Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Not so beautiful decay!

Those regular visitors to this blog will know that I have a degree of affection for the little French Citroen 2cv. I have owned several, and have one to this day.
The painting above is from a series of 'rusty wrecks' that I have painted from time to time, and for those who aren't familiar with the Citroen 2cv I might add that the rusty state that you see above is quite normal....these things rust!

Here's a shot of my 1986 model which, despite looking reasonably sound is absolutely shot! The bodywork of these cars is made of very thin metal which earned them the nickname of the 'tin frog' or 'tin snail', it's so thin that it can rust out very quickly.
Luckily mine has been fitted with an aftermarket replacement galvanised chassis, the original item on these cars never seeming to last more than three or four years from new!

These small Citroens have one advantage, and that is they can be completely dismantled down to component parts, and most of those parts are still available. If you take a closer look at the one above you will see that it has a white bonnet or hood, a green drivers door, and a blue body! This is because over the years bits have been taken from other cars to replace the rotted out stuff, the car has ended up looking like a patchwork vehicle :-)

She looks to have an expression of trepidation as she stands outside the garage here, maybe she 'knows' what I have in store for her? lol. Basically, as the chassis is galvanised and sound, and the engine is good without work i have decided to strip her down and replace the rotten parts (of which there are a lot)

A couple of hours later this was the scene. The body tub has been released from the chassis and I am preparing to lift it off and place it in the yard behind. The large fan of the air-cooled motor can now be seen.
I have no room for lifting gear, but the thin steel enables me to lift the body off the chassis physically by using the top strip of metal along the roof as a yoke across my shoulders! See how the weight of the car has bent the steel over my shoulder?...Don't try this at home kiddies! :-)

One more heave and a couple of swear words later and the old shell is off the tin-snail. the seperate running gear can be seen inside the garage, and on this occasion I don't find the decay beautiful. I'll post an update from time to time to show the how I progress (if at all) so it's back indoors now for a hot bath and a nice glass of wine.


David fa niente said...

2CV is a sweet little car. One of the guys in my club drives a nicely restored one, burgundy and black, light grey interior. I get a kick out of the way you can remove the seats and use them for picnic furniture. He has the panel van and a jeep(utility bug?) also. Once bitten, you never get over it I guess.

I love the way they are designed to be taken apart without the drama of most cars.


Hollito said...

While quietly following your blog for a while, today I found something I wanted to show:
A 2CV "restauration" with a nice-looking and especially good sounding result. :-)
So, put the speakers on and watch this: