The 1965 Citroën 2CV might be remembered as that car that looks a great deal like a Volkswagen Beetle, yet has some very marked differences. It's funny to hear how people sometimes describe things and where this particular car is concerned, this is a description that has come up more than once.
The thing is, this is indeed a completely different automobile than the more common Volkswagen. As a matter of fact, it should be seen as one of the finest classic vehicles in its own right because that is precisely what it is. There is so much more here than meets the eye. The only way to truly understand what makes this car so special is to remember all the way back to 1965 and take a closer look at why that particular model matters so much.
The Devil Is in the Details
There was a time when the car company from Italy responsible for this darling little masterpiece couldn't keep up with the demand for these cars because so many people wanted them.
As a matter of fact, the company was working as quickly as it possibly could to turn out as many vehicles as possible, yet it was still falling woefully behind in the number of vehicles produced (compared to the number that had actually been ordered).
This was a car that was so popular that it took the automaker several months to catch up and it's easy to understand why. There was a lot of thought that went into creating this particular automobile and the automaker left no stone unturned.
As a matter of fact, they were very keen on getting all of the little details right, something that made drivers fall in love with the car almost immediately. This little car, nicknamed the “duck,” became so popular that there was essentially a community of drivers who felt a kinship with one another simply because of the car they were driving.
There is no doubt about it, the little car that was capable of producing only 18 horsepower and had a soft top that rolled back for driving on sunny days struck a very important chord with drivers.
For anyone who was lucky enough to have one of their own, you could almost bet that they were going to hold on to that car for some time. Of course, there are other things that made the car as popular as it was, too. For instance, that particular engine was a 425cc flat-twin that was married to a four-speed manual transmission.
Part of the reason that people love the car was because of its simplicity. It was popular back then, and if you fast-forward to today it has become even more so. Why, you ask. It has a great deal to do with the fact that modern-day automobiles have so many things going on under the hood with regard to onboard computers and sophisticated electronics that you can't do something as simple as change the oil without taking the car to an expert.
Having a car that is built simply and can be worked on in one's backyard is a thing of the past. When you find one, you probably want to hold on to it, now more than ever.
A Rare Example of Perfection
There are a couple of things about this particular automobile that definitely set it apart, even in today's world where all of the aforementioned things in the previous paragraph would have otherwise rendered it completely obsolete.
One of the best things about the car is that its weight is divided almost exactly between the front and the back, giving the car a natural balance and making it easier to control.
Furthermore, the car only weighs 1,600 pounds, so that little engine that produces a mere 18 horsepower is capable of doing a fairly respectable job of getting you where you need to go in a reasonable amount of time. That's especially true if the car has been well maintained over the years.
What is the other thing that makes this particular car so special, other than the fact that it's a classic and it's very different from anything else on the road? There are actually two different versions of the car that were manufactured, a standard two-wheel drive version and a special four-wheel drive version called the Sahara.
As you might have already guessed, the latter version of this car is extremely rare. There weren't all that many of them made in the first place and of the few that have survived, most have been snatched up by collectors. That makes them worth a great deal of money because they are highly coveted.
Like most four-wheel-drive models, they offer a beefier suspension and they're capable of taking a little bit more abuse than their two-wheel-drive brethren.
An Affordable Classic?
Some people refer to this little car as an affordable classic. In reality, that depends a great deal on the exact type of model that you're trying to purchase. If you're looking for a 1965 model (the two-wheel-drive version), an example that has been well maintained can be found for roughly $25,000.
Most people would agree that that is indeed a reasonable price, especially for a well-loved classic made in 1965. If you're after the 4x4 Sahara version, you're looking at a different story entirely. Because these particular automobiles are so rare, they're worth a great deal more.
Where you might pay $25,000 for the two-wheel-drive variety, you can expect to pay at least $95,000 for the 4x4 version. In some cases, that price can be as much as $10,000 higher, depending on the condition of the individual car in question. If you've been thinking about purchasing one of these cars for yourself, your best bet is to find a two-wheel-drive version that's in relatively good shape and then make a few minor repairs on your own.
They're not the easiest car to find, but if you are capable of doing so, you'll have the chance to drive a genuine classic that will surely turn heads everywhere you go.
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Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith