Automobile culture from the barn - Citroën 2CV box duck

In Sweden, you will generally find precious automobiles parked in garages and outbuildings of typical holiday homes. In France, automotive driving culture is often hidden in older barns. Such as a very early 2CV box duck. It was put away and forgotten - for 3 decades. It only had 4.000 kilometers on the clock. Now she is waiting for a second life and for someone who will lovingly restore her.

Citroën 2CV AZU - 1955
Citroën 2CV AZU – 1955

Admittedly, I'm a 2CV fan. A Citroën 2CV was in my family for many years, sometimes I took the chance and borrowed the "duck". Driving a 2CV is something special. It is locomotion for all the senses, with the consequent renunciation of everything that is not absolutely necessary. New car drivers won't be able to understand that, and younger readers probably won't either.

You should urgently close this experience gap. Anyone who has never driven a 2CV has missed something.

It is not without reason that the duck has a cult status. And it's still in demand. Most recently, more than an unbelievable €2 was paid for a brand-new 100.000CV.

2CV box duck 30 years in the barn

Far from that is the box duck now found parked in a French barn. There the first small front-wheel drive van of the brand with the double angle stood almost forgotten for 30 years. The speedometer shows only 4.000 kilometers, the original documents from 1954 are still available. This makes this 2CV an early example of the panel van.

The structure of the box duck should be in good condition
The structure of the box duck should be in good condition

Citroën delivered the box duck from 1951. 12 hp from a 425 cc engine, only 3,60 meters long and 530 kilograms light weight, that sounds like it's from a distant galaxy. But, like the 2CV sedan, the box duck made history. The 2CV motorized France, was the car for the country, the farms and the craftsmen. A strong part of automotive culture, an integral part of French history and still present today.

The 2CV stands for the unbelievable balancing act that probably only Citroën could do. It was an affordable means of transport for the masses, and with the DS the brand also offered a high-priced technology carrier for the upper middle class.

Both were successful.

Marketing strategists today would lose their jobs if they only dared to think of something similar.

1955 is an early year of construction - the box duck was first delivered in 1951
1955 is an early year of construction - the box duck was first delivered in 1951

2CV almost first hand

Back to the barn. The owner parked the 2CV there for inexplicable reasons. When he died, his son took over and sold the barn and its contents. The current owner considered restoring the box duck, but ultimately decided to sell it.

This means that the small van is at least almost a first-hand copy.

Unfortunately, the barn, which is not a Swedish holiday home, did not have a tight roof. Water dripped on the front part of the 3CV during rainfall for at least 2 decades. The bonnet and underbody now show rust that needs to be cleaned up. However, the rear part with the box should be in good condition.

The 6.900CV AZU, which is the correct name for the Gallic duck, could cost €2. The advertisement shows only sparse pictures, more photos that give a halfway impression can be found at

A few years ago box ducks were traded for much less, you could get them for little money. That seems to be over. The commercial version of the duck is also increasing in price. With the 2CV AZU, which is in Versailles, the buyer also gets the historical documents and a comprehensible history.

Which would justify the price for so much automotive culture. Because it will no longer be cheaper in the 2CV family.

With pictures by Philippe B.

5 thoughts on "Automobile culture from the barn - Citroën 2CV box duck"

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    Very authentic! Repair, conserve and do not trim to look like new cars. And then drive, drive, drive...

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      Exactly like that 😉

      Over-restored trailer queens are an expression of luxury, prosperity and abundance.
      Vintage cars with patina, which are also moved in everyday life, are 2nd life economy, are repair and recycling instead of resources and overproduction, are sustainable and are just fun - almost every day ...

      Don't forget that they were all daily drivers. They can still do that today. Technology is more important to me than looks. I'm really picky about the chassis, brakes, engine and transmission. However, the paintwork, sheet metal and interior of a 50, 60 or 70 year old car should look as if it had been used intensively for 10 to 20 years. Then the optics are still 30 to 60 years younger than the year of manufacture would suggest. That must and should be enough - also and especially from the point of view of an H-certificate and license plate.

      If motor vehicles are historical after 30 years, it is only logical that 40, 50, 60 or even 70 year old vehicles may show correspondingly more signs of use without this having a negative impact on their historical value. Many a car is pretty worn out after 10 to 20 years of intensive use. Visually and technically. Every vintage car from 40+ that is technically in order and “only” looks after 10 years + intensive use is an enrichment from a historical point of view, despite or perhaps because of its patina. Better that than one less, right?

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    Citroen 2 CV, my first great car love! Over 11 years for me 2CV, first the 2CV 4 and then the Big Block 2CV 6 with 602ccm! I drove to the North Cape, to Portugal and in 1976 to Hungary/Romania. Boy were those trips! Two people plus camping equipment and off we went. No navy, no cell phone, no credit card, but lots of foreign currency in your wallet. Needless to say, Döschwo went through all the trips without complaint. Just lovely.
    Even in my two years in Ghana I drove a 2CV. Big wheels, good suspension and air-cooled, just right for the African slopes.

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      The old boxes & the slopes

      Simply terrific, how naturally many older constructions took potholes, washboards and bumps ...

      The suspension travel and the ground clearance of a 2CV put 99% of current SUVs in the shade and an R4 is not inferior to it on the piste. Even old Swedes feel comfortable there. I once saw an old commercial in b/w for the Volvo Amazone and the US market on the DuRöhre. It is shot exclusively on slopes. Today unthinkable ...

      In advertising today, automobile freedom takes place in large cities, on country roads and on freeways. The roads are always jet black with snow white accents, are freshly paved and the lane markings were freshly applied an hour ago. Miraculously, these streets are always empty, a red carpet rolled out at incredible expense specifically and exclusively for buyers of each brand's advertised model. But the reality today is the traffic jam or at least slow-moving traffic...

      But I digress. In the commercial, the narrator lists a number of advantages of the Amazone. Roughly miles per gallon. He babbles and babbles about why one would love his Amazone as she is seen at breakneck speed across slopes and even cross country. And then he finally says that maybe what you love most about your Amazon is that you can drive it like you hate it!
      What a statement...

      We once had cars that got by (almost) without roads. Today we have cars that find empty and slippery roads everywhere and a perfect internet connection and whoever believes it is blessed...

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    A fine example of car culture. Hopefully there will be someone who will give the 2CV a new life.

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