1958 2CV Restoration by Mark Krahn

Mark Krahn in Armstrong BC, has done an outstanding renovation on this lovely 1958 2CV he purchased in 2016. We are pleased to show it here as a fine example of what is possible. What’s even more impressive is that for the most part, it was a home effort.

First, here’s a little history in Mark’s own words;

The car was originally owned by Diana Kingsmill Wright (an Olympic skier, a society hostess, a newspaper editor, an eloquent spokesperson for peace, and an early advocate of environmental awareness in Saskatchewan, alive from 1908-1982), who brought it in to Montreal and then on to Saskatoon, where it remained. The car was used locally for many decades, and is known to have only once left the province when Diana took it on a trip to Banff!

Following her passing, a family friend owned the car, and kept it driveable in a sort of “prairie-sensibility” type fashion (meaning “barely”, probably not roadworthy, and generally with parts sourced from the farmyard). I think the car managed to survive because it was never really “forgotten” or left to rot in a field.  You may find a few more interesting details from the “For Sale” ad from July 2016 that appeared in Citroenvie.

I have been the keeper of an historical 1958 2CV in Saskatchewan for the last 30 years, partly in honour of noted local owner Diana Wright. It’s time to pass the mantle to someone younger and prepared to do the restoration work. The paint pretty well defines patina. The car has been kept running at different times over the years to keep its juices flowing, so it isn’t a “barn find” needing total restoration. “Archy” was named after the “Archy and Mehitabel” book and was unique in the Saskatoon area. The engine and brakes are in good shape, with a ring and valve job done many years but few miles ago. The suspension works fine. An oil leak and bad wiring harness are the biggest mechanical issues. The body and chassis are solid but beat up and patina-rich. The driver’s door does have some body damage. The interior shows its age. The top is wrecked and a modern plastic-board covering has been tacked on. Still, even with lots to refurbish, all in all a worthwhile project. Hagerty’s “Fair” evaluation is a surprising $7200.US ! I’m looking to pass it on to an enthusiast for $2,500.00 CAN. – Richard Perry

I was made aware of the car by a fellow enthusiast (Keinan Chapman) while I was on the road working, and had my son-in-law, working in Saskatoon at the time, take a look at it. I retrieved it shortly after and as expected realized that a full restoration was the only option to honestly preserve it.

After sandblasting the frame it became apparent that internal rust had begun to weaken it, causing it to sag. An alternate frame was sourced in the southern US. The ripple bonnet was also sufficiently dented to make repair too costly, so an NOS was located in Maine (and shipped in a wooden crate across the continent).  Beyond this however, the remaining, original parts were restored.

The engine and transmission were mostly cleaned up, and minimal work had to be done. The engine was resealed and given new rings and rebuilt heads.  As well, an NOS carburetor was sourced, which greatly assists in making the trafficlutch work as intended.  

Bodywork done to the car included a complete strip and repaint of all body parts and components. The paint color was matched to an underdash grey section, and the sheen was purposely lowered to try and replicate a possibly more original gloss level. A special thank you goes to my daughter in the fabrication of the wool seatcovers.

Currently “Archy” (Diana’s chosen name for the car) ventures out 4-5 times weekly to town for groceries or a coffee. 

Enjoy the before, during and after photos of Archy and Mark’s restoration progress:

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