Oui S’il Vous Plaît! 1968 Citroën 2CV Fourgonnette

Si vous aimez les véhicules inhabituels autant que j’aime les véhicules inhabituels… I mean, if you like unusual vehicles as much as I like unusual vehicles, then surely a 1968 Citroën 2CV Fourgonnette is on your radar. Yes, please! This example is listed on eBay in Falls Church, Virginia with a $9,900 buy it now price or you can make an offer. Given recent prices for Fourgonnette examples, this seems like a reasonable price.

With a one-ton payload.. just kidding of course. The rear is really jacked up, though. The 2CV was made in post-WWII France as a way to give people cheap, basic transportation. They were made for four decades, from 1948 to 1988. 1988 seems like it’s so recent but it’s 30 years ago now, I still can’t get it through my head that it’s so long ago. They were made in Portugal from 1988 to 1990, also. 1.2-million Fourgonnette delivery vans were produced, that’s a pretty amazing number given that very few of them made it over to the US.

I wouldn’t think that the yellow headlights would be legal in all US states, but I must be wrong. The van, or Fourgonnette, was the workhorse of the bunch. I absolutely love the corrugated-looking cargo compartment on these vans but don’t plan on hauling as much as you’re used to hauling with your American SUV. One thing to keep in mind, the seller talks about “some rust in the rear cross member and the passenger footwell.”

The photos are more like an art student’s two-year photography degree thesis rather than serious photos meant to sell a vehicle, but again, they are what they are. They’re cool photos, no question about it, but cool photos aren’t the best for selling a vehicle – boring, centered, everything-in-focus, entire-vehicle-in-the-frame photos are the best. But I’m preaching to the choir. The seats actually look comfortable even though they’re sort of like a hammock or a lawn chair rather than a fully-supported seat. And don’t expect a headrest! These were tough work vehicles, after all, not plush commuter’mobiles.

The engine is a 435cc two-cylinder boxer engine which should have around 21-24 hp. It doesn’t seem like much but it was quite a bump from the 425cc engine with 16.5 hp. The seller says that it’s had a “full tune-up, with plugs, wires, coil, fluids, and a restored fuel bank.” I would absolutely love to have one of these l’il vans. For what? To use like any of my other oddball cars, just around town, driving them to local car shows, to the store, just to have fun with. Have any of you owned a 2CV?

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Comments

  1. philip

    it has a box chassis independent of the body so unless thats rusty small hole in shell are not a problem ,

  2. slickb

    I love the seats. they look like my lawn chair lol

  3. Nrg8

    According to the speedo, in 3rd gear you get that car up to 80 kph? Those are impressive numbers.

  4. Madmatt

    Who would want Recaro seats…?When you can have
    The luxury of these! Lotsa under seat storage though…lol..!
    One of the only Citreons that I like.

    Like 1
  5. Gun Smith

    I always fall asleep in lawn chairs

  6. JustTheCaptain

    “Acme Pool Service”
    https://youtu.be/3PJDCMCjW-A

    • Michael

      “It’s not my dog”

      • Rabbit

        “A bomb?!? What kind of bomb?” “The exploding kind.”

    • tommy

      now that’s funny right there!

  7. Rube Goldberg Member

    I’ve always thought these were designed by a 4th grader with an erector set. Basic transportation to move ( small) goods through the back alleys of Europe. It’s perfect. I-80, not so much.

    • Pa Tina

      Well, it wasn’t designed for I-80 was it? Perfect!

      • Rob S.

        Back alleys of europe! My god these things are so ugly they are cool! What A Great find!

        Like 1
  8. Pa Tina

    2CV Fugeddaboudit!

  9. Beatnik Bedouin

    Mon dieu! I haven’t seen one of those, stateside, since the early 1960s. The local Citroen dealer in Beverly Hills had one as its parts chaser, but by the time I was old enough to drive, it had long disappeared – I really wanted to buy it. It would have been totally useless in SoCal (see Rube’s comments above), but tres cool.

    • Pa Tina

      Au contraire! This would be perfect in LA. No need to take it on the freeway. Stay in one of the trendy neighborhoods (I guess they all are) and deliver cakes or flowers with it. You would be the Gran Chevaux with this pup. Go for it!

      • Beatnik Bedouin

        Perhaps, Pa Tina, if I’d have stayed in L.A. and went back into restoring and/or performance tuning cars as a business, it would have been a handy rolling ‘calling card’.

