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 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 (
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.
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 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.