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Meeting Wally In Chicago

Updated: Aug 15, 2021

I find Sebastian's new brother in a warehouse in Chicago

Sometimes when you start a new business the only thing more terrifying than failing... is succeeding! When I bought Sebastian late last year, and indeed even when I was looking for a 2CV as a fun toy before starting the business, a big part of my reason for choosing a vintage Citroën was their reputation for bulletproof reliability, affordability of parts, and simplicity of maintenance. In the spring as things got rolling I'd ordered plenty of extra parts and spaces from the amazing Burton 2CV Parts in the Netherlands but with the size of demand I was finding for tours I became nervous that an unexpected maintenance issue might arise and cause cancellations and disappointment for my guests in the busy fall season. So… I did what any car-person would do in such a situation. I used it as an excuse to start looking for another car!

First, of course, I had to make room for said car and as the search began I reluctantly sold an old Triumph I’d affectionately dubbed “The Anteater," which I'll talk about in a future blog post. With a timing that rivaled that FaceBook Marketplace ad back in December, no sooner than the evening The Anteater was loaded onto a truck and headed to its new owners, I found what seemed to be the only Citroën Dyane 6 currently for sale in the United States. This time though, I didn’t stumble upon a car in my own backyard but came across Wally listed all the way up in Chicago, tucked away in a warehouse full of other odd-ball cars.

When I originally had been looking at vintage Citroëns for fun, before I’d settled in on the idea of the business, the model that I’d been looking for had not actually been a 2CV at all but in fact its 1970s era descendant, the Citroën Dyane. For the uninitiated, over the course of the 2CVs lifetime it was “replaced” several times and though the iconic original model ended up outliving all of its children, they were each successful in their own rights. The first successor to the 2CV was the lovable ugly duckling Ami in 1961. Its controversial styling soldiered on until 1978 but in the late 1960s Citroën came out with yet another new update of the 2CV, the Dyane and its working brother the vanette Acadiane.

Wally is a 1982 version from the very last year of sales for the Dyane 6 model in the UK, and a special one-year only edition at that; the iconic blue and white “Cote d’Azure” edition, named after the French term for the French Riviera. Beneath the skin, Wally and Sebastian are absolutely identical, not that you would know from the outside, but with one notable exception. Wally’s steering wheel is on the wrong side!

I look forward to learning how to shift with my left hand and getting to know a new, goofy, and I’m sure quite lovable friend in Wally the Dyane 6.


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