THE DEUX CHEVEUX or Citreon 2CV has become something of a classic since production stopped 27 years ago.
I vividly remember owning a battered old red one in the early 90’s, which was as eccentric as it was unreliable. My partner refused to travel in it, accusing it of being a death trap and with a top speed approaching 50mph, it took ages to drive anywhere. In fact it once took me ten hours to drive from the Midlands to the Isle of Wight. I could have flown to Los Angeles quicker.
But I loved the creaky, leaky, old girl and used to peel back the plastic hood, boasting about driving a cabriolet. When I occasionally managed to push the speedometer up, normally downhill, her front passenger windows would flap up and down like the ears of a cocker spaniel running along a windy beach.
These days a restored model can fetch thousands of euros and it’s amazing how many you can still see on the roads of Spain.
However, I guarantee you will never see one quite like the one Robillard, a retired French cabinet maker, has constructed.
He has built himself a life size, fully functioning replica of a Citroën 2CV almost entirely of wood. The car, made of Touriane fruitwood, took him six years to complete and is expected to pass its first technical inspection without a problem.
The Frenchman has been working with wood since the age of 14, concentrating on constructing miniature replicas made of wood. However, this is the first time that he has made a full-scale working replica. He began the project in 2011 and the labour of love has taken six years to complete.
The car runs on a genuine Citroën 2CV engine; its mechanical workings are not wooden and the windows are made of glass, but almost all other details have been completely carved out of wood.
Robillard has put in extensive work to get the detailing right. He has neatly carved out the Citroën logo and chiseled out the grille to make it as close to the real thing as possible.
The headlamps and other electrical equipment are fully functional, with electrical wiring done in the fashion of the real car.
Talking about the motive behind his creation, Robillard said, “I wanted to make an object that remains after me. I would like this car to be exhibited one day in an art gallery.”
Imagine popping out to wash and polish the car on a Saturday morning, picking up a bucket, sponge, chamois leather and a can of furniture polish.