This 2CV sports a fiberglass facelift and the convertible body Citroën never made
The Citroën 2CV has the reputation of being France’s Model T Ford. The two vehicles were born from the same design philosophy and were targeted to similar audiences, but they also shared a very humble—some would consider boring—aesthetic. Unlike the Model T, however, the 2CV lived in a time when the automotive industry supported folks looking to redesign a car. Thanks to the invention of fiberglass, visually overhauling your 2CV was incredibly simple in the ’60s. Jay Leno recently took a look at an example of a 2CV that underwent such a makeover.
The 2CV also frequently draws comparisons to the Volkswagen Beetle. Just like the Beetle, the 2CV has a body that can relatively easily be separated from its chassis, inviting enthusiasts to swap the factory-fit steel for just about anything they can fathom and fabricate. One man who decided to make a business of rebodying 2CVs was Wolfgang Hoffmann, who took the soft-roof original design up a notch to create the cabriolet body Citroën never did.
All the running gear remains stock 2CV; only the body was changed. In this two-tone scheme, the body can look quite nice, but we recognize that the French ethos is a bit of an acquired taste. The driving experience takes a bit of acclimation, also.
Out on the road, Leno describes the rebodied 2CV as “not fast, but not slow.” The suspension is quite springy, and steering is light. Overall, as our own Sam Smith can attest, there is really nothing quite like the experience of driving a 2CV. If unique driving experiences spark your automotive fire, go out and find one of the 10 million 2CVs. If you are lucky, you might stumble upon one of the 1700 Hoffman cabriolets—but you probably won’t get Leno’s. He seems to enjoy his too much to let it go. We can’t blame him.