By on January 22, 2010

[Tongue partially planted in cheek]

What is the source of American men’s latent and easily provoked disdain for the French (and their cars)? Umm, it doesn’t exactly take a study to prove what what we secretly suspect and obviously are a wee bit uncomfortable with: they’re having more sex than us. Yet they drive small, weird underpowered weenie-mobiles. Well, guys, it seems to be working for them.

It may be fun to wax eloquently over a ’74 Imperial late at night well into a magnum of Shiraz-Cab, but I’ve got news for you: this Citroen 2CV Cabrio is going to get you a lot more action than the Le Baron. Just getting off a couple of shots of this PM Hoffman Cabrio on the streets of Portland without ogling girls in the way was a challenge for Edward, who took these shots. Guys, it’s time to stop living in the past, driving the old barge around with memories of what went on in that giant back seat decades ago. You have a house with a bed now, right? Put the old yank tank or Camaro up on blocks, and get on with it before it’s too late. Because this Citroen is the ultimate chick magnet.

Don’t believe me? Try driving a Hummer down a Parisian street and see what kind of response you get. Women want a guy who’s secure about his manhood, and what better way is there to display that than with a 600 cc, 26 hp 2CV? Especially so when it’s this sporty little two passenger conversion made by Hoffman. And there won’t be any lingering doubts about the back seat being used by kiddies. Hoffman also offers conversions to turn the little two-banger into a pickup or even a stretch limo, but that seems to be defeating the whole purpose of the exercise. Going the other direction makes more sense: eliminate the body altogether and one of the rear wheels and turn it into a cool little Morganesque three-wheeler. I’ll take one of those in a heartbeat.

The problem with American men is that they tend to equate a sexy car with the real thing. I know there are some men that actually have broken through that barrier, and for them it really is the real thing, but I’m not speaking to that audience here. Anyway, the 2CV’s tailpipe may be too small even for the stereotypical Hummer driver. I’m talking about the more conventional relationship, the one in which the word “cargasmic” tends to be overused. Ok, nothing wrong with that, as long as it doesn’t actually get in the way of the real thing. Which it might, depending on your target demographic and IQ range. I’ve actually heard guys swear that there’s nothing better than an EV, even a Zap Xebra, to break the ice in the right locations. Not painted yellow, either.

If you’ve ever watched The Misfits, you’ll know that Marlyn’s last role personified the sensitive, environmentally-aware feminine future, and Gable as the dying  bronco/environment busting cowboy myth. Guys, you wanna be lonely cowboys in your pickup, and maybe find a little cuddle up on Brokeback Mountain, or are you going to bravely plunge into the future in your EV Conversion Hoffman Cabrio? The girls want to know, before they get tired of waiting and find something better to do.

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48 Comments on “Curbside Classic: The Ultimate Chick Magnet – Citroen 2CV Hoffman Cabriolet...”


  • avatar
    gslippy

    Chicks (wife and daughter) love my 05 xB, so I guess that means I’m cool.

  • avatar

    Cool!!! VERY nice CC.

    We have one of those in Lexington, which I reviewed here
    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/review-1975-citroen-2cv/

    Of course the French make (or at least made) wonderful cars. They invented the automobile. Vive la France!

  • avatar
    threeer

    Despite (or maybe more to the point…because of) all of their quirkiness, I love the old Duck…not to mention the beyond futuristic DS…don’t suppose you’ve found one of those lately, hmmm???

  • avatar

    All I can say is that some links should never be clicked right after lunch. Paul, I’m sending you the cleaning bill.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    I LOVE IT. but then cuddling up on Brokeback Mountain sounds good to me too. :P

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    As secure as I was in my manhood back in school, the chicks still seemed to be more impressed by Detroit muscle, and even Dadillacs, than by my VW Beetle. Altho I eventually figured out that the chicks who were more attracted to material stuff than to the person who owned the stuff weren’t really that interesting anyway.

    Does Citroen still make 2CVs? Where is Hoffman getting their raw material? And while the cabrio has some quirky charm, what’s the point of the limo?

  • avatar

    Why would I want an EV conversion? The 2cv is already a very gas-sipping way to travel, and what wuld a 2cv be without the iconic sound of that marvelously engineered 2cyl?

    I hesitate to speak for women, but both my gut and my intellect say Paul’s right that a car like this will lure a much higher class of woman. Any women out there want to sound off on this?

    For anyone who is interested in owning a 2cv, my recollection is there are two places, both in Seattle, one that can get you parts, and one that can do restorations. I’m sure a little googling would find them.

    • 0 avatar
      friedclams

      David, I hate to say it, but I would guess there are about 3 women who read TTAC. I wish it weren’t so. If they all chimed in it might not be a valid sampling size.