        I guess I’ll just have to settle for owning this French ‘classique’ for the time being.

        My ’84 Ford Sierra station wagon has the role of parts chaser and motorcycle/scooter collector, these days. I’m off to Auckland tomorrow to pick up the ex-Japan Fuji Rabbit bike I posted a pic of on Scotty’s recent Surbaru post.

      • Pa Tina

        Life is good, oui? bonne chance!

      • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

        Beatnik, let me know how that Fuji Rabbit looks when you get it!

        And, saying “I’m off to Auckland” is much cooler than me saying “I’m off to Iowa” or “I’m off to Wisconsin”. Not that those aren’t great states but they aren’t Auckland!

  10. Bobinott

    Love this truckette! I am a current 2CV owner, so I can comment on a few things. All of these cars/vans benefit from the larger 602 cc engine. However the 435cc is not bad around town, due to the fact that it usually is paired with lower gearing. In fact the 435 and 602 cars feel quite similar around town. But the 435 set up will run out of steam quickly on the highway. My 602 sedan will cruise happily at 60 mph (100 kph) and can touch nearly 75 mph (120 kph) on a good day (not counting on wind or hills!). The 602cc vans had a carrying capacity of 400 kg (almost 900 lbs). The seats are amazingly comfortable, in spite of their simplicity. And you can customize the support by adding or doubling up on the rubber bands (seriously!). This van has the advantage of the side windows in the box area. That is really nice. Otherwise the vans are really claustrophobic for taller drivers.

  11. Martin Horrocks

    This is very cheap. Looks nice but check for rust anyway.

  12. Bromehead

    Elle vient du Cantal, cheese country. J’y passais mes vacances gamin, superbe endroit. Les farinettes, crême de châtaignes, potée auvergnate!!

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Belle région!

  13. Riton

    Rare rear seat!

  14. mikeH

    This car has is a ripple bonnet as opposed to the bonnet used on later models. According to my parts book, the ripple bonnet for the AZU went away in July, 1961. That steering wheel went away in Sept, 1962. The wheels don’t have holes for hub caps. That type of wheel away around 1959, at least for the sedans. Maybe it’s a ’58 instead of a ’68??

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      I think you may be right, mikeH. I searched for 1968 models to see what they should look like and didn’t really find anything. I think this is older than 1968, I went with what the seller had listed to be safe.

  15. Drew

    In 2 years I would hope a photo student would know how to set a decent aperture.

  16. Joe Haska

    I have a big black std. French Poodle named Henry, he weighs a little over 70 lbs. This has to be the exactly, perfect mode of transportation for him. He loves my 53 P/U, but when he sees this, he is going to freak. I love it, but he is going to absolutely want it! And what ever Henry wants, Henry gets.

    • Loco Mikado

      A friend of mine in grade school family had a std French Poodle. You didn’t take it for a walk, it took you.

  17. Nevis Beeman

    To those of us who collect licence plates….notice the unusual way the rear plate is fitted…actually two plates; with the light in between ! (I’ve seen other French vans where half the plate is on one door the other half on the other rear door !) So quintessientally adorably French !

  18. James Turner

    What a piece of crap. It looks so cheaply built I’m surprised it doesn’t have tin tabs bent over to hold it together like the 1940,s to 1960,s tin toys had. Can you imagine another much heavier solid built car or truck crashing into the Front, Back, Side of this lightweight ??? I can think of a lot more solidly built foreign trucks with more payload and power to spend almost $10,000 on.

    • Pa Tina

      Perhaps you have missed the point of this ad? Would a potential buyer be concerned about “payload” Doubt it. Actually, you have pretty much missed the entire point of what the 2CV is all about.

      Like 1
    • Rube Goldberg Member

      While your comment showed some thought, ( tabs holding it together is pretty funny) this is just the kind of stuff Scotty was referring to. French don’t build crappy cars, and the 2CV is/was well known as the workhorse of Europe. It came in many forms. It was made from 1948 to 1990, an impressive feat in itself.
      Again, if you don’t like a car. please, keep it to yourself. Thx.

