2cv owners?

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  • 2cv owners?
  • Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    No, oh my god no…

    rewski
    Member

    an old girlfriend had one, never felt safe in it, flimsy as heck, slow, bouncy, noisy, leaked, crap gear shift, seats like camping chairs, shall I continue?

    camo16
    Member

    My parents had a few when I was a kid.

    The only advice I have is: don’t lean on it, especially the front wheel arches, don’t overload it and don’t expect it to go above 70 mph, except maybe on a steep downhill.

    On the plus side (this being when you didn’t need to wear rear seatbelts), it’s fantastic in the back with the top down, standing up and holding on to the central support.

    Oh, and the front windows never stay up.

    Oh, and don’t buy it if you’re bothered about people thinking you’re a hippy. 😯

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Watch this from about 4 mins.

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ9uWsvR1l0[/video]

    Ok so you won’t encounter jet engines on your daily commute, but it’s what happens AFTER it rolls that’s the problem. The top of the passenger compartment gets destroyed. Imagine being in that in an accident.

    piemonster
    Member

    Knew a guy that drove one to Katmandu, on the basis that most faults could be fixed by hitting it with a hammer.

    mogrim
    Member

    My parents had one, hated it. Any kind of junction where you need a bit of oomph to get out safely… forget it. 0-60 in two days.

    Thankfully the thing suffered an engine fire (not my fault!) and was a write-off.

    piemonster
    Member

    Waiting for the stealth edit

    Premier Icon vinnyeh
    Subscriber

    we bought one, about 7 years old, when we first came to this part of the world- girlfriend at the time had wanted one for years.
    Spent three months driving round Europe in it without a single problem. First gear up some of the alpine passes though. as More comfortable than it has any right to be, especially on bad roads.
    Chassis rot is the big killer with them, not too much else to go wrong. In the three years we had it it did need a bit of welding, and the exhaust replacing, that was about it
    It eventually got stolen, and was burnt out a couple of miles away. Thieves probably couldnt figure out how to change gear.
    It’d do about 75 on a good day, but was horrible on the motorway, dangerously unstable due to buffeting. Brakes awful, steering vague.

    EDIT: Yes, the windows. NOthing like driving along on a stiniking hot day, elbow out the window, having it nearly shattered as the window slams into it.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    Ace vehicles, but 5k!!!!

    I still want one of these:

    fasthaggis
    Member

    2CV you say?

    Only one way to go 3wheel it
    😉

    clubber
    Member

    I had one as my first car which is a pretty scary thought really.

    I loved it though. I was great for messing about with mates. Easy to take the seats out so you could stick bikes in or use the seat as a bench when out and about.

    It was popular with my mates too, driving about London standing up out of it after a night out.

    I blew mine up though on a really hot day driving down the A3 flat out (70mph) for about 30 mins – pistons overheated and gouged out the liners. It only cost a couple of hundred to fix though at the ‘2CV doctor’ in Fulham (IIRC).

    And it was brilliant on rough ground/bumps – you could do 50mph over speed bumps quite comfortably…

    5k is silly money though. Mine was already pretty rusty back then which was 20 years ago.

    bikebouy
    Member

    Bloody brilliant car.
    I had one and it was one of the best cars I have ever owned, I had it from new though. I have recently started to lok around for another and from the research I’ve done there seems to be a few things to look out for.
    Chassis, yes they rot. They rot from the boot forwards so the rear seats and floor pan rot first. Then the front chassis members where the engine is bolted to. The engines are pretty good if well looked after. Not a lot to go wrong and most change the old points to electronic ignition (easy to do) The wheel bearings go on the front as theres a lot of load on them. Brakes are pretty much fine. Interiors the seats get worn on the drivers and passengers easy, the springs in the pram type seat rails stretch and the covers rip. The hoods are/can be leaky so make sure the seal around them is ok, again an easy fix.
    Parts are pretty good to get hold of, 2CV Owners Club a great source of info/parts/breaking cars.

    Of the 3 I’ve recently looked after, 2 were in excellent condition and drove really well and had the chassis replaced they were a bit more than I wanted to pay (for a third car) so I didn’t buy either. The 3rd car needed some work, it has an MOT but the roof needs replacing (can be expensive) and the bars that hold the lights on were really rusty and so too the grill area. I’m still negotiating a price so we’ll see.

    As far a space goes, well I used to get 3 windsurf boards, 5 sails and me and my mate in it no problem. If you take the rear seat out and open the boot up you have masses of space, I used to open the roof all the time.

    They are not the speediest of cars but easily do 70+mph and pull really well, its not a sports car so don’t expect quick excelleration, mpg wise I had aves of 50+.

    I’d have another.

    rocketman
    Member

    I passed a dawdling French-plated 2CV one time while on a motorbiking holiday in Scotland. It was somewhere remote on a single track road heading away from Eilean Donan. Rather than push past I waited for a clear stretch of wider road and then decided to show the Frenchies how an Englishman overtakes

    I overtook smoothly at warp factor 11, indicated to pull back in and right at that moment a submarine surfaced in the loch and distracted me from the rapidly approaching left-hander. I panicked and braked too hard and skidded and went down, sliding across the road in a shower of sparks and bits of plastic.

