Q. What work did you have done on the car?
A: When we got the 2CV, it was a rust bucket, but since then we've completely restored it. We paid $1000 for the car, because it was in such poor condition—both the interior and exterior.
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?
A: I've always been a car appreciator. The first car I learned to drive was my mom's '65 Mustang. When I had to buy my own car, I got a '67 Volkswagen Bug. I owned three Beetles in a row! Each one had to be a '67, because I loved the style of that year. The reason I had to eventually stop driving my Beetle was because when I was pregnant, I couldn't fit into it anymore! We traded my Beetle for a '64 American Rambler that my husband restored inside and out.
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?
A: It only has a 18-horse power engine, so I'm limited as to where I can drive. I can't take her on the freeways or up in the canyons. I mainly drive her around to run errands and stuff like that, and I've recently started taking her to car shows.
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.
Q: Describe your favorite drive in the CV2:
A: My favorite street is a couple blocks from us, it's called White Oak. About a half a mile of it has a very gentle slope, and is lined with big pine trees called Deodar. The street is historically designated by the city of Los Angeles, and the area used to be the main entrance for a huge agricultural area. They have since urbanized the area, but the street is still so beautiful, especially at 4 or 5 o'clock when the sun is just right. And my little car can get up the tiny hills on the street!
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.