      That said, if I weren’t married, I’d dig chicks who dig 2CVs.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    I really think the conversion is sacrilege. The 2CV has enough character as is. And the original four door is actually more beautiful. This looks like hodge podge to me.

    But yes, I’m torn in my love for the 2CV and the Renault 4. One of those two could be used forever as a beater. I grew up in a Renault 4, but the 2CV has more character, not the mention the flappable windows.

    • 0 avatar
      FromBrazil

      +1 Ingvar!

      And I understand your doubt. When I lived in Colombia, both the Renault 4 and Citroën 2CV were (relatively) common sights, although usually very broken down. However, R4s were still in use as taxi cabs, but the 2CVs were not used in that fashion anymore (or ever? I wouldn’t know). So, though visually I remember both I’ve only ridden in the R4. So it takes my vote!

    • 0 avatar
      Ingvar

      The 2CV has a larger cult-following. I think the production numbers were 8 million for the Renault 4, and 5 million for the 2CV, but I’d bet my shorts on that there’s far more 2CV:s left today than there’s Renault 4.

    • 0 avatar
      FromBrazil

      You’re probably right! I’m just relating my experience. Mind you, we moved to Colombia right after living in the States, so the sight of such cars…What a shock! And having ridden in the R4, after so many barges in the US, was testing, but exciting, refreshing and new. Loved both of their looks but having had “1st hand” experience in the R4…Well that’s maybe why I still buy Renaults today!

    • 0 avatar
      gnekker

      Both 2CV and R4 are “interesting”, “cute” etc but when it comes to driving they belongs to totaly different cathegories (I had a Citroen Dyane that was really 2CV in different clothing, and a R4 as well). While 2CV 600 cc air cooled boxer is pretty pedestrian, R4 has proper long stroke liquid cooled 4 cilinder, first with 850 cc and later versions with 1100 cc borowed from R5. combine that with featherlight body, independent torsion barr suspension back and front, long wheelbase (for the size of the car) and you will get nimble little car that suprised more than one driver of so called “sporty” car on twisty roads.

  • avatar
    NickR

    “the chicks who were more attracted to material stuff than to the person who owned the stuff”

    Regrettably, in my experience, that is the vast majority of them.

    Anyway, I came of driving age in Manitoba and if I had shown up at school in one of these I’d have got my ass kicked. Then again, a fight would have at least warmed me up which I would have needed desperately in that climate, driving one of these. ‘Air-cooled’ takes on a whole new dimension in the prairies.

  • avatar
    midelectric

    There really should be an NSFW tag on at least one of those links. Hell, NS period.

  • avatar
    twotone

    I spent several weeks driving around Ireland in a 2CV many years ago. From experience, they are best driven in a straight line, at parade speed.

    Now, art deco French cars of the 1930’s (Talbot-Lago, Bugatti, Voisin, Delahaye, etc.) are some of the most beautiful cars ever made.

    Twotone

  • avatar

    Best of both worlds – my NB Miata.

    Not a fire-breathing penis extension, but it is a kick in the ass to drive, and chicks dig it.

    Take that, Pierre!

  • avatar
    Pahaska

    I was stationed in France in 1961/2 during the second Berlin crisis. Not only were we prohibited from owning a Deux Chevaux, it was a court martial offense to even ride in one. The military considered them a death trap.

    Of course, I never saw one like the photos. What we saw in rural France (Chambley) were the crude versions with seats like lawn chairs and doors that removed by pulling a pin. Left and right side doors were identical. We would even see them with trussed up farm animals inside.

    I had a Citroen 11CV while I was there.

  • avatar
    ajla

    The greatest chick magnet car ever is the DeLorean DMC-12.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Whereever do you find your pics? I couldn’t help chortling to the NSFW one … and I also found the name of the domain “brownthatbananna” to sound interesting, even if I was much too afraid to click it to see if it meant what I thought it meant…

  • avatar
    Andy D

    I have never seen one these before. Nifty. Very early 30ish in styling.I’m with DH, I wouldnt desecrate that crate with ‘lectricity. I briefly had a ’57 DS 19. My wallpaper is a 37 Delage tear drop in gold.
    Paul, i look forward to your articles. Makes me wanna tour the NW looking for cars that rusted away 30 yrs ago in MA.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    A scooter will do the same thing for not making people think you need to compensate. My 150cc Chinese unit got me a Latina/Asian/Navajo fusion girlfriend who is 7 years younger than I. TAKE THAT HARLEY RIDERS!

