European Bargain: 1970 Citroen 2CV

The first production Citroen 2CV was delivered in 1949, and the car quickly became the butt of joke by comedians, politicians and motoring journalists. The joke turned out to be on them as during its life-time Citroen built and sold in excess of 5,000,000 of the distinctive little cars. This particular 2CV is advertised for sale here on eBay. It is located in Forest Grove, Oregon, and has a clear title. The seller has listed a BIN of $11,500 for this little beauty.

The gestation period of the 2CV was significantly longer than originally planned. Original design work commenced in 1936, with the car due for release in October 1939. Citroen had already built some 250 cars ready for its launch when World War II intervened, scuppering production plans. The majority of the early cars were destroyed by the French to avoid the design from falling into the wrong hands, although at least five of the originals (referred to as prototypes) survive to this day. Our feature car is being sold by an individual of few words, and only marginally more pictures. We are supplied with a total of four photos and a vehicle description that in total says. “In good condition.”

The interior certainly lives up to the seller’s description. What we can see does look quite nice, and it is certainly a huge step forward over the early production 2CV. The canvas sliding roof also seems to be in good condition. The windows installed in the rear pillars of this car identify it as a 2CV6, which means that it is fitted with the 602cc air-cooled 2-cylinder engine which pumps out 29hp. If that sounds a bit anaemic to you, it’s worth considering that the first production versions survived with a 375cc engine which generated a staggering 9hp.

Trunk space for this little Citroen is not huge, but given the amount of power available to cart luggage around, it could probably be described as “adequate”. Once again it all appears to be in good condition.

These are one of the more specialized of the classic cars, so deciding whether the price of this one is justified is a lot harder than some of the other cars that we feature on Barn Finds. A general search around the Citroen 2CV and the current sale prices indicates that this is probably one of the cheapest examples for sale in the USA at present. If you like your European cars but your budget is limited then maybe this little 2CV is worth a second look.

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  1. Otter

    Lived in Germany during late ’70s early ’80s. These things were everywhere, the Germans called them “Ducks”.

    Like 4
  2. Dairyman

    I drove one about 25 years ago. They’re fun but not fast. The suspension in these things is great: you can take curves full speed and they wont break out (or turn over ). I always wanted to buy one but I’m not ready to fork over $380/hp lol.

    Like 4
  3. Tom

    I think my lawn mower has more base HP that this car – and probably handles better too! :)

    Like 2
    • wuzjeepnowsaab

      Maybe right on the hp but I doubt your lawnmower would handle better than a CV.

      Check out youtube videos of James Bond driving one of these in “For Your Eyes Only.” You’ll laugh as your jaw is dropping at what these little cars can do.

      Like 9
      • MFerrell

        This discussion made me curious. I looked up their suspension design… interesting and unique! Worth a look for anyone not familiar.

        Like 1
      • graham line

        That was Remy Julienne driving in FYEO.
        The 602cc engine is almost adequate for highway cruising if you don’t mind the absence of acceleration.

        Like 1
      • Little Cars

        Also one of these used extensively in some chick flick from the 1990’s (Devil Wears Prada? Miss Congeniality?). In the movie, they take one along a railroad track and through a viaduct (ala Italian Job) but in the end the little CV ends up in the drink.

        This is yet another listing where the photographer hasn’t got enough sense to the get the entire car in at least one photo. But, enough sense to stage the trunk with a picnic basket. C’est La Vie!

        Like 1
    • John Manders

      Please drive your lawnmower to your supermarket….

      Like 3
  4. Classic Steel

    I guess this one offsets massive trucks 👀🤠🤠🤠🤠😬. I like it in a quirky way for a short cruise

    Like 2
  5. jdjonesdr

    We rented one once in St. Martin. Fun little car. Seems a little high priced.

    Like 2
  6. Fred W

    Never saw this scene, so I checked it out here:
    I especially like the part where James takes over driving for the Bond girl, then flips the car while escaping the bad guys, going off the mountain road and down a hill, rolling over several times, then completing the roll wheels up on the same road down the mountain. Then there’s the obligatory Dukes of Hazzard jump scene. Those 2CV’s can take it! Scene ends (after back to regular driving) with “we haven’t been properly introduced…my name is Bond…”

    Like 1
  7. Fred W

    Never saw this scene, so I checked it out here:
    I especially like the part where James takes over driving for the Bond girl, then flips the car while escaping the bad guys, going off the mountain road and down a hill, rolling over several times, then completing the roll wheels up on the same road down the mountain. Then there’s the obligatory Dukes of Hazzard jump scene. Those 2CV’s can take it!

    Like 3
  8. Rue d'Anger

    I believe that this car is what they call “re-vinned”. They get a VIN off of a rusted out 2CV and then pop rivet it on to a later 2CV so they can import it into the states without having to meet safety or smog requirements. This has been common on Mini Coopers and Land Rovers as well. The DOT has been catching on to this. These cars were made in France until 1988. I suspect this particular car is an 80’s car judging by the trim, interior and tail lights. Caveat Emptor.

