February 4, 2007

The Wooden Citroen 2CV: So Close And Yet...


The first car I ever bought was a Citroen 2CV. It's sitting with a restorer in Holland right now [I think... note to self: check on car], waiting for the opportune moment to ship it over to the US. [Though I have a sneaking suspicion that moment may have gotten pushed off by recent attention to car seat crash test standards, the truth is, two cars already feels like too many.]

So until I pull a Seinfeld and gut a townhouse down the street to make my private urban garage, the only Deux Chevaux the kid'll know up close is a toy version. Turns out Vilac makes several models of wooden toy 2CVs. The truest is probably the 2CV Berline, pared down, with a nicely arced roof. There's a flower power version, too. Eh. I like it. The hood feels just right, but there's just something...I can't put my finger on it.


There's another Vilac 2CV, this one with painted original details like suicide doors. Yes, it's more accurate and less stylized, but it's also a bit cartoony. As if the designer's been staring at Keith Haring toys too long.

Here's one overmade-by-hand by artisans in Madagascar. Then there's these models, which do use the contrasting grain to capture the two-tone Charleston paint job...

Has Playsam ruined me? There should be a pristine wooden 2CV, essentialist yet slightly baroque, like the car itself. Because unless she's brought up right, the kid might just stare at me with a giant WTF? look on her face when she gets the keys to her 16th birthday present.

2CV Berline by Vilac [kidsmodern.com]
Vilac Mini "2CV" [vilac.com]

Correction: the kid's first exposure to a 2CV was last week, when Jalopnik pointed to Brit crit Jeremy Clarkson's 2CV demo[lition] on YouTube. Needless to say, it caught us both off guard. If you're in a hurry for Citroen snuff, skip the 5-min love letter to the Golf GTi at the beginning.



If you want to work out a deal to garage the Citroen in Michigan (we are, in fact, essentially the sixth borough) we can arrange favorable terms.

The African tin can version is the only one that truly captures the bohemian spirit of the 2CV, in my opinion.


[exactly. just not safe for ]

Oops, sorry, flash site. Click on "recuperation" and then "objets".

A friend of mine brought her 2CV over from Europe about 10 years ago and could not, under any circumstances, get the paperwork to officially bring it into the country. (and she is a very smart and persistent woman, so that's saying something)
She basically abandonded it at the port of Baltimore. It's probably still there if you want to take a crack at it.

[ve haf vays, don't you vorry. but seriously, if you follow the ebay market, there's a $5-8,000 premium--on a $3,000 car--for one that's already titled in the US. It can be tricky. -ed.]

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