Practically perfect 2CV heads to auction

1561938_1954 Citroen 2CV mainA special restoration project Citroen 2CV, which was rebuilt in front of a live audience at the NEC, Birmingham, will be offered for sale by Classic Car Auctions at the June Sale on 2nd June at the Warwickshire Event Centre.

Having been abandoned in a London garage 43 years ago, in need of a full restoration, the 2CV was recovered, stripped and refurbished by the team at Practical Classics magazine, before being rebuilt on the live stage at this year’s Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show, with Discovery. Once completed, the like-new 2CV was driven off stage by Wheeler Dealers presenter, Mike Brewer.

Practical classics 2cv

“Owning a 2CV has been a life-long dream since I saw one for the first time as a little boy in Paris. However, this one turned out to be far more special than I ever anticipated,” explains the car’s owner, James Walshe, self-confessed 2CV nut and deputy editor at Practical Classics magazine.

The 2CV was first purchased on 16th June 1954 in Paris and was imported into the UK in 1963 by its second owner. In 1975, a growing family led the 2CV to being stored in favour of something more practical. It remained in storage until 1997 when it was purchased by a 2CV enthusiast who intended to restore the little French car, but unfortunately it was left abandoned, with the body stored in one garage and the engine and gearbox in another, for a further 20 years.

1561939_1954 Citroen 2CV pre restoration

Now in the hands of James and guided by the expertise of 2CVGB club members and Citroen experts, the car was stripped, sand-blasted, corrosion treated, primed and resprayed in its original, matt ‘Gris Fonce’. The original 375cc engine was also fully stripped, cleaned and refurbished along with the suspension by a well-known Citroen specialist. The interior retains its original basic nature, with new seat cushions and new roof completing the car. Now returned to its former glory with extraordinary attention to detail, the car has been given an auction estimate of £10,000 to £12,000 by CCA.

1561937_Rebuild on the Live Stage HR

Since its restoration, the 2CV has taken part in a very special road trip. Starting from the old Morris factory in Oxford, the 2CV was driven all the way to its birthplace, the Levallois factory in Paris, France, and then back to the UK, in celebration of the 2CV’s 70th birthday. This unique test run is featured in the latest issue of the magazine, and is star of the front cover.

The full story of this Citroen 2CV is available to read in the June 2018 issue of Practical Classics magazine, available in stores from 16th May.

To find out more about the sale of the car and the full lot list for CCA’s June Sale, please visit: https://www.classiccarauctions.co.uk/citroen-2cv.

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The Best looking everyday cars

Vauxhall InsigniaThere are a lot of cars on the roads today, most are just shapeless blobs that fade away into the background but occasionally there are cars that like to stand out from the crowd, not million pound super cars, not one off special editions just your everyday family saloon. Here are just some of the cars that stand out against the dull grey background and ooze style, design and creativity.

Citroen C6Citroen C6: Now when all cars are commissioned we see countless design drawings and fantasy sketches that make any car look cool and stylish, but rarely does the final production model look anything like the concept car let alone these initial design drawings. The Citroen C6 is the exception, this big executive saloon has so many interesting features I could write this whole article on just this car. Everything from its concave rear window to its sweeping lines stand out from the sea of German black and grey boxes. Unfortunately the public didn’t agree and the C6 was a flop but every now and again you’ll see a C6 on the roads and think that is just a special design that we rarely see these days.

Ford MondeoFord Mondeo: It’s weird that the Mondeo isn’t the only car on the road these days, one of the best cars to drive in its class, affordable and good looking are just some of the reasons the Mondeo should lead the way for car design, and whilst popular it isn’t the world dominating car it was from the late 90’s to early 2000’s. But weirdly it is the best looking it has ever been, its sloping rear screen makes the Mondeo look sleek whilst its front end is quietly aggressive and purposeful. Top Gear did a news piece on the show by briefly revealing an image of the Mondeo and asking the audience what they thought it was. The audience thought it was an Aston Martin, and that’s as higher praise as I can think offer to describe your everyday family saloon.

Renault Laguna CoupeRenault Laguna Coupe: The Renault Laguna had always been a bit of a slush box prior to 2007 it was a fairly mundane cheap saloon but nothing more. It felt like Renault had cared more about their safety ratings than how the car looked and drove, but that all changed in 2007 when Renault unveiled the amazing Laguna Coupe. Suddenly Renault were the centre of attention again with this amazing sweeping coupe that most Italians would be jealous of. But again it seems the public couldn’t recognise good design and the Renault Laguna again flopped with Renault pulling the plug entirely in 2015 with the Lagunas replacement the also great looking Renault Talisman not even being sold in the UK.

Vauxhall Insignia 2Vauxhall Insignia: Vauxhall’s previous attempts at a good-looking saloon only went as far as the Vectra, ie not well. But since the introduction of the Insignia replacement in 2008 the company has been going from strength to strength improving on the design with every iteration. The current version of the Insignia also manages the difficult task of looking good in both saloon and estate form. The Insignias best achievement is to fade into the background. It doesn’t try to hard like you could say about the Citroen C6 previously mentioned, you could just pass by it in the multi storey car park, but when you do look it grabs your attention and holds your attention till it goes out of sight.

