In a remarkable turn of events, a unique wooden Citroën 2CV has been sold at auction held by Rouillac auctioneers at Château d’Artigny in Montbazon for an unprecedented €200,000 (£170,000) which is more than a new Lamborghini Huracan LP2 would set you back. This one-of-a-kind vehicle, crafted by French carpenter Michel Robillard, has captured the attention of car enthusiasts and collectors worldwide, culminating in a record-breaking sale that underscores the enduring appeal of the iconic Citroën 2CV.
A Tribute to a Classic
The Citroën 2CV, affectionately known as the “deux chevaux-vapeur” or “two steam horses,” is a beloved symbol of French automotive history. Produced by Citroën from 1948 to 1990, the 2CV was designed to motorise the large number of farmers still using horses and carts in 1930s France. Over its production lifetime, more than 3.8 million 2CVs were manufactured, making it one of the world’s first front-wheel-drive cars to become a million-seller.
Image credit: Rouillac
A Labour of Love
According to Rouillac, Michel Robillard, a retired French carpenter, started this remarkable project in 2011. It first took six months to design drawings of the car, a reproduction of a 1955 model and the rest of six years spent meticulously crafting the wooden body of this unique 2CV – the bodywork of the 2CV, of the AZKA type and dating from 1955. It took 5,000 hours of patient work, but the car is fully functional and is made almost entirely from wood, including the body, the interior, and even the hubcaps. The body’s base is made of pear and apple trees, the doors and trunk are made of cherry wood, the fenders are made of walnut, and the dashboard is made of elm wood. The seats are covered with grey fabric, and the retractable canvas roof is made of alpaca wool. However, only the body is wooden. The chassis and drive come from a real car, specifically a Citroën Dyane, which is essentially a significantly modernized version of the “duck”, from 1969. The car is powered by a 602 cubic centimeter gasoline engine.
Robillard’s creation is a testament to the original 2CV design’s simplicity and functionality, while also showcasing the versatility and creativity that the 2CV has inspired over the decades.
The wooden Citroën 2CV was auctioned off for a staggering €200,000 (£170,000), a record-breaking sum for a 2CV. The sale underscores the enduring popularity of this iconic vehicle and the exceptional craftsmanship of Robillard’s wooden interpretation. The auction attracted bidders from around the world, all eager to own this unique piece of automotive history. The automobile was purchased by Jean-Paul Favand, founder of the Musée des Arts Forains in Paris , and “collector of curiosities”.
The Legacy of the 2CV
The 2CV’s enduring popularity is a testament to its innovative design and the significant role it played in motorising rural France. Its low cost of ownership, simplicity of maintenance, and minimal fuel consumption made it an ideal vehicle for the masses. Today, the 2CV continues to inspire enthusiasts and collectors worldwide, as evidenced by the record-breaking sale of this unique wooden interpretation.
As the wooden Citroën 2CV embarks on its new journey with its new owner, it carries with it a piece of automotive history and the legacy of a vehicle that was more than just a car—it was, and continues to be, a way of life. It is not the end for Robillard, however, as he already has another crazy project in mind: a DS21 Cabriolet coupé Chapron, in 27 months, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the DS”