    Just as I was picking myself up the 2CV approached, slowed down to walking pace and carefully manouevered around me and all the debris before carrying on its way 🙂

    vanilla83
    Member

    The only advice I have is: don’t lean on it, especially the front wheel arches, don’t overload it and don’t expect it to go above 70 mph, except maybe on a steep downhill.

    On the plus side (this being when you didn’t need to wear rear seatbelts), it’s fantastic in the back with the top down, standing up and holding on to the central support.

    Oh, and the front windows never stay up.

    Oh, and don’t buy it if you’re bothered about people thinking you’re a hippy.

    All of this.

    Plus;

    – be prepared to argue at MOTs as most places will fail it for things it doesn’t have (ie ticking indicator sound).

    – £5k sounds about right for an okay one; my mum has one of the last “Specials” since new and she’s been offered £10k a few times for it. Its on its third chassis and few other bits but in general has just needed looking after. She’s used it daily (about 10-15 miles each day) for the last 20 odd years! I used to draft it as road training.

    There’s a guy near Taunton in Somerset whose an expert in them and who can normally find decent ones for a reasonable price.

    Premier Icon mesh
    Subscriber

    My other half’s Dad makes replacement chassis for them – apparently held in very high regard amongst 2CV owners as he ships them all over the place.
    Some of his customers have some lovely looking examples and I wistfully remember pootling around Galway in one with the roof open on a particularly nice summers day…

    poolman
    Member

    Any 2cv owners on here?

    I have always liked them & started looking for one. A guy I know had one & always talked about the bad chassis, when they are gone the whole car is shot.

    Prices seem to be c 5k for a good one, do I have to pay that sort of money or wait till the end of summer?

    Do they keep up with modern traffic? I hired one ages ago & loved it. Its for the beach & local runs, I live in Spain so after a lhd, quite a few over here so must be ok.

    Thanks in advance, any advice appreciated.

    Premier Icon alan-sierracycling
    Subscriber

    Fantastic car. Did a couple of trips fully loaded from London to Southern Spain with no problems. No need to pay French tolls It didn´t go that fast.
    It could go anywhere a 4×4 could go.

    surfer
    Member

    Daisy Duke had a couple and a classic van IIRC. I’ll drop him a note

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    IIRC:

    Design classic, very clever suspension, usually reliable [low stress] engine.

    Faults I am aware of:

    Spark plugs low down- my friend had one and lived over a ford. When the water was high there was a good chance it would stall crossing the ford.

    In the Dyane and perhaps the standard 2CV the Spare tyre was on top of the cardboard heat-exchanger hose, which was in turn mounted above the exhaust header. If the Hose’s clips failed [rot I guess] it would fall down, sit on the exhaust and ignite pouring smoke into the interior. When you were trying to pull over to deal with that, the tyre would ignite leading to total mayhem. I think think happened twice to ours.

    Occasionally the boot will open for no real reason. We had to collect the contents from the side of the motorway more that once.

    Interestingly we didn’t get rid until someone put milk in the gas tank, so it must have had some serious appeal

    clubber
    Member

    until someone put milk in the gas tank

    er… do tell! 😀

    spectabilis
    Member

    YES Awesome things and the Dianne’s



    pebblebeach
    Member

    I’ve owned 2cv’s consistently since 1987, current one I’ve had since 1989. Its not my everyday car although it was for around 9 years. Great, fun car but a million miles away from a modern car.

    A guy I know had one & always talked about the bad chassis, when they are gone the whole car is shot.

    Depends what you mean by ‘shot’. First off if you’re paying £5k for one then you’ll be getting a very good car and it will either have an original mint condition, rust proofed chassis or the chassis will have been replaced with a galvanized one. If you do buy one with a rusty chassis there are lots of specialists replacing them.

    EDIT: Yes, the windows. NOthing like driving along on a stiniking hot day, elbow out the window, having it nearly shattered as the window slams into it.

    Never had this happen to me, but thats beaten by driving with the roof open.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    be prepared to argue at MOTs as most places will fail it for things it doesn’t have (ie ticking indicator sound).

    Indeed – the ticking sound is only required if the driver is registered blind. In that case the MOT requires the vehicle is fitted with a nodding guide dog on the rear parcel shelf.

    Daisy_Duke
    Member

    Had more 2CV’s than I care to remember including vans and Dyanes. They are awesome fun machines and are now collectable. Very reliable but they do need a garage which is why I sold mine in the end. The ones to go for are the last of the french built (rather than the Spanish ones) which I think were around E or F reg. Chassis can be replaced but is expensive. They cruise at 60mph as long as it’s not too windy. £5k should buy you a good one. Despite their age and design, they are a lot more “modern” than cars half they’re age, like the mini or moggy minor. Motors are bullet proof as are gearboxes. One thing to look out for is a nice clean oil cooler and nice bright green brake fuild. From memory they use a special type of brake fluid. Go for it and enjoy it. If I had a garage I’d have another. Oh, lastly I would have though £5k would get a you a nicer Dyane than a 2CV, which seem to be more popular. Any more info, let me know. Oh and join the 2CV owners club.

    poolman
    Member

    cheers, brilliant responses as usual.

