Lot 123

1964 Citroën 2CV 4x4 'Sahara'

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€132,250 EUR | Sold

Monaco | Monte Carlo, Monaco

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Chassis No.
2005.000080
Engine No.
009854
Rear Engine Number
6209 617446
Documents
UK V5
  • Coveted and rare 2CV 4x4 ‘Sahara’, offering four-wheel drive
  • Powered by a pair of two-cylinder, air-cooled 425 cc engines
  • One of 85 cars built at Citroën’s Vigo factory for the Spanish Guardia Civil
  • Supplied with an impressive history file that includes correspondence and pictures relating to this car’s restoration
language

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.

This example was built at Citroën’s Vigo plant in north-west Spain, production having been moved from France likely due to high Spanish import taxes at the time. The 2CV was one of just 85 ‘Sahara’ cars built for the Spanish Guardia Civil. The car is documented to have first been registered in the United Kingdom in November 1983, and while much of the history of this 2CV from that point is researched but not strictly documented, it is recorded that the car was acquired by a British employee of Citroën in the early 2000s. Correspondence in the history file shows that this owner began restoring the car but was forced to sell it, before buying it back in 2009 and completing the restoration a year later. According to documentation in the car’s history file, it is believed that the car had previously been fitted with one 425 cc and one 602 cc engine. In the subsequent restoration this was corrected and both engines are now 425 cc units. The 4x4 ‘Sahara’ was acquired by its consigning owner, a collector of various forms of the 2CV, in 2012.

The Citroën 2CV 4x4 ‘Sahara’ is a car with charm in abundance—so much so that the Consigning Specialist offered to drive it from the U.K. to the sale in Monte Carlo. This highly collectible and exceptionally rare 4x4 ‘Sahara’ variant only adds to that appeal, with increased performance, true off-road potential, and the ability to turn more heads than cars worth ten times its price.