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Understand the market structure for 2CVs in Europe

When you look at 2CVs for sale in Europe you will basically find 3 main categories.

· 2CVs which were used as every day's cars
· 2CVs which were seen as fun cars
· Brand new 2CVs which were kept as collector cars

You should get a basic idea about what quality types of cars are available and the motivation of the owners to sell them.

2CVs which were used as every days cars

Most cars were in every days use. So the mileage is somewhere between 30,000 km and 120,000 km. Due to the poor material and production quality these cars usually show severe rust problems (See buyers guide See Places to look for rust). Many of them already got a new frame some years ago but if the car didn't receive grease rust protection this new frame may already be rusty again. Most owners didn't have a garage so the car was left out in the street at all kinds of weather.
Very often the car doesn't pass the European technical inspection because it is seen unsafe. The owner tries to get it repaired but the costs are too expensive. This is the moment when the decision is made to sell the car.
When these cars are advertised you will mostly learn about "good condition". Quite often the owner isn't aware of the bad condition since the body still looks reasonable. However many of these cars can be restored but don't underestimate the work and material necessary for this task. You are looking at thousands of dollars and a major restoration job (Red 2CV 6 Club See: Slideshow Rote Berching). So to buy a car like this needs to be considered very careful. Many people offer to sell restored 2CVs. But be aware that the term "restoration" is often used on dubious jobs. White 2CV Perrier See: Slideshow Restoration White 2CV Perrier. This is a pretty good example of what is often advertised as "Restored". To maximize the profit the work is mostly done quick and dirty. So buying a restored car you need to trust the person who did the restoration. Once everything is covered up and painted it is hard to see if the job was done right. You will only be able to find out after a while. This is why we take photos of every step in the restoration process. This way you can see how things look under the cover of paint.

2CVs which were seen as fun cars

Just a few 2CVs were used only as fun cars. Those cars were often only licensed in summer and driven just when the weather was good. Unlike the cars used every day these lucky cars were stored in proper garages most of the time. Mostly they have less than 40,000 km on the odometer. But don't be too trustful - a low mileage doesn't necessarily mean a good condition. It all depends on the way the car was used and stored. We found a car that was badly rusted after only 20,000 km. The explanation was simple. The owner used the car every day for only about 2 mi. So the car got all the salt in winter and all the water in the rain. Even so the body was badly rusted, the drive train and the driving gear were in a great condition.
So looking for a low mileage 2CV needs a lot of expertise to determine if the car really is in the promised perfect condition. You need to inspect every place where rust usually shows up closely See buyers guide See Places to look for rust).

Brand new 2CVs

When Citroen announced the end of production for the 2CV something unique happened. People rushed to the dealers and bought the supply that was planned for the whole year in only 3 month. Why did this happen? Any other manufacturer will create the opposite effect with an announcement like this. Customers will more likely wait for the new models and the dealer has a hard time selling the old stock.
However Citroen was in a very different situation. The 2CV meant so much more than just a car, a means of transport, to so many people. There was this saying - you either love it or you hate it. Since so many people loved this car Citroen was in the inconvenient situation to keep on producing the 2CV. In the 70ies there were some attempts by Citroen to replace the 2CV by another design - the customers voted different. The 2CV survived all these intended successors because of its unique flair. Subsequently Citroen didn't need to advertise for the 2CV - the legend just kept on rolling.
When finally Citroen decided to quit production in 1990 many people awoke and rushed to the dealers to buy the last new 2CV they could ever get. So many of those cars ended up in nice and dry garages to be stored for eternity.
Eventually somebody decides to sell this valued collector car. This is why you can eventually get a brand new 2CV.
Since a while there is a growing market for good 2CVs in Europe now. Many people see this car as a part of their youth. They owned a 2CV while they were at the university. After they finished their education they found themselves in well-paid jobs so they could afford any car they could think of. Now twenty years later they like to have a 2CV again as a reminder for the best time in their lives. But there are not many good 2CVs left. So the price for new cars has skyrocketed. From the sellers point of view a financial loss is also not acceptable. They want to get the money they paid many years ago plus the expenses for a garage over all those years.
To find a car like this is a game of chance. One has to be in the right place at the right moment. Whenever a new 2CV is advertised it won't last. It is usually sold within hours.
The bottom line is: A new 2CV is very expensive.

Unfortunately people only started to buy new 2CVs to preserve them when the production ended. Citroën didn't announce the end of production for the special models like 2CV Charleston or 2CV Dolly that happened more than a year before the final 2CV was produced. So nobody knew and bought these cars to store them.

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