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Thursday, 11 October 2012

Classic Car

Among my many happy childhood memories are those surrounding our adventures in Mum's 2CV. On our first outing in it I was nearly gassed in the back (I forget why, I just remember feeling peculiar). Then Mum suffered the embarrassment of not being able to get it into reverse at a petrol station - the spare tyre was pressing against something, which was stopping something else moving, which meant she couldn't change gear (apologies for being vague, I didn't really understand it at the time, but it was a deficiency in the car, not Mum's driving).
We did a London to Brighton run in a convoy of 2CVs. We charged around Dorset with the roof rolled back and us kids sitting with our heads out, waving to everyone, until a police officer firmly indicated that we should stop. And then there was dustbineering, the 2CV equivalent of off-roading - it was impossible to get a 2CV stuck anywhere: mud, snow, the steepest gradient, in fact it turned out the only thing that could stop a 2CV was new emissions legislation.
But the 2CV is defiantly clinging on. Its doting fans still bolt on new panels as old ones rust, they lovingly polish the bright paintjobs and patch up torn roofs. And, as documented on the Mail's site today, a company in Bradford, 2CV City, is doing its bit to keep the 2CV on the road, making steady business out of refurbishing them.
So, the tin snail, the upside-down pram, the deux chevaux, call it what you will, is now a classic car, albeit slightly more affordable than a Rolls Royce or Bentley.

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