My First Car: Quirky Citroen 2CV proved cheap and cheerful

Mike Pennock bought a Citroen 2CV because it was cheap but still looks back on his first car with gr

Mike Pennock bought a Citroen 2CV because it was cheap but still looks back on his first car with great affection. - Credit: Archant

Mike Pennock fell for the characterful Citroen 2CV's charm and quirkiness which won his wallet and then his heart.

If memory serves me right, the Citroen 2CV was the cheapest new car available in 1983, and I'm afraid it was this that attracted me to the marque in the first instance.

But, if economic considerations made me get behind the wheel of my first 2CV, its charm and quirkiness soon had me in its grip and it wouldn't be the first of its kind to sit in the driveway in years to come.

I've never been one for unreliable cars, and have a pretty rudimentary knowledge of what's under the bonnet, so I was looking for something that could transport me between Milton Keynes and Bedford and back every day without any mechanical dramas.

The 2CV did the trick, taking this then junior reporter in comfort and style (some may disagree!) to the offices of the Bedfordshire Times, and then out on my rounds, every day.

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Notice I did not mention speed. This car was never built for it and 65mph downhill, or with a following wind, was something of an achievement. But, hey, who cares about 0 to 60mph times when you're bouncing along, canvas roof rolled back (manually) and those skinny little tyres holding on for all they're worth. As for going round corners, it was said that if you could hold on, it could too.

I look back with great affection to this car – if cars have character, then this had it in bucket loads, although I still shudder to think how it would have fared in a prang.

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It's only foible could be starting on damp, drizzly days. Sometimes a hairdrier had to be used on the electrics and a can of moisture-repellant spray was never far from hand.

That apart, it was reliable little motor that always provoked a pleasant response from other drivers. Indeed, it is the only marque I have ever owned where fellow 2CV drivers always acknowledged me with a friendly wave - something I can confirm never happens with BMW folk!

Everyone has memories of their first car and we want to hear about your original set of wheels. Email your story with a picture of the car to or post it to Andy Russell, motoring editor, Archant, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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