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19 Years of Tin Snail - Back to normality

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Almost one picture for every year.



I bought my 2CV in June for £450. It had a short MOT and needed a track rod end IIRC. The gearbox had a pretty bad leak so my first task was to replace it with a £20 replacement. Those were the days! This pre-dates digital, so I don't have any pics. EDIT - I do now!




Still pre-digital. Seem to recall I took my then girlfriend to a 2CV meet and she hated it. She was soon gone, the final straw being when she said I shouldn't take the roof off as it'd ruin her hair.



Decision time. The 2CV was in dire need of a new chassis. I took it for one last hoorah to Snowdonia, clocking up its 100,000th mile on the way. This is the only 'old' photo that I've actually scanned in.



Managed to clock up another 5000 miles before I stripped it down, shipped the suspension, axles and rotten body off to a specialist in Lincolnshire and waited for him to work his magic, building up the restored shell on a galvanised chassis.



February. The rebuild was in progress and I used my new digital camera to capture progress.



Progress was very slow. I have a feeling I actually got the car back in November 2002 but having to drive many miles to my aunt's house to work on the car meant things weren't rapid. Eventually, I did enough to get it roadworthy, then shipped it off to a local specialist for finishing off.



Final fettling included raiding a German-spec 2CV for its cranked wiper arms. Here's the 2CV at Aircooled 2003, a great event and its first post-rebuild.




I fitted a new stripey, canvas roof. OMG NOT ORIGINAL!



At the above rally, I also fitted clear indicator lenses, but obviously after that photo was taken. It was my new girlfriend's second 2CV rally. Thought this one might be a keeper. I was right.




First European trip for me and my 2CV



We went to Belgium and France. It was great. I got involved in a gathering of Dollies to mark 20 years of girliness. The shabby state of the panels was annoying me though, so later in the year, she got shipped off for a proper makeover.





Wow. What a difference! It was mid-January and we celebrated getting the 2CV back by immediately driving it from Lincolnshire to Aberystwyth. The 2CV was used later that year for a Wobbly Wedding. 



A year of action. Attended the Retro Rides meet at Mallory Park and beat Watanabe's Amazon in the track sprint. Like this.



Later that year, I took part in a classic rally experience. Here I am during an autotest. Huge fun!




Took part in an epic 3500-mile, two-week drive around the UK. 200 miles a day for 17 days. Exhausting but great fun!



In November that year, I dragged an old engine out of my aunt's shed after a decade of slumber and fitted it.




Started the year with a day trip to Tan Hill in North Yorkshire. We lived in Cambs at the time. It involved a lot of this.



Middle of the year, went to the Retro Rides meet at Haynes Motor Museum and beat Watanabe's Amazon in the track sprint. Sadly can't find any video of this one but here's a pic of man and machine.

[Pic lost to Facebook stupidity]


Later that year, for reasons I don't fully understand, I put her original engine back in having carried out no work to it at all.




A majestic trip to Switzerland (see Highest Road thread) followed by upheaval as we moved to Wales. For some reason, I changed the engine AGAIN! My fleet was quite Citroen heavy at the time. Yes, the 2CV is jump starting the BX. The CX was too wide to get alongside.



Not long after changing the engine, the 2CV undertook a huge roadtrip to Devon and Sussex over Christmas after the BX broke.



Things I did this year included taking the 2CV greenlaning. Solo.

[pic lost to Facebook stupidity]



A year that's memorable as the 2CV actually failed to complete a journey. Driving 200 miles from Cambs to home, the fan pulley sheared after three hours of flat-out motoring. Had to get towed home as I had no tools.

[pic lost to Facebook stupidity]



A front-end brake overhaul happened.

[pic lost to Facebook stupidity]

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I had a Dyanne years ago that I rescued from the scrapman.

It had a good chassis but the bodywork was rotten, the boot floor was falling out, the brakes were in an awful state.

It had been put in a garage for a couple of years as it would not look at an mot.

The owner always meant to get around to getting it sorted as it had been in the family since new.


Eventually they were due to move to another house and my mate blagged it.

He had to promise that he was going to fix it up and get it back on the road.