      • James Turner

        This is a PUBLIC forum to express each individuals opinions. I’m sorry your feelings were disturbed over my opinion about the French 2CV. But if you cannot the heat, Stay out of the kitchen The 2CV I am sure is fine for piddling around slow paced French country roads, But in especially American traffic. It would go the way of what happened to the YUGO. The VW beetle was developed in Germany for an affordable peoples car and was available in American markets starting in 1950 to around 1980 on the original concept and then revised to modern emissions / safety standards and still being built. Another automobile icon is the JEEP developed first as a WW2 military workhorse and still being produced over 70 years later in many different models. So to each his own, But Never tell anyone they cannot express their opinions in a public forum. NUFF SAID.

    • Charles

      Actually James, if you kept an open mind and took the opportunity to learn about unique and unfamiliar modes of transportation, you might be pleasantly surprised.
      The French 2CV is an incredible example of efficient, utilitarian, affordable transportation that was executed quite perfectly for its purposes at the time. Inexpensive, bulletproof reliability, and functionality, and fun to drive.
      You are correct, they are not extremely safe in collisions, but they are surprisingly durable in collisions, especially considering their minimalistic construction.
      The buyer of this Fourgonnette is not likely to be concerned about collision survivability or speed or performance, and will likely purchase this example for its charm and utility, which is really quite remarkable for what it is.
      You are certainly entitled to your opinions, but I encourage any and all automotive enthusiasts to learn about an unknown marque or model before you trash it. Otherwise the credibility of your opinions is suspect because you have failed to educate yourself on the topic.

      Like 1
  19. Adam T45 Staff

    I just love the amount of body-roll these things have when cornering. If you were resting your arm on the window when you went around a corner, you’d have the worst gravel-rash of all time on your elbow!

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      They do look unstable, but there’s a group that races them, and they do quite well, actually. Looks like they spin before they roll.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15sDd2OHrg4

      • Adam T45 Staff

        The first motor race that former Top Gear UK host Richard Hammond competed in was a 24 hour race for these. He scored a DNF after (so he claimed) one of his co-drivers broke the car.

  20. Ken Nelson Member

    Ah, Mr. Turner, this tin can may look like crap to folks like you, but underneath that single layer of sheetmetal body are very sturdy suspension arms mounted on ROLLERBEARINGS on a steel crosstube of about 3 inches in diameter – front AND rear. NO cheap rubber bushings as on ALL OTHER CARS in the world. ZERO need to check alignment for decades unless one hits a cinderblock or worse. Can ANYONE out there name another vehicle whose suspension arms are mounted on rock solid, zero maintenance BEARINGS instead of rubberbands?? AND this little baby can go damn near anywhere a 4×4 can go, with its FWD and incredibly long suspension arm travel.

    Now check this video out and see if your ride could do what these buggys do!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41NzZhyFhi4

    PS: I bought my AK van in Chicago around 1968 – found on the front lawn of the owner. spent 4 hrs fiddling it back to life, drove it home for $40. Blew a rear brake line from rust on the way, pinched line off with good ole’ visegrips, got home safely. Written across the top of the rear shepards’ hut box doors was “Chicago-Istanbul Express” and I’ll bet it did that trip! With 3 of us aboard one day, I drove the van over 8 inch thick freestanding railroad ties in the school parking lot, and those long leading & trailing suspension arms just WALKED right over them with hardly any body motion – try that in any 4 wheeler without banging your skull on the roof. You just have no idea how ingenious a design this was for the farmers of France AND thousands of others in a helluva lot of countries around the world. This vehicle is truly a milestone car.

    Like 1
  21. mikeH

    Here’s another video of children playing in the mud.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8WpuPYnCCI

  22. Riton

    Here in France, 2Cv enthusiasts can put these “bumper stickers” on theirs (LOL) regarding the security issues stated earlier here.

    Like 1
    • mikeH

      I love that bumper sticker. Where did you get it? Translation: “no airbags, no ABS, I die like a man”.

  23. Will Owen Member

    Always thought this was the 2CV to have … and at the moment am with a party in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, whose streets are mostly cobblestone and often quite steep, which as of two days ago made me think that a 2CV would be just the thing for getting around here. The bigger engine would be helpful, but even the existing one would crawl uphill at the speeds many locals do. And a whole lot faster than a 70+ YO guy can manage on foot. On the level or downhill it could probably outrun anything but a motorbike or off-road four-wheeler.

