Updated: Aug 16, 2021
After a long search, I find a 2CV right in my own back yard!
The story of how I met Sebastian starts with the Covid-19 pandemic and the quarantine that started in the spring of 2020. I'd been in the hospitality business for many years but like many people, lost that business as a result of the lock down. Luckily, I was positioned well to start afresh with something new and spent the better part of that year plotting out new directions for my life and business. As funny as it probably sounds, one of those plot lines kept pointing me towards basing a business around vintage Citroëns.
In the fall of 2020 I began seriously looking for a car to purchase, watching auctions, classic car listings, and import sites searching for the perfect match. The quarantine had inflated the prices and supplies of many things like housing, but also the prices of many collector cars. I also had a very specific idea of the Citroën I was looking for. I was searching specifically for a 2CV 6, which was only sold in the last ten years of production. That later model had upgraded brakes and increased power which I thought to be an asset on Savannah’s chaotic streets, and for the 2CV 6 "Charleston" edition specifically for its iconic colors and design which match Savannah’s architecture so well.
The Citroën 2CV itself is an icon of French design and style originally conceived in the late 1930s as a replacement for horses in the French countryside and was sold and built all over the world, from Uruguay, to Iran, to sub-Saharan Africa where it was used as a jeep by the French Armed Forces. The mostly unchanged 2CV was sold over 42 years and reached numbers of over four million worldwide, and over nine million when one counts all the myriad variations introduced over the years. But there was never a single one sold in the United States! Which made my dream of owning one all me more ambitious.
So imagine my shock when one cold day in December I found a fully restored 1985 2CV 6 Charleston on Facebook Marketplace only two hours away! In Charleston, South Carolina no less! I immediately called the seller and by that evening was driving up with a friend to meet Sebastian within the hour. Driving home that night in December I discovered the 2CV has a very good heater and decided to name Sebastian before I'd even made it out of the city limits. Chatting with the seller I found out Sebastian was originally sold in Belgium and brought to the United States in 2013 by its original owner after having been given a full restoration in Europe. It had come to Charleston, SC (no relation to the “Charleston” edition badging) when the owner moved there and had been in storage for some time in his son’s garage before finally being put up for sale shortly before I saw it online.
I’ve owned many quirky vintage cars over the years but I’ve known one that elicits the smiles and waves that Sebastian brings and I am beyond excited to start my Citroën journey and share this lovely old car with visitors to our lovely city.