I went on the 70 mile  trip to get it with a car tailer and my car.


It sat around the back of my mates house for about six months, eventually his parents got sick of looking at it and said it had to go.


He asked me to take it too the scrappy on the tailer, I said just I'll have a go at that, you need not scrap it.


It ended up tucked in the corner at the top of our drive.

My parent questioned why it was there and I said I was going to try and repair it and mot it.


My Dad immediatly bet me £40 that I would  A. never get around to it and B. Not be seen driving around in it if I ever got it finnished.


I did get round to it, I had a good look at what needed welded and it was quite bad, but nothing was complicated in shape as they are very simply made.


I bought the boot floor panel and made bits up to replace what was left of the rear wheel arches inside the car.

I also stripped the brakes and made a list of parts they needed.

Replaced the full exhaust, serviced the engine.

Had a whole lot of bother with the Carburettor as it was all gunked up with varnish from the old fuel, this awful stuff also knackered the fuel pump.


I robbed a 2 CV for another Carb and the fuel pump.

I also trailed around the scrapyards and eventually found a full set of better tyres as the ones on the car were age related knackerd.

One new battery, fuel tank drained and fresh fuel later, I got it to go.

Sorted out a few lights and replaced a few brake pipes the front cylinders, the front shoes had a whele of a time trying to adjust the brakes propery to get a firm pedal.

The shoes on these need centered to the drums and have eccentric adjusters at both ends of the shoes.


I booked it in for an MOT and it flew through.

I insured and taxed it and took £40 off my Dad.


I ran around for nearly a year in it and I loved it, having owned several V.W Beatles it was as fast of those, but ran forever on a tank of fuel.

It used to take £9 from empty on the guage.


I had a bit of trouble at the beginning with rust and crap from the tank bunging up the carb, but a big inline filter sorted that.


I took my mate to Preston and back in it 70 miles each was on a bitterly cold horrible winters day.

When I turned up he said. We are not going in that are we?


When we got back home, he said. That thing is far better than I thought, he loved the heater and the fact that even though it got thrashed all the way there and back it just kept comming back for more.


I sold it to Wagon driver who used it for another year running back and forwards to work for another two years then scrapped  it.

Since than I've always had respect and admiration for tin snails, They are basic, very simple and as long as the rust has not eaten through them easy to keep.

Mechanically they are as tough as old boots, just chane the oil and pulgs, clean the air filter, adjust the front brakes when they start to grab or the pedal travel gets long and the keep going.


I would love another, a later one with disc brakes, but they are subject to sever scene tax now.

Ohh, by the way, I've never owned a car that was as good in snow as that little Citroen, It had to be very bad before it would not travel.

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Wow, even you were younger back then...


Respect. I never had a car for 13 years. My record is eight.


My record aside from the 2CV is two years I think. Ignore a few cars and the average is six months. In my five years of driving before buying this 2CV, I got through 11 of them.


This winter, I really do need to give her a bit of an overhaul. She's feeling her 194,000 miles a bit in places and actually isn't as much fun to drive due to the clonks and groans. Need to whip out the knife edges and grease them up and check the arm bearings and track rod ends. I'll have to try and get photos so this makes more sense.


Wilko - thanks. Funnily enough, it's a photo of a Dyane at such a lairy angle that I got into 2CVs in the first place really. Thought "that looks fun!" And yes, I hope it does inspire folk to do similar. That Anglia thread inspired me. More shite people!

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My parents first new car was a Dyane in 1974

(UJX 683M i think). Traded it in for an imp (or limp as they called it) which never worked.


If prices had not crept up i would love one of these myself. Never even driven one. :(

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Here's the 2CV at Aircooled 2003, a great event and its first post-rebuild.



A friend of mine organised that event, I was one of the marshals for bits of it.  I had a Tatra 603 at the time, happy days!


Epic photo of the autotest btw, the photographer either had a massive zoom lens or had nerves of steel to be so close to a car so obviously about to tip over :shock:

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It was a great event, especially when the 2CVers got permission to go onto the tank course! Your friend needs to organise something like it again. 


IIRC, the photo was taken by Russ Smith, so I imagine a zoom lens was used. There wasn't much danger of me hitting him though as speed was quite low!