    Like 1
    • Martin Horrocks

      Certainly the car looks later than 1970. 2CVs were last built in Portugal in 1990 and 5000€ still buys a very good one in Spain or Italy.

      Ref the 007 2CV, the stunt cars were fully built with 1200cc flat four Citroën GS engine/transmission.

      Like 1
  9. mlm

    I’ve seen plenty of these in Germany but would have never thought to see one here in the US.

    Like 1
  10. mikestuff

    One of my favorite TV shows is “Midsomer Murders” a cop show from the UK. It started in the early 90’s I think, and played on PBS for years here. It’s just finished the 20th season, but of course TV shows from there usually only have 5-8 eps each season.
    The original cop, Tom Barnaby, had a wife and daughter named Cully who was a college student then did some acting and then got married. In some of the episodes probably from the late 90’s, she drove a 2CV which had those fold down windows and the big fabric sunroof. It was never a big part of the story but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in real life.

    Like 2
  11. Doug

    These cars were designed to be a car for farmers – needed the ability to cross a plowed field with a basket of eggs inside, and not break any eggs. This also
    explains the very basic ( virtually non-existant ) upholstery – sling chairs for the front seats, so the inside of the car could be easily cleaned . As time went on, more options became available. As I understand it , the reason for the canvas “sunroof” was twofold- first, it made the car cheaper and easier to produce, plus it allowed for the carrying of objects that would otherwise not fit inside – shovels, hoes, rakes ?

    Like 5
  12. Eelco zijlstra

    The door windows fly like bird wings when u open them while driving.

    Like 3
  13. FordGuy1972 Fordguy1972 Member

    Cheap cars, cheaply made in and out; literally a tin can on wheels. Doors are paper thin, noisey in the cab when running along and no power to speak off. It had the shifter sticking out of the dash as the gearbox was on the front of the engine. If I recall, reverse was in to the left(right hand drive cars) and first gear was straight back. It was a lot of fun backing up wide open and then throwing it in first. Those cars bounced really well!

    I had a teacher in high school who had a ’60s-era model, drab gray. When I graduated, for a prank, a couple of my classmates and I picked up the front of his car and hung it on a wrought iron fence by the bumper. He deserved it and I still graduated so it was a win-win.

    Like 3
  14. Fiete T.

    Saw this today…

    Like 1
  15. Jos

    This looks like a genuine 1970 car, not re-vinned. 1970 was the first year for the upright rear lights and probably the last year for the external folding roof lock mechanism. Also the inside door locks are period correct, they changed to a longer plastic cover across the whole door shortly after. The 2cv6 came slightly later, so this car had a 435cc engine originally. By now most have been swapped to an upgraded 602cc engine, takes only a few hours to do. It probably still has drum brakes up front. The rear side windows delete was typical for much earlier cars and for the later 2cv Special only. Judging from the rear sticker, this ‘duck’ was imported from Belgium.

    Like 1
  16. Howard A Member

    I’d almost expect 10 clowns to pop out. Pretty odd, even by French standards.

    Like 1
  17. Metoo

    Terry the Toad drove one in American Graffiti.

    Like 2
    • Little Cars

      He also rode a scooter. I didn’t remember it from the movie with so many ‘murican cars. Here’s a frame from American Graffiti. There is also a studio promo photo with Richard Dreyfuss in the CV instead of Toad, playing with the side curtain/wing.

      Like 1
  18. KevinLee

    One can only imagine what the enemy would have thought if they had seen the designs of these cars, Ach du Lieber!!!

    Like 1
  19. Dirk Septer

    Just looked at one for sale here on Vancouver Island, BC; This late 70s model had been imported from the Netherlands years ago an recently totally revamped. As the owner put in about $16 K, his asking price is $18,000. Though the first two cars I ever owned were 2CVs and would love to buy another one just for fun and nostalgic reasons, I quickly had to walk away before I would decide otherwise…..

  20. Daymo

    These are fantastic cars that have a cult following in Europe, especially in the UK.
    No, they’re not fast and yes, they are noisy, which is all part of the charm. But wind them up, keep your foot flat to the floor and they will go all day at full revs.
    The soft suspension and seating is unlike anything else on the road – apart from another Citroen – and irons out all the potholes.
    Swap out the engine for one from a GS/GSA and you have yourself quite a sleeper.
    Prices for these are on the up, quickly, and apart from very early models, just about everything you need is still available including galvanised chassis.

    Like 2
  21. Bobinott

    These are MUCH better cars than you would imagine from the spec sheet (I have had one for nearly 20 years, and still love it). Hard to tell the actual model year of this one with so few photos. That running board thing is a modification, and frankly I can’t imagine what it is actually attached to. Anyway, relisted for $10,350. Prices have been very strong on these recently.

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