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Buyers Guide to:

Citroen 2CV

Useful Info

Also Known As

Deux Chevaux


1948 to 1990

Fuel Type


Engine Sizes

375cc, 425cc, 435cc, 602cc

Engine Type


Drive Configuration


Citroen Car Club

Just Kampers

01256 862288,


The 2CV – or Deux Chevaux – is one of the world’s best loved classics with more than 5 million built before sales ended in 1990. Produced in a number of countries across the world, it was even made in Slough, England for a time. The car was launched at the 1948 Paris Auto Salon and was intended to provide simple, practical transport at an affordable price – indeed, it became known as the archetypal car for French farmers, designed with soft suspension that would allow it to carry a box of eggs across a field without them breaking! Powered by a twin- cylinder air-cooled engine performance was leisurely, but it was brimming with character and remains a firm favourite with classic car fans today.

  1. 1. Bonnet panel, including around the hinges
  2. 2. Windscreen surround
  3. 3. Front wings
  4. 4. Sills
  5. 5. Door panels
  6. 6. Rear wings
  7. 7. Bottom of the tailgate

The Checklist

  • Whether a very early model will suit you. They were very slow and basic, so a later version will be best if you plan on regular use; front-hinged doors denote a model built from 1963
  • All of the panels, the seams, and the bulkhead as rust is a common issue. Many examples have been restored by now, so make sure you’re happy with the quality of any work done
  • For rot in the chassis, and for signs of previous patching or welding. Galvanised replacements are available for around £1200, and many have already been changed Make sure the floor pan, foot wells, and seat belt mountings are free of corrosion, too
  • That the engine has been serviced regularly;
  • oil changes every 3000 miles are best for longevity. Excessive exhaust smoke means the two-cylinder unit is due a rebuild, but it’s not a dif cult job, while fumes in the cabin point to leaks from the joint between cylinder heads and piston barrels. Replacing the latter costs around £200 in parts
  • For any signs of overheating. Being air-cooled means that the oil cooler must be in good condition, and it can become blocked if ignored. Check for oil leaks and rattling tappets, too
  • That gears can be selected easily as wear in
  • the linkage or gear lever bushes will cause problems; it’s a fairly cheap and easy fix, though. Whining bearings and crunching third gear synchromesh are other issues to check for. And make sure that the clutch isn’t slipping
  • That the suspension and front axle mountings aren’t rotten. Also, regular greasing is needed and failure to lubricate the front kingpins will lead to heavy steering; the latter could also be caused by the chassis twisting due to corrosion, so be wary
  • For worn suspension components. The system on early cars is best overhauled by a specialist, while conventional hydraulic dampers were fitted from 1976
  • For a vibration through the steering which is normally caused by wear in the arm that connects the wheel hub to the track rod ends
  • The brakes for wear, especially at the front which are mounted inboard making them tricky to get at and likely to be ignored. Disc brakes were fitted at the front after 1981, and the system needs to be filled with the correct LHM fluid
  • That the cabin trim isn’t scruffy or damaged. The interior is very simple, so any problems will be easy to spot, but budget accordingly if it needs refurbishing
  • The fabric hood for rips and tears. They’ll allow water into the cabin, leading to trim damage and rot in the floor. Any signs of fumes inside the car points to leaking heat exchangers

Everything Check Out?

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