Lot 260


1965 Citroën 2CV 4×4 'Sahara'


€143,750 EUR | Sold

Monaco | Monaco, Monaco



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Body No.
0005 000098
Rear Engine No.
Cancelled French Certificat d’Immatriculation
  • Coveted and rare 2CV 4x4 ‘Sahara’, offering four-wheel drive
  • One of an estimated 694 twin-engined ‘Sahara’ models from a production run spanning almost four million 2CVs
  • Restored from 2021 to 2023, with pictures on file
  • Three owners from new; odometer reads only 40,492 kilometres
  • Retains matching-numbers, body, chassis and pair of engines, verified by accompanying factory data from Citroën

The simplicity of the Citroën 2CV’s fundamental design is refreshingly straightforward. Conceived by the French marque in 1948 as a means of affordably mobilising a segment of rural society still dependent on the horse and cart, the 2CV’s name translates roughly from the French deux chevaux to “two horse-powers”. Given the nature of French roads in the immediate post-war period, the 2CV was built to be cheap, reliable, easy to maintain, and with long-travel suspension that made it able to traverse a freshly ploughed field—famously demonstrated in period advertising campaigns with a basket of eggs balanced on the passenger’s seat.

From the earliest days of the 2CV, few could have predicted the overwhelming success and remarkable longevity of the model, with the final example produced in France in 1988. Bar the occasional increase in power and engine capacity, the 2CV remained faithful to its post-war brief throughout its 40-year production run—with the notable exception of the fascinating 4x4 ‘Sahara’ variant. For this off-road specialist, Citroën engineers augmented the standard 2CV with an additional engine mounted in the rear of the car and driving the rear axle, affording the “Tin Snail” four-wheel-drive capabilities. Led by Citroën dealers who are understood to have converted their own cars in such a manner, the factory unveiled its prototype in 1958, beginning production two years later. The official version was intended for service in remote French colonies, such as those in North Africa.

The example here has lived a fascinating life. Completed by the factory in November 1965, the Citroën was registered in the name of its first owner in the same month, as evidenced by period documentation (available to view on file). A doctor who moved from Marseille to Villefranche-de-Panat, a rural commune in the Aveyron department of southern France, it is thought that Pierre Raynal preferred the off-road versatility of the 2CV 4x4 ‘Sahara’ for his door-to-door occasional visits to patients across the rustic countryside. Dr Raynal used the Citroën in all weathers until the 1980s, when the 2CV was replaced by a Range Rover. From then until the ‘Sahara’ was acquired by the consigning owner in February 2020, the car changed hands only once in 2010 and was seldom used.

Coming into ownership by the consignor, the Citroën was in a presentable but tired state, so a course of restoration began. A wealth of invoices and restoration photos (available to view on file) attest to the meticulous overhaul that the 2CV now benefits from, both cosmetically and mechanically. The body was removed to the chassis pan, which was renovated and repainted, while the finish of the coachwork itself was also renewed. Both engines and gearboxes have been removed and tuned up, the clutch and brakes are new, and the suspension and running gear have been replaced with the correct parts. The interior was stripped and renewed. Since the completion of the restoration, the Citroën has barely been used by the vendor. At the time of cataloguing the 2CV’s odometer read 40,492 kilometres, which is believed to be true.

Accompanied by its period first registration and a copy of the period insurance certificate, Citroën factory data confirming that this car retains its matching-numbers body, chassis, and both front and rear engines, and many invoices and restoration photos to vouch for its stunning restoration, this 2CV 4x4 ‘Sahara’ is a rare and usable classic with a charming French history.