header image
Homepage. This page: How not to tow a Citroen 2CV

Citroen 2-CV

Thanks to Alan for sending me the tale of his Citroen 2CV, and an unfortunate breakdown recovery .....
Last December I was returning from deepest Sussex after dropping off a girl-friend in some God-Forsaken Inn by the Ashdown Forest. Motoring nice and sweetly in my little red Citroen 2-CV, at peace with myself and with the world, smacking my lips from the tremendous tactile experience with the girl - when suddenly the little 2-cylinder engine decided to splutter to a stop.
Red Citroen 2 CV
Little 2-CVs have a nasty little habit of doing this, but it never turns out to be an alarmingly worrying event, unless, that is, you are in deepest Sussex at 02:30 a.m. of a Sunday morning.

Phoned my Roadside Assistance people, but, surprisingly, they could not get anyone to me until at the earliest 07:00 a.m., by which time I figured I would have frozen anyhow. Then phoned my bestest friend, Big John Flin, he of the large house in Old Oxted with the big Mercedes in the drive and plenty of room for ponies in the paddock at the rear.. "Of course, Alan, I 'll be right over and we'll get it sorted."
Big John is nothing but the sweetest, most big-hearted and most laid back guy in the whole of the South East. Fifteen minutes later he is with me looking for the engine under the bonnet and making smacking sounds with lips, but he really does not understand the workings of the 2-CV mechanicals, so he drops the investigations and decides he will tow me back to Bletchingley - its 20 miles AS THE CROW FLIES.

Safely fastened behind the big Merc with a thick nylon tow rope, he comes round to my window to ensure that I'm all set, brakes off, seat belt on, gears off, lights on, etc. etc. Very safety-conscious, Our John.

"Listen, Uncle Alan" (he always calls me that, I don't know why), "you just sit back and relax, and I'll go nice & steady at 30 m.p.h. and if anything should start troubling you, you just FLASH YOUR HEADLAMPS AND HONK YOUR HORN and I'll stop. Couldn't be simpler". I agree, so we set off up the A22.
Now, Big John is nothing but the safest and most considerate of drivers, even lets dear little old ladies in Diesel Toyotas overtake him - but one thing he is not happy with is Porsche Carreras - especially black Porsche Carreras. And in particular, black Porsche Carreras driven by women.. And, as luck would have it, four miles into our little journey we come to the ONLY TRAFFIC LIGHT in the whole route, and - yes, you guessed it: a black Porsche Carrera is sitting there revving its engine.. And, yes, there's a 25-YEAR-OLD LADY at the wheel who turns her head and makes sneering little gestures at Big John, with plenty deep throbbing Bbaap-Baap blasts of the engine..

Big John controls his primeval urges and just sits there waiting for the light to change so we can proceed on our leisurely way North. but then this young thing gives John THE FINGER, and blasts away!!!!

Now, the ONE SINGLE THING Big John will not tolerate from anybody, and that' s the middle finger.
He loses it completely. Clicks the Tiptronic thingy on his knob by the gear lever, changes down a notch or two, and he floors the Goddamm pedal. Shoots off like greased lightning!
I, still strapped to the little 2-CV being towed behind him, feel my head snap back and after a quarter of a second's delay while the nylon tow-rope gathers elasticity, shoot off after him like an F-14 Tomcat being catapulted from the decks of the USS Saratoga with both afterburners on. Military Power, I think it's called.
Frantically gathering my wits about me, I turn my lights on and off, on and off, on and off (you don't have a headlight flasher in the 