Anyway, have another photo for 2012, courtesy of RobT - Elly gets hooned around the Prescott Hillclimb on the 'gentle' cavalcade.


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Great stuff, DW. Soz to sound patronising, but this is what AS is all about.

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Cracking thread & great pics DW, that cornering shot is hilarious! 8)


I've never owned a 2CV myself but I've probably gone one better and had a good mate who owned one for a while and would lend it to me at the merest suggestion. I had it for a fortnight when he went on holiday and had all sorts of fun in it. Only ever broke when he was driving it, which was nice. :)


Everyone should get the chance to drive these great wee cars at least once in their lives.

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I'd love the opportunity to have a shot in a 2CV as they look like an absolute hoot. In the meantime DW's excellent thread can keep the dream alive.

Cornering shot is brill!

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Well, not entirely sure about the 'well cared for.' She's not exactly rot free and currently feels quite crap to drive. I think this thread is me trying to rekindle my love for it a bit. There may be income related developments for me on the horizon, in which case I can lavish a bit more attention on the poor thing. She does have a hard life though. I've towed a caravan with her, taken her rallying, autotesting, sprinting, drag racing, off-roading, greenlaning, through Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg, got her airborne several times (usually in Yorkshire), driven 660 miles in a day (not recommended), used her for our wedding, used her for my best friend's wedding (where I led the wedding convoy to the ceremony and got lost!) and used her to commute to at least five different jobs. Used to love my commute from Northants to Stratford-upon-Avon - I'd average 45mph on that trip, cross-country on twisty A and B roads. Hometime couldn't come quickly enough!

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I love 2CVs and have owned three, but sadly the days of being able to pick a roadworthy one up for a monkey are long gone.  Still, at least I have the Renault 6 if I want to experience comedy body roll and a silly gear lever.

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Shame some of the old pic links have vanished but hey, that's Facebook for you. 


Anyway, as you may have noticed in the News thread, my poor 2CV has fallen on hard times of late, but a new plan of action is afoot!


Since August, the 2CV has been sat here in a friend's garage.



Money is stupid tight at the moment, mostly because I bought a Honda Prelude I don't need. Nowt is selling and I was getting a bit depressed about the finances. So, I put the 2CV up for the sale. "We're not having it!" said the 2CV community, who started offering me money to keep it! So, the plan was formed to start a crowdfunding scheme to save the 2CV. And so far, after eight hours, that fund stands at £450! Which is exactly what I paid for this car in 2000.


Vague plan is that if I get over £500, then I'll unleash further bodgery on the 2CV just to get it MOTd again. I'd have to ignore holes in non-critical places and focus mostly on the holed offside floor and rotten rear seat base. 


If the total keeps going up, then the project can get a lot more involved, more replacement panels can be bought, and the rebuild can get much more involved.


Of course, there is a time limit. If this is going to happen, and it looks like it might, I want to have her back on the road again for April, which will mark her 30th birthday. Well, some bits of her anyway. Like the speedo head, which is on its third circuit now...


If you'd like to contribute to this madcap scheme, you can do so via my Blog here. http://wp.me/p1jtbd-Hi


I've been staggered by the level of support. I'm absolutely buzzing about getting my 2CV back on the road again. I'll have to plan more crazy adventures.


Contributors from Autoshite effectively buy themselves a drive at Shitefest, with priority to those who contribute most just in case that ends up being a shit load of you and we run out of time! Passenger rides also available if you're brave... ;)


This might mean the Dyane has to go. Well, that's definite really. I'll have some fun with it first though. Surprisingly, I've really enjoyed my winter's tinker.

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I'll put a tip in your jar when I'm not broke (next Friday I hope) in order to keep Wales alive with the sound of aircooled Citroens. Hopefully you get enough for a full restoration, although it'll be like Trigger's broom if that happens.


I've always wanted one of these, and a drive of yours will probably be the worst antidote possible.

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If you get a chance, can you find out which side the seat box has gone? I've got a feeling I have repair panels kicking about which I'm happy to donate to the cause if it'll help?


Sent from my SGP621 using Tapatalk

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