Dana's Citroën 2CV
California-resident and classic-car-appreciator Dana Abram went to school in France back when Citroën 2CVs roamed the streets and were easy to obtain. Ten years ago, Dana and her husband had the opportunity to buy a rust bucket of a 1964 Citroën 2CV to restore over the course of a few years. Now it's a prized possession that the family never wants to sell.
Q: How did you find the car?
Q. Why did you want this particular car?
When we saw that our neighbor had one, my husband and I saw the opportunity and took it. We didn't really plan it or think about it beforehand—it was just a fluke.
Click to the next page to read about the 2CV's restoration.
Q. What work did you have done on the car?
We had it a year or two before we found someone who worked on building that particular line of 2CV in France, where he immigrated from. He took the engine completely apart and basically put it all back together to rebuild it. We were very fortunate to find him, but since that he unfortunately passed away. Now I work on the engine myself and my neighbor, from whom we bought the car, helps. I'd never worked on car engines before, but this car is a really simple one to work on.
Since I spend a lot of time in France, I was able to get some parts there. I brought car parts home in my luggage! Being fluent in French really helps, because I can read all the French manuals.
It took us a couple of years to finish restoring the car, we took our time and did it slowly. About 85% of the parts on the car are original and manufactured from the time the car was built. We tried our best to get all the original parts that we could.
Q. How did you become interested in cars?
My parents loved classic cars as I was growing up—they have always had a classic car in their collection. Some of the cars my parents drove were a '49 Ford pickup, then a '55 Chevy Bel Air, and a '59 Mercedes 190SL convertible. I've just kind of continued that tradition. Luckily my husband likes classic cars too—we have our fun cars and the cars we drive every day. He is a little big for the 2CV, so it's not too comfortable for him to drive, but my daughters learned to drive stick on that car. If a person can drive the 2CV, they can drive any car.
Q: Does the car have any limitations?
My husband and I thought about replacing the engine with a bigger horsepower engine, but since the engine is the original engine for this particular body of the car, and all of the engine parts have their original numbers and tags, we decided not to for the value of the car and car's sake.
Click to the next page to read about Dana's favorite drive in the 2CV.
I like driving the car around town too. People are always stopping and talking to me about the car. The car is an ice breaker, because it's so different and has all kinds of neat stuff. Driving this car makes you feel more playful, and it is a great pleasure to drive.
Q: What are some cool or unique features on your 2CV?
I love how the gear shifters are very different, because you have to pull in and out. I love the roll top. It's convertible, but you just roll the top back. I love the huge steering wheel and the front windows, because they're unusual. They don't roll down, but they're separated and you have to lift the bottom part down to open the window. The top doesn't open at all, and I think that's really cool. The chrome along the window makes it look very sharp.
The air suspension is unique, because you have to equally distribute the weight of the passengers. Driving by myself is OK, but I have my spare tire in the trunk that's on the right passenger side, so maybe that balances me out, but when you turn a corner in the car, it really turns and kind of tilts to the side.
I like everything about the car. It's such a unique little thing.
Q. Does your car have a nickname?
Q: With this car, is it a fling, or are you in it for the long haul?
Q: Do you know many people who own 2CVs?