    I still love them & would buy a decent one. I really the like the later special editions – the plum & custard one – so would have to pay top money I suspect.

    Thanks for the advice re chassis, engine etc, much appreciated

    jools182
    Member

    I’ve seen them for sale at over £10.000 😯

    Almost all everyday classics seem to be ridiculously expensive at the moment 🙁

    klumpy
    Member

    2CVs are like camper vans. They were awful hopeless relics but dirt cheap so were bought by those penniless alternative types, such as surfers. Then well off weekend wannabe alternative types decided they were “cool”, got in the market, and sent the price up – so they’re now expensive hopeless relics, and thus not even remotely cool.

    5k for a fun summer car? See this thread:
    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/another-middle-aged-sports-car-thread-with-a-twist

    pebblebeach
    Member

    I have a charleston model which is a ‘special edition’ it’s not that different from a normal version and you won’t pay that much more for one.

    I’d disagree with the bulletproof engine/gearbox comment though.

    I seem to remember reading somewhere about someone driving across Africa in one. It dumped a load of oil from the diff or something, and since they couldn’t get hold of any oil, just rammed the diff full of ripe bananas and finished the journey adequately lubricated and incident free.

    So there’s always that…

    bencooper
    Member

    My best friend’s mum had one when I was a kid – standing on the back seat with the roof open, holding onto the crossbar was ace, especially on the motorway.

    Then, coming off a slip road, she somehow managed to shift from 4th into reverse – the whole engine rotated 90 degrees and fell out of the bottom of the car, and that was the end of that.

    pebblebeach
    Member

    Then, coming off a slip road, she somehow managed to shift from 4th into reverse – the whole engine rotated 90 degrees and fell out of the bottom of the car, and that was the end of that.

    mmm wonder how the engine managed to squeeze its way past the chassis crossmembers.

    I can understand if you had said ‘and the gearbox ‘unwound’.

    mt
    Member

    Loved my Dyanne, just what was required when I was skint. Fantastic on camping/climbing trips to Lakes and Scotland. Desperate on motorways (truly scary) but this “It could go anywhere a 4×4 could go” is true. Drove round struggling RAF mountain rescue Land Rover in Borrowdale once, the look on their faces was ace.

    It’s a long time ago now but just looking at one gives me great memories and I seem to have forgotten all the hassle of pushing it down the street to start it everytime is was damp. At least it was a one man push.

    bencooper
    Member

    mmm wonder how the engine managed to squeeze its way past the chassis crossmembers.

    I can understand if you had said ‘and the gearbox ‘unwound’.

    It may well have been that – I was only 7 or 8. All I remember is a massive bang, the car stopped very quickly with lots of sparks, and when we looked the engine had dug a nice trench in the road.

    crikey
    Member

    Got one stuck in a field once, in a big rut. Put it in reverse, pulled the choke out, got the wheels spinning, full lock on, then got out and lifted the front end clear of the rut, chased it down the field and jumped in. Ace cars.

    Daisy_Duke
    Member

    oh and they have a starting handle that actually works. That is reason enough as far as I’m concerned to own one and don’t get me started on the way you can change the front brake pads in five mins without evening having to remove the front wheels. True genuis….

    Daisy_Duke
    Member

    get funky with the grease gun to. There are loads of grease points that need lots of tlc. Kingpins can be an issue and some MOT places who don’t know the qurks of 2CV ownership think they’re worn and will fail the car. Oh I want another now 🙂

    Premier Icon PePPeR
    Subscriber

    Or how about a Renault 4l?

    Not such silly money and if you find one with a sunroof they’re almost as good as convertible as a 2CV.

    Here’s mine 😉

    Our old Dyane.

    Mister P
    Member

    This is actually a Citroen body on a VW Beetle floorpan.

    CountZero
    Member

    Daisy_Duke – Member
    get funky with the grease gun to. There are loads of grease points that need lots of tlc. Kingpins can be an issue and some MOT places who don’t know the qurks of 2CV ownership think they’re worn and will fail the car. Oh I want another now

    Daisy, anyone who’s owned a Minor, will know all about grease points and king pins.
    I’ve had two Moggies, and if nothing else got looked at, the bottom king pin grease points got lots of attention!
    A mate of mine had the dreaded Morris Minor Clunk happen twice! Once when I was with him, and two others, coming around a bend in Corsham; the sparks lit up the astonished faces of the people in a car going in the opposite direction. 😆
    A girlfriend of mine had a 2CV for quite some time, an orange one. We both loved it, a bit of a bugger to start when it’s cold, but fabulous in hot weather, with the roof pushed back, the front vent below the screen open, and the side windows open, an absolute hoot to drive around in. Kim had the knack of belting the window with her elbow, just hard enough for it to flick up and lock in place, without even thinking about it, a sort of reflex action.
    Drove miles and miles in it, great town car, and damned good in snow, too; FWD and skinny tyres…

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