Citroën 2CVs have always been part of my life. My dad always drove a 2CV and still does at 75! My five brothers and sisters have learned to drive one 30 years ago and we still have at least one (or more...) each. So being French and living on the Canadian West Coast, I HAD to drive a 2CV here. I decided years ago to bring one here from Normandy and restore it to as mint as possible. The end result was so nice that I decided to do it every year. This is my last restoration (winter 2010): Citroën 2CV AK250 1972.
That little fourgonette (truckette or van) was originally from around Caen (Normandy, France) and was imported to the U.S. where a Citroën enthusiast decided to start a restoration... I bought it disassembled and without drive train as you can see in first pictures. After striping it completely, I discovered a lot of rust. The body shell was sandblasted, after removing the most obvious rusted panels, and covered with epoxy primer. I replaced all the damaged panels by new original Citroën panels and rebuilt the ones I could not find. The two rear doors were replaced, as well as the two front doors, the old ones being so rusty that they were not worth repairing. The front and rear fenders are new, as are all the lower sections of the body, floors sills, etc.
After all metal repairs done, the body shell and the panels were painted with epoxy again, then spray filler, and finally prepped to receive the red color. We chose to paint it Rouge Valelunga (an original Citroën color) and I went with a "base coat / clear coat" to get that beautiful deep shine. After sandblasting the frame, I discovered some rust holes into the bottom sheet metal. The frame rails were good and solid, so I chose to remove the underside and replaced it. The engine, suspensions, and electricals were all rebuilt. The car received a later transmission with disc brakes, and a new clutch assembly. The brakes were upgraded to a brand new dual system with LHM all around.
I installed a new electronic ignition, a complete exhaust, and a dual barrel carburetor (like the later 2CVs produced). The interior was redone as original as possible, the seats frame were sandblasted and power coated satin black for a durable finish and then recovered with Rouge Bayadère. I installed a new windshield, new front grille, new bumper assembly, new rubbers, new door panels, new floor mats, and even new seat belts!
The wheels were sand blasted, primed and painted Gris Rose (an original Citroën color) and fitted with new tires. To get the Canadian license plate illuminated, I installed a light on the left rear door and got some vintage French personalized license plates made just because I like them... I installed a beautiful wooden steering wheel and chrome head lights.
I made a wooden box to protect the "cargo" area. All the underbody and the frame were coated with thick antirust paint and waxoil inside all empty spaces, frames, sills to protect the car for a very long time.
I have spent more than 600 hours working on this one, mostly because because it was very rusty and incomplete, but I'm very pleased with the result. It's a real head turner!!!