way back were loosing speed really fast, it was uphill and against the wind (it was not that hilly) with 2 teenagers 140kg both, 2 brushes and an empty paint can , whe finished before turning were more or less at turtle speed, laughed a lot about it.

    0

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