Every classic enthusiast must have read at least one story about the prototype with only one headlight this year, including the story that that specimen had a collision with someone who thought it was a motorcycle approaching him on the first night's ride.
And now there are all those perfectly restored specimens, the stories of their proud owners, the stories from their youth, when only a few means of transport were affordable for students: public transport, a bicycle, a Harley-Davidson 'Liberator' or… an Ugly Duck. The Citroën 2CV has become a Lifestyle machine. Whether that is fun or not.
A working class hero
Such a Duck cost something from 100 guilders and you regularly saw them in Tros Kieskeurig's 'The wreck of the road', a program from the time for the MOT that focused on a consumer who had bought an umpteenth-hand car that did not meet the most basic requirements. The subject usually ended with the destruction of the car in question. In the current perspective, these were of course insane times. Windshield wipers who went back and forth with two strings, drove to the South of France in a delivery duck with a sagging chassis that served as a camper. A Duck that was used for serious removal work. A Citroën 2CV that fluttered over a hump in the road and whose entire front chassis broke down when landing, so that the front occupants scraped the road with their heels. An HTSer who had equipped his Duck with a GSA four-cylinder, which suddenly made the ruddy-looking AK'tje - to the surprise of all other road users - more than 120 km / h. When he was arrested, the policeman who did that had two questions: "What the hell have you done with that thing?" And "Can I drive it around?"
These days they are incredibly expensive
In a time for a top restored Citroën 2CV can be asked for just € 20.000 it is endearing that there are still real Duck enthusiasts who see their brave four-wheelers for what they were once intended for: as uncomplicated utensils. The base of such cars is less easy to find these days, but looking around during the holidays in France can help. We saw a few for sale again this year, while we weren't even looking. The Citroëns were never made for eternity or as a status bearer. They were made in such a way that any village garage mechanic or technically but a little skilled farmer could keep the thing moving. The structural interchangeability of parts over the decades has contributed strongly to this. And at the end of a long and hard life they were just left behind. Even in spite of the European 'culling policy', there are still carcasses of dead ducks in the southern countries. But for surviving specimens, all parts are still for sale, ample and at attractive prices. On a Citroën event we even saw one Citroën 2CV which 100% was made up of new parts.
Old school ducks
But with this story we want to pay tribute to the generations of Ducks from the time that the 60 people of today were still students. And the great thing is that the cars are in blissful memory of the student cars that the owners drove in their youth. And driving? They still do it with it. And not too little either.
As with many classic owners, this is also quite a thing among Duck lovers. All the more because 'originality' is feasible. All documentation is there, the stuff is there, the knowledge is there. And of course it is fantastic that such a 'drive up & throw away' object as a Citroën 2CV for humanity in intact form is preserved. But the essence behind the Citroën 2CV also makes it very acceptable to 'just what to do' as long as it is fun or the car makes it 'better'. The transplantation of an Amiblok is included, as are the semigenial lids with louvres to keep the engine compartment cooler. And that 'Magirus closures' must guarantee that the bonnet does not fly away? This falls under the same unique thinking that ensures that an elastic of a bicycle luggage carrier ensures that the (half) rolled roof does not flap. That makes driving with the roof so much quieter!