This quirky little French Citroen 2CV snail was the subject of a custom home garage build thread on jalopyjournal.com. Forum member “mika112” in Northern France is the owner/builder and as you will see his metal work is extremely impressive, especially considering that he is in the chemical business as a trade and this was his first car project that he has ever completed. The H.A.M.B. site is home to some very interesting “kustom” builds, usually American iron, so it was refreshing to see one of these being modified for a change of pace. Mika’s overall goal was to retain the car’s original classic shape so that it wouldn’t be modified beyond recognition, and not mistaken for a modified VW Bug or Tatra when finished. Although it is illegal to modify or swap engines in France, everything else is apparently open to interpretation if the completed project is any indication, so come with us and take a look at the absurdly brilliant metal forming talent of this project’s owner as this build unfolds on the following page…
Mika’s first step was to manufacture a whole new chassis for the Citroen that was channeled 5 inches so that he could lower the body over the frame while retaining the same amount of ground clearance of the stock vehicle.
Once that was completed, he lifted the body off of it’s original rusty stock frame and repaired some body work, made some new floors and installed it’s safety belts.
These 1,300 pound cars are powered by a 375 cc air cooled 9 horsepower engine, this one modified to a whopping 400 cc.
From it’s outward appearance it is unidentifiable as anything but stock, so any suspicious authorities wondering where that extra 1 or 2 hp might be coming from will be kept in the dark scratching their heads.
Over the course of 42 years between 1948 and 1990, Citroen produced almost 4 million 2CV sedans as an economy car for the people, a number which can be doubled when delivery vans and other iterations of the model are taken into consideration. As an extremely popular model of car in our automotive history that was only out sold by the Ford Model T, it was about time that we featured one here.
Their complex suspensions are shown in the picture above with springs in the frame rails, giving them an air ride that the marque became known for before the more complicated hydraulic pneumatic systems were invented later for the bigger luxurious DS and also Maserati powered SM sports models.
It’s stock windshield was kept, although the frame surrounding it was raked much more dramatically for a much more kustom look (stating the obvious).
Rims were re welded from 15″ to 13″ in overall diameter, while the battery was relocated to the rear and then he made a custom front sway bar for it.
Just for kicks, here’s a whacky Dutch group of 2CV enthusiasts:
Back to work, he then cut an inch and a half off of the front axle for it to achieve it’s lowered stance.
This bead roller press is the machine he used to make the louvers and form the panels.
A new custom made 14″ steering wheel then was crafted to replace the stock 16.5″, and here’s a picture of the aircraft gauges that were used to register the lowest speeds they have ever encountered.
Here’s a quick glance at how the stock 4 speed transmission now operates:
After removing all of the paint from the body, a few repairs were made and the front fenders were completed and installed.
Mika chose to paint the car in the same gray as the TGV high speed train, along with green rims and floors. The combination works well together.
We like the lumpy idle and exhaust note, displayed in the video below:
Over the course of two years, the car was completed in time for Mika’s goal for it to compete at a custom car and rod show in France where it ended up winning an award, which shouldn’t be surprising after seeing the talented metal skills.
We look forward to following his next ’27 Ford hot rod build thread and wonder what he has in store for it. Probably lowered with lots of custom metal work and louvers, which is fine with us.
Until then, find the full build thread HERE