Clean Charleston: 1980 Citroen 2CV

The notion of dressing up a car that’s grown long in the tooth is a phenomenon not limited to domestic automakers. Enter the venerable Citroen 2CV, which had a VW Beetle-like tenacity as it related to its refusal to die despite becoming a thoroughly antiquated (yet still charming) machine. This 1980 model here on craigslist is a limited production Charleston model that featured unique colors and upholstery compared to lesser models.

The 2CV is listed with an asking price of $6,700, which the seller says may tick upwards as he tackles more of the outstanding work left on his punchlist. While listed for sale as a 1960 model, the seller suspects it’s actually closer to a 1980 model in reality. This has to do with when the Charleston trim was available and the ease of fudging the numbers.

On that last part, it’s helped by the fact that the 2CV basically looked the same throughout its entire production run. Due to import restrictions at the time, it was far easier to import a car that had paperwork establishing it as a much older vehicle, a trick we’ve seen pulled in recent years with Land Rover Defenders. Regardless, this one is legally titled.

The first run of 8,000 Charleston models proved very popular, and Citroen decided to make it an ongoing part of the lineup. The seller notes that while the 2CV runs well, it doesn’t like to sit idle as the brakes have a tendency to stick. The choke needs to be set correctly to smooth out the idle, and the seller references some vague “electrical work” needed.


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  1. Gene

    I actually saw one the other day, here in Mesa, Az…….looks like a cheaper VW bug………great to see older cars still chuggin along!

    Like 2
    • Dominique Legeai

      ..could have been mine; I live in Fountain Hills but drive my 2CV all over……was it white/red? with a picnic basket on the trunk?

  2. Daymo

    It’s certainly an 80s model. I see where the idea of being a 60’s model came from – the 60 on the reg plate. It doesn’t equate to the year of manufacture – it was registered in France’s 60th ‘Arrondisement’ (similar to a US ‘State’ or UK ‘County’).
    By the way, did you know the only way to roll one if these is by going backwards!!!!!

  3. Martin Horrocks

    I think that is “Region”, Daymo. Arrondissement only refers to municipal districts as in Paris and other major cities. Apparently 60 refers to Oise, which is north of Paris. But you are 100% correct to doubt the vintage, this is a 1980s 2CV, a relatively limited edition and relatively sought after.

    $6700 is more or less what you pay for a Charleston in Europe (then at least $2000 to ship and register) , so should be a good buy.

    Someone in S. Carolina, perhaps?

    Check for rust, but the same applies if you buy in the EU!

    Like 2
    • mike harrel

      “Departement” is the correct word.

  4. carbuzzard Member

    There were a couple of companies in the ‘80s that were importing pre-‘67 2CVs, stripping them to the floorpan, then installing fully up-to-date engine, brakes, etc. Because they were technically pre-‘67 models, they didn’t have to meet DOT/EPA requirements. A lot of them were finished with Charleston trim. This may be one of those.

    Like 2
    • mike harrel

      I bought a new ’86 Charleston and did exactly that–stripped it and shipped it to the US as car parts, then bolted it to a ’66 chassis that had a US title. At least in Texas, the title belongs to the chassis, so I has an all new ’66. Check the chassis for rust as the rust badly. New chassis are available, but they will set you back some time and money.

      Like 1
    • Dominique Legeai

      “Target” comes to mind….not the chain store of course, a now defunct company.

      • Louis Chen

        Citroen is still alive and well as a PSA group which is now owned by communist China. Used to own one of these when I lived I Paris while attending Le Cordon Bleu school. It was cheap to own and amazing comfy. Vive la France!

  5. Daymo

    I hate to disagree but PSA is NOT owned by China. It is partly owned by the French government. The rest is owned by Peugeot who also own Citroen and now both (Britain’s) Vauxhall and (Mainland Europe’s) Opel after being sold off by General Motors.

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