Quirky Daily Driver: 1988 Citroen 2CV

This 1988 Citroen 2CV has found its way from France to the USA by way of Japan, and given the fact that the car is being used 3-4 time per week, the owner touts it as a viable daily driver. It has received a number of useful upgrades to lift it from its very utilitarian roots to a car with improved levels of both performance and comfort. It is located in Hahira, Georgia, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding on the 2CV has now reached $4,450, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

It appears that the Citroen started life finished in Rose Grey, but it underwent a repaint in its current Charmille Green while it was residing in Japan. The owner purchased it whilst in Japan in 2017, and brought it to the US in 2018. The car does have some surface corrosion in evidence, but this has now been treated and should cause no further problems. Similarly, the floors have also been replaced and re-insulated, so there should be no problems in that area either. The roll-back roof appears to be in good condition, and amongst the collection of spares that will be included with the car is a pristine replacement roof. It doesn’t look like there are any other problems that would need to be addressed urgently. All-in-all, the quality of the paint finish doesn’t appear to be great, but that is something that the next owner could address as time permits.

When it was introduced, there is no question that the 2CV was designed to be affordable and rugged transport for the masses, particularly those living in rural areas. Luxury features were not a priority, with a heater being about as luxurious as it got. This Citroen has taken a bit of a step forward in this area. Those freshly covered front seats now feature electric heating, while in-car entertainment is catered for by the inclusion of a Bluetooth speaker system. A timber wheel and shifter knob also aren’t standard but do add an air of class and style. Once again, there are some detail items that can be addressed over time, but there’s nothing urgent at this point. For instance, a center cap on the wheel would provide a nicer finish, while the timber spacer under the Bluetooth speaker needs to be finished, as it looks a bit untidy.

What could be more patriotic with a 2CV than to open the hood and to be confronted with the air cleaner painted in the shades of the French “Tricolour?” Below that slice of patriotism isn’t the regular 602cc engine that was standard fare in a 2CV of this era. As was a common practice, that little 29hp engine has made way for the 652cc 2-cylinder engine which was originally fitted to the Citroen Visa. This upgrade provided a useful increase in power, all the way to 35hp. This is sent to the front wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. Electronic ignition, complete with an immobilizer, should help maintain reasonable levels of performance, and also leave less chance that the 2CV is going to disappear in the middle of the night. Every globe in the vehicle has been upgraded to LED, while the car does come with an extra set of wheels that have been fitted with snow tires. The owner states that the engine and transmission have been meticulously maintained and that he does drive the car 3-4 times per week. Due to the unique cooling arrangement for the 2CV engine, getting the car up to running temperature in cold weather can be quite difficult. To alleviate this, Citroen produced an item called a “Grille Muff.” This item blanks off part of the grille, restricting air-flow to the engine for cooling. One of these is included with the car. In addition, the owner is including a collection of spare parts, along with manuals and some service records.

While a Citroen 2CV of this era was capable of hitting a top speed of 71mph, they are not a comfortable freeway cruiser. However, as a daily commuter or for a bit of relaxed touring, they are a great little car. The soft suspension absorbs lumps and bumps that would see most other cars shuddering and squeaking. This one appears to be an essentially solid car that really only needs some detail work to bring it to a high standard. However, none of this work is urgent, so it’s a quirky classic that could be driven and enjoyed immediately.


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  1. Sam61

    I would nick name this car “thon peut”…tuna can.

  2. Louis Q Chen

    Mon dieu! C’est un 2 CV, incroyable! I used to have one of these when I lived in France, it was a blast except for the funky shift lever? Very comfy ride especially those cobble stone streets in Paris. I guess the Citroen brand was the stepping stone for funky AMC to follow? Too bad this outfit is now own by communist China :(

    Like 1
  3. Stilbo

    I love this little guy.
    Not until now, having seen it in amphibian green, have I likened a 2CV to a Frog.
    He looks as though he just hopped out of a pond.
    Mon dieu!

  4. bog

    Alan – you’re “spot on” when describing that paint job. The hood looks like they painted right over some quite pitted metal…and not very well. Otherwise, it’s a pretty interesting 2cv. I’ve actually seen more of them on the streets of Chicago & Northern Suburbs than I saw where I was stationed in Europe. Not exactly popular in Germany. The ones around here are older and restored to the “hilt”. Most are advertisements for the French restaurant they represent. Driven around a bit then parked out in front. Friends that have owned them attest to how good they are on crummy dirt roads out in farm country. Wishing the buyer “bon chance” !

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