Live Auctions

Beach Season Ride: 1969 Citroen Mehari

Barn Finds reader Chuck F. must know me pretty well by this point, as he sent in a tip for this 1969 Citroen Mehari with my name specifically called out on it. Chuck, for that reason alone, I’m buying this thing and parking it on your lawn. All kidding aside, I actually do love these ridiculous little beach cruisers ever since seeing one collapsed in on itself at an auction in New Hampshire. French cars in general are really pretty nuts in terms of what passed for production-quality machinery, and for that reason alone, I love some of the nonsense that the likes of Citroen and Peugeot produced over the years. This Mehari has clearly seen better days, but given how few even exist today, you’d be hard-pressed to do better if you need a new project or  a parts car. Find it here on craigslist for $300 near Charlotte.

When I first laid eyes on the Mehari at the auction, I was stunned to see the bodywork folded up like a plastic cup. That’s because it was plastic – which just sent the goofy factor through the roof. God bless the engineer and his boss who decided to green light this thing for production. What’s even nuttier is you could buy one of these with four-wheel-drive, which to me seems like a home run for any EV manufacturer that wants to sell an overpriced golf cart to second-home owners residing in tropical climates. This would sell like hotcakes, especially if it could traverse the occasional sand dune without getting stuck. While there wasn’t much to a Mehari to begin with, it’s still pretty clear this one isn’t exactly complete.

Since the Mehari weighed almost nothing, the flat twin-cylinder engine makes sense here, but it’s still pretty far from being quick. The good news with this project-grade Mehari is that anyone who owns a trucklet like this in the states is likely salivating over the cache of spare, obsolete parts up for grabs. Even if there’s not much here to look at, I’m guessing almost any component on a Mehari that needs to be replaced would require a fairly epic treasure hunt. Then again, as social networks have shown us, there’s an ass for every seat and plenty of enthusiasts have banded together to help other owners of obscure and orphan makes find needed spares.

God, I like this seller already. The Mehari is cheap at just $300, but I don’t know that there’s any value here other than plucking a spare part or two off of it for a project that is otherwise paused due to component failure. Of course, given there’s not even a steering wheel, there may not be much on here worth saving. If I did own a Mehari (thanks, Chuck, for that idea) – I would be all over this. I actually just sold a truck I’m not going to get to as a guy needed it for the body panels with the drivetrain basically being a bonus. There’s definitely a buyer out there that needs this, but the seller may have to wait a while to find them. Hopefully, he doesn’t lose faith and send this rare oddball to the scrapyard in the meantime.

Comments

  1. Ten50boy

    …….🤔……..I got nothing…….🦗🦗🦗🦗

    Like 2
  2. SebastianX1/9

    The synchronizity is extraordinary. I had never heard of this car until I saw this promo video from an Argentine car channel I follow that is featuring these in an upcoming episode.

    Then 1-2 hoyrs later, browsing this site…boom, another one of these. Bizarre. Cool cars; very Fantasy Island.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Zn5Gb9DRbeE

    Like 3
  3. Roy Marson

    In the early 80’s I used to commuter in one in N. LA. Could run easily at 65 mph. Believe it or not it is worth while restoring and i would buy it now if it was in Ca. All oarts available in France from the Mehari Club. Main thing is the chassis, is it whole? Plastic panels are pop riveted on.

    Like 4
    • Derek

      Chassis doesn’t matter (it’ll be rotten anyway), because new ones are available. That’s a good price; if it were next door to me I’d have it.

      Like 3
  4. Till J.

    This car remembers me on summervacations in france. Well, this price is OK for such an parts car… Perhaps somebody buys this one and than, he have a look for a second good one in france…

    Best regards,
    Till J.

    Like 2
    • kvanlang

      The front grille is different from the European version. You can buy a galvanized chassis in France.

      Like 2
  5. Howard A Member

    I got plenty,,okay,, 3 lug wheels, check, unconventional mechanics, check, corregated sides,,check, yep, it’s French alright. Inboard brakes, nice,,you know we have to remember, this thing was for back alleys and such. Certainly out of place here. Anyones guess how it ever got here, price is right. And naturally, that bumper sticker is clearly for me. I thought I originated that saying,,,

    Like 7
  6. angliagt angliagt Member

    Interesting vehicle,but how does the plastic body
    hold up over time?

    Like 1
    • Rick in Oregon Rick in Oregon

      The plastics were ABS if I recall, and although the tended to warp over time I understand a heat gun and some patients works wonders. Basically a 2CV with a plastic utility body on the chassis. Funky, cool, Citroen!!!

      Like 4
  7. Martin Horrocks

    As commented above, not much point in this as a parts car as ALL parts are available new and cheap. In any case, a concours Méhari should be less than $20000 in Europe. France, Spain and Portugal all built and sold Méharis, and they are cheap in Portugal particularly.

    Like 1
  8. Lance

    Mehari? More like Meugly

    Like 3
    • Howard A Member

      Now, now, let’s not pick on the French, they’ve had a rough time. (btw, I too laugh at some of the French wording, Peter Sellers was the best at slaughtering the French language)

  9. Mark Mitchell Member

    I have had a couple of these in the past and currently have a nice 2CV. One of my Mehari’s was parked in front of my house, and evidently some neighbor kids thought it would be fun to coast it down the hill for a joy ride. Of course it ended up in a ditch at the bottom of the hill. I found it later that day and it appeared to be totaled, but after carefully winching it out, there wasn’t a scratch!

    Like 1
  10. steve

    SOMEBODY is going to grab this. These, as I recall, got the bigger 602cc engine which goes in the 2CV like it belongs there.
    Yes, I’ve actually driven one. The body is ABS plastic without any real ultraviolet inhibitors in it. The color is molded right though but they fade anyway and, after a few years, the plastic has the consistency of NECCO wafers. Oh dang..it’s about 2 hours away and the trailer IS hooked up behind the van……Somebody stop me!! The last thing I need is one of these!!!

    Like 7
    • Derek

      Dae it! Dae it!

      Like 2
  11. Matt C

    Well, first off, one of my friends cousins had one of these along with a few oddball vehicles, I looked at it ( it was in pretty good shape too just faded a bit) a year or so later I thought I might give it a try to buy it, apparently due to some indiscretion on the owners part he had to “go away for a while” and it was gone much to my dismay. I recall that there were parts of the fiberglass/plastic body that you could see daylight through. Unfortunately I never saw it again and yes it was quite the strange or unique vehicle. Oh and the other alternative ending to that bumper sticker is … so whoever visits me has a place to park their bicycles.

  12. MikeH

    As someone said, ALL parts are available including the chassis and body. If I were restoring any 2CV based car I would replace the chassis— there will be rust.

    https://www.mehariclub.com/en/mehari/

  13. Gregory Lane Member

    What about the million or so Peugeot 404’s and 504’s running around Africa and the Middle East?

  14. FOG

    If you ran dock/pier shuttling service at a large marina, this would be money maker. The allowable weight restrictions would be permitted on the docks.

  15. Mike

    I’m a little surprised about all the positive comments here. Apparently, people know about these quirky little cars. I was expecting the usual “I don’t get it” crowd and lame ugly jokes.

    Like 3
  16. Mike

    That’s like a moped, fun to ride but u don’t want your friends to see u on it!

    • Michael Berkemeier

      I always thought it was “fat chick”, not moped?

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