  24. DrD

    In the late 60’s my roommate and i used his 2CV as a photo car in the desert. Running along the paved roads, if we saw something in the middle of nowhere we wanted to shoot, just turn the wheel in that direction! Between the aforementioned suspension and the “pirelli” rubberband seats we were there in minutes, unharmed and unphazed. Great cars for going anywhere, it ran over small boulders at a good clip, larger ones required slowing down a little more.

  25. Jeff

    my wife drove one(Babette) for 15 years in Laguna Hills, Ca. and had a blast with the car. when we moved to the hills of Carmel Valley, she(the car) had trouble with the hills, so it was sold to a guy in Hawaii.
    Hemisphere Motors, has all the parts to keep a 2CV running, and their prices are more than fair.

    • Riton

      Did a quick Google search but nothing came up. Would they happen to have a webshop/site?

      • mikeH

        http://www.westernhemispheres.com/westernh/index.icl?orderidentifier=ID1518010509241512BD634235

        The prices are better at https://www.mehariclub.com/

        I linked to the French version. There is an English version out of the UK to help if you don’t speak French, but the prices are better from France.

      • Ken Nelson Member

        Jeff & Riton, I just heard Western Hemispheres is no more – was in Watsonville, Ca. Seems owner Miles retired – don’t know what happened to his inventory of all things French. Best 2CV place is “2CVsRUs” out of I think Seattle – they’re on google. Also a guy named Kenjii in same vecinity.
        2CVsRUs owned by Axel & Ushi Gabrielson if memory works – my son & I met them in ’94 on Raid America Northwest 3 wk 3500 mile road rally thru Canada into Glacier, Yellowstone – Pacific Northwest. 26 Ducks from all over the world. Axel & Ushi shipped theirs over from Germany, and eventually emigrated, started their business. Great people, great memories. We were in my recently roadable ’67 DS21 cabrio as I didn’t have a Duck then, so we were the breakdown car with the most tools. Broke 5 windshields, but flat glass – all got fixed at the next town. One Duck caught a wheel on hellish pavement edge, overcorrected, flipped over on opp. shoulder, German couple fortunately ok. Middle of nowhere, one horse town, local Fuzz didn’t even send the requested wrecker! As last car thru, I got one, he put car back on wheels, with bodyshell bent into parallelogram. Front glass gone, we ductaped rear into front, collected all their scattered stuff, but front wheels splayed out due to twisted steering relay. I filed a splineshaft down so could relocate arm & pull wheels parallel – we followed them 2 hrs to next campsite. Next day the mob attacked the wreck, used bottlejack , 2×4 to straighten bodyshell, others beat out fenders, in 4 hrs car was perfectly roadworthy! All finished the run. Hard to stop a 2CV! Just bought another one.

  26. Ken Nelson Member

    These “Tin Snails” sport a pretty sophisticated engine: Rollerbearing conrods with plain mains, gasketless head to barrel joint – a counterbore in one part with a mating projecting ridge on the other part and carefully machined so that no gasket is needed, which eliminates head gasket leaks – a great solution. And some yrs ago while reading a workshop manual on these flat twins, I found a detail I’ve never seen on any other engine: A channel for engine oil cut into the outside diameter of the exhaust valve guides. So – engine oil is fed around the exhaust guide to soak up heat and prevent burned valves – a smart idea in an aircooled engine. Clever those Frenchmen! Just one of the reasons you can run these engines flat out all day long without cremating them!

  27. Riton

    Thanks for the link to westernhemispheres.
    I know Mehariclub, they’re near my place. They have bought the machines from Citroën so they rebuild chassis and body parts (the plastic ones for the Mehari). Terriffic for those who restore!

  28. Chas

    Great information Ken. Thanks for sharing these details and stories about our beloved, indestructable 2CV. We just added a sixth to the collection, an all original 1966!

  29. Ken W Nelson Member

    You’re welcome Chas – I did also – have to get a shipper down to Tx to pick up an ’86 with the disc brake trans that I bought off craigslist, as it’s been a good 20 yrs+ since I’ve had a Duck, and they’re just too much fun to pass up. Just got back from a trip to UK to ship a ’53 Bristol 403 to States, & my friend Tim Payne in Eynsham helped me by loaning me a Peugeot 205 diesel and as this was his daily driver, he switched to his late father’s gorgeous blue/white 2CV as we sped along the lanes outside Oxford between our local digs and his works that he inherited from his father – F J Payne & Son Ltd – which has been rebuilding engines for 113 yrs now. His 2CV handled the badly potholed local roads much better than the Pug!

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