  • avatar

    I don’t know if I’d call the conversion sacrilege, but I sympathize with Ingvar on this. The original is a superb piece of commercial art; a marvel of cute ugliness, and it is hard to find a car with more character. That is why they have such a cult following. Tens of them show up in Saratoga Springs for the Citroen Rally every summer–I think June 17-20 this year. Here are some pics: http://homepage.mac.com/robertmonteleone/PhotoAlbum7.html

    @Twotone: yes! to be driven mostly in a straight line. See here: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/review-1975-citroen-2cv/

    @Pahaska: I was in Paris in 65-66, and it was the same model of 2cv. They subsequently upgraded them, exactly when I can’t remember, but it’s in my article. The originals had 450CCs, and the seats were canvas slung over piping.

    • 0 avatar
      riko

      Actually the 2CV is most fun driving along twisty mountain roads in the South of France. Particularly when the bottom half of the front windows would fly up into the air. And the whole car would slowly tilt 45 degrees. The epoch they were built were simpler times, there were no autoroutes, autobahns, or freeways. And thank god there are no more true Citroens. Just rebaged Peugeots.

  • avatar

    I meant Citroen Rendezvous. The Citroen Rally is worldwide. There were literally hundreds of Citroens spread out on the grounds of the U of Massachusetts in August 2002 when it took place in Amherst. In fact, there was a whole group of French people who had driven across the country mostly in Traction Avants, stopping all along their way to thank Veterans of WWII for freeing France from the Nazis.

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    My mechanic has both a white 2CV and a red Citroen Visa (with the 650cc engine) on sale. But I can’t bring myself to buy either. Firstly, I don’t need yet another car. Secondly, I want a Méhari. Yes, I’m spoilt.

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    Oh, and as much as I appreciate your elegant words, Paul. Is any car at all a chick magnet? Do women really care? I’d say some women will actively dislike a boorish car, and others a cheap one. But my experience is that the way the man comports himself comes first and foremost; the car is about as important as the watch, or the cellphone.

  • avatar

    Martin,

    In what I consider to be the best of circumstances, a car can draw a woman’s interest. But any woman who is worthwhile will, in the end, consider the man, and not the car.

    For that matter, if a woman has an interesting car, that will certainly draw my interest. But that will only keep my interest if she appreciates the car for its automotive virtues. If it turns out she has it simply as a guy magnet, that would repel me.

    In the late ’90s, when people still frequently used print ads to date, I can remember repeatedly seeing an ad from a woman who always included “drives a Saab.” It’s sort of like when a woman in an ad mentions the local sports teams.

  • avatar
    aesthlete

    I think this is part of my neighbor’s stunning collection of rare European cars that send me to wikipedia daily… you can find a years worth of curbside classics here at 32nd and Division. I am in heaven living here, just do not eat at Appethaizing!

  • avatar
    Neb

    The Nash Metropolitan is similarly a girl magnet.

  • avatar
    djn

    I sure dislike 2CV’s and I’m a former CX owner! 2CV is the perfect car for stoner Eugene hippies that want to downsize their VW bus.

  • avatar

    For the rednecks, they had a 4WD version on offer, called Sahara. They simply put a second engine in the rear, moved the spare wheel to the hood and the tank under the front seats. Here is a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8W4uizG7to0&NR=1

  • avatar
    scottcom36

    I suspect the women who’d find this car attractive would have dirty, callused feet and hairy armpits. Or at least that’d be my luck!

  • avatar

    This could be the greatest chick magnet car ever, in the nineteen century

  • avatar
    A is A

    “…depending on your target demographic and IQ range”

    125 IQ points and above. Thank you very much, but I enjoy meaningful conversations.

    At this I.Q. level all women know perfecly that a man driving a car like the 2CV is a bad, bad, bad mating choice. IMHO a woman “magnetized” by a 2CV has disqualified herself on the spot. In 2010 a 2CV is an interesting historical curiosity, not a practical car.

    BTW, thinking about the issue of if your car is going to give you “action” or not in my book means insecurity. Big time insecurity.

    OTOH I use women rides to discard some of them (for instance women driving yellow Opel tigras, flashy orange Peugeot cabriolets…and 2CVs).

    A potential mate has to make sense. Someone driving a 2CV in 2010 A.D. makes no sense at all.

  • avatar
    NickR

    “But my experience is that the way the man comports himself comes first and foremost”

    Martin…where do you LIVE? I am not trying to flame anyone, I swear, but you are either extraordinarily lucky or live in a corner of the world that I’ve previously never heard of.

  • avatar
    aamj50

    I was at the MotoGP (F1 for motorcycles) race in Indy this year and parked near a very cool Triumph Street Triple R like this http://pictures.topspeed.com/IMG/crop/200903/triumph-street-tripl-22_460x0w.jpg
    As I was admiring the the bike a very pretty woman dressed in riding gear walked up to it. Being the chauvinist jerk that I am I figured she was waiting for her boyfriend. Nope. On went the helmet and she was gone. Were I not happily married I probably would have skipped watching qualifying and creepily followed her.
    Anyway. What was the subject?


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