Volvo S90Volvo S90: Much like Renault on this list Volvo were better known for their safety rather than their stylish design, but in the S90’s case it manages both. Volvo has been on a roll as of late, the XC90 looks fantastic, the XC60 and XC40 the same. The S90 is just the next in line of great looking Volvo cars. Volvo are on the ups with the S90 and are taking direct aim at the German elite from Mercedes Audi and BMW. Its smart front end makes a change from the rather boring styling of previous Volvos, and its striking rear end is dramatically different from Volvos of the past making the S90 one to look out for on the roads.

What do you think are the best looking everyday cars on the roads today, let us know in the comments.

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5 Companies who turned it around

A lot of car companies are boring dull or just plain crap but some of these companies in recent years have turned it around to create actually really good cars. No Hyundai you are not on the list you were crap and you still are crap.

5. Kia

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Kia was always the crappy little Korean car company that made crap boxes like the Rio. However in recent years Kia have turned it around with great little cars like the new Cee’d and with possibilities of seeing the Stinger GT4 Kia shows great signs of making great cars.

4. Citroen

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Cheap cars for the masses this was the aim behind most of Citroens cars in the past that’s how we ended up with the Saxo and no 17 year olds from Essex putting big wheels and chopping the suspension does not make it a good car. But in recent years with their new DS range Citroen has turned it around making some really cool and interesting cars.

3. Volvo

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Volvo aren’t who you’d expect to make great cars, they make safe boxes for you the kids and the dog. But recently with a couple of really nice concepts shown at motor shows they have the opportunity to make some really great cars.

2. Ferrari

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You might expect that all Ferraris are amazing but you’d be wrong, the F430 looked like it had been hit with a frying pan, and the Enzo was a great drive but it was not a looker and don’t get me started on the California. But recently with cars like the 458, the F12 and the LaFerrari (Still a Stupid name) they are finally making pretty cars that are awesome to drive.

1. Skoda

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Skoda were not a good car company they made horrible cars that fell apart and broke down all the time, but since the new Fabia they turned it around, with cars like the Roomster and the Octavia they finally got a great new premium style rather than being Volkswagen’s shitty cousin.

Competition in Motorsport

Competition in sport is basically the whole point of the sport. The idea is to beat your opponents, but what happens when one team or one person is dominating the entire sport. The sport becomes less exciting and loses fans because they always know who is going to win, take Usain Bolt in the 100 metres everybody knows he will dominate the entire race, so less people watch it. The same thing happens with motorsport. Every motorsport has had a time when only one team wins the championship. But what can organisers do to make it more exciting and bring back the viewers.

Sebastian Vettel

In Formula One Sebastian Vettel and the Redbull Racing Team has dominated for the last four seasons. I personally am not a fan of Vettel, I think there are much better drivers on the grid who simply don’t have the car to compete. Vettel is being compared to Michael Schumacher for his sheer domination of the sport. However towards the end of Schumacher’s first stint in F1 the organisers started changing the rules to try stop Michael’s endless winning. The F1 organisers are saying that the change to V6 Turbo engined cars is: “in order to make Formula One more environmentally aware.” However I believe the change is to put Redbull on the back foot, to make them completely change their design and to help other teams catch up. Will it work I don’t know but I think it will be exciting to find out.

Handa touring wagon

Touring cars are another area of motorsport where one team has dominated. The Honda Yuasa racing team has also won for the past four championships. Although there has been a bit more of a challenge to them from the MG of Jason Plato nobody has been able to beat them to the championship. Unlike in F1 I do think that Honda has two of the best drivers on the grid. But in this case the organisers haven’t done anything to end their domination of the sport. However Honda themselves have decided to give a bit more of a challenge to the 2014 championship by taking two Honda Civic Tourer to race. I think this is a brilliant example of sportsmanship by putting themselves at a disadvantage. But if they don’t win the championship I’d expect to see a normal Civic on the grid in 2015. Gordon Shedden Honda driver said of the Tourer: “It might be a Tourer, but it’s still a Civic, the car that has won every championship in BTCC for the last three seasons. I’m really looking forward to the challenge of next season, and to seeing what the Tourer can do on race day.” Shedden’s teammate Matt Neal added: “We’re all confident that the car can continue the long-standing success of the Civic in the championship and very much looking forward to putting it through its paces.”

Sebastien Loeb

Then we have my favourite motorsport where I think the best drivers on the planet compete, the WRC. Sebastien Loeb dominated the WRC for nine straight championships this beats any champions I’ve mentioned previously even the great Michael Schumacher. But weirdly nobody did anything to stop this domination apart from Loeb himself when he decided to retire from the WRC in 2013 if he had continued I am sure that he could have won another championship. Loeb still has love for rallying but wanted a new challenge, having won nine titles in a row I can understand him wanting a new challenge. Loeb says: “Rally driving is the most fun driving you can have, because you slide, you drive on every surface, you jump,” he has now gone on to smash the record at Pikes Peak and will take on the World Touring car Championship this year.

 

Overall there will always be domination in sport because you can’t say “Don’t win its not fair on the others.” This isn’t the school playground some people are just generally better at things that others aren’t. You can’t punish one for doing well. We just have to hope for a new person to come and beat out the old breed. The best thing I think is for teams to challenge themselves like the Honda touring car team. By bringing a tool unfit for the job you get a sport that’s more exciting to watch and more exciting to compete in.