Rare Example: 1973 Citroën 3CV

It seems strange to tag a car that looks for all the world like a Citroën 2CV as “rare,” but in comparative terms, this little car is a rare example. In fact, it was built in Argentina, and examples from that country carried the 3CV model name. This 1973 model is a clean and tidy example and is ready to be driven and enjoyed immediately by a new owner. It is an interesting vehicle, and whether you like them or not, these little classics will attract plenty of attention wherever they go. This one is located in Glendale, California, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The BIN for the little Citroën has been set at $14,750.

The White 3CV presents quite well, with the rear hatch making it a versatile little classic. The panels appear to be relatively straight, and there are no signs of any rust problems. From a bodywork perspective, these are a dream car for any enthusiast who chooses to tackle restoration work. Virtually every panel can be easily detached from the vehicle, making addressing minor dings, bumps, or rust, extremely easy. Parts remain in plentiful supply, so if any panel requires replacement, locating one is a doddle. The Citroën is rust-free, with the floors and underside appearing to be extremely clean. It features the fold-back top, and there are no signs of any problems with that. The exterior trim and chrome present well, and there are no apparent signs of any issues with the glass. One interesting touch is the neat little luggage rack attached to the rear hatch. You won’t squeeze much on it, but it is still a bit of a bonus space.

The 3CV could be considered to be the “big block” of the Citroën range. What you get here is a 602ci 2-cylinder air-cooled engine, producing 33hp. These horses find their way to the front wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. At 1,349lbs, the 3CV is a real lightweight. However, with only 33hp at its disposal, it is anything but fast. The ¼ mile trip takes 23.6 seconds. If that seems leisurely, it is also worth considering that it takes a staggering 29.4 seconds to get from 0-60mph. The Citroën’s top speed is around 71mph, which means that it probably isn’t the ideal candidate for a coast-to-coast journey. However, the car’s defining characteristic is its suspension. Its travel is exceptionally long, while it is also quite soft. This makes it brilliant for absorbing lumps and bumps, but getting used to the level of body-roll does take a little time. When you combine all of these attributes, you can’t help but emerge from one of these little classics with an enormous grin whenever you drive it. This 3CV is in sound mechanical health. It is said to start easily, and it runs and drives well.

The 2CV was renowned for having interior trim that could best be described as basic. They were a car built to a strict budget, so luxury appointments weren’t an option. When you look inside this 3CV, it looks positively palatial. The seats seem to be soft and supportive, while the upholstery is in good condition. There is some slight wear on the wheel rim, but I wouldn’t be too concerned about that. This is an interior that would appear to need no restoration. Luxury and convenience items include an ashtray, and…that’s about it. If the next owner wants to retain originality, that’s fine. Fitting a radio would be an easy task, but doing so would be down to a matter of personal taste. Air conditioning? Simply slide back the top, and you’re set.

Citroën produced around 3.8 million examples of the 2CV, but total Citroën production in Argentina totaled approximately 250,000 vehicles up to 1979. That is what makes this Citroën 3CV relatively rare. It still retains all of the inherent 2CV charms, and I can virtually guarantee that it will attract attention wherever it goes. The world can be a pretty serious place. Sometimes we simply need something that will take our mind off our troubles, and that will put a smile on our face. Maybe this is a classic car that can do that for someone.

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  1. Mitchell Ross

    It is very hard to get cars out of Argentina. Don’t know how they did this. I tried to get an Ika Torino but they only let them out with a guarantee that they will be brought back. This is a 4 CV there, same thing otherwise

    Like 1
  2. Jack M.

    Jesse, that was quick work posting a sedan for Jm!

    Like 1
  3. ken tilly UK

    There is a group of enthusiasts in Durban, South Africa, that get together at least once a year and do a rally around the country of about 3500km (2200miles.) Of the last 3 events that they have done I think the only breakdown that they had on the road was punctures. Unbelievable little machines.

    Like 4
  4. ChipsBee

    Neat little rigs, the 2 or 3CV, especially useful is the 602 cc ‘Big Block’ as mentioned by Adam, the author. 602 cc, not the typo seen of “602 ci”, a BIG BLOCK for sure. I have about 9 Citroëns, most are 2CV’s, and enjoy them all. They versatile, entertaining and effective. They keep with modern car speeds and can out-handle many on our rural Wisconsin roads, leaning and wrangling there way around corners and over rises. Pure fun, and interesting to work on.

    Like 1
    • Stan Marks

      I love this little car. What fun. And it only has 22,610 miles on the odom.
      Only thing is, is it worth $14,750 fun???
      What do you think, Chip???

      • Dlegeai

        You know how it goes: it’s worth what one is willing to pay….these routinely go for between 12K and 20K, rarely less, rarely more. I drive my two 2CV (same as this 3CV) regularly here in AZ, the best fun for your buck.

        Like 1
  5. Kenn

    Numbers matching??? Why isn’t that a big deal with this car, as it seems to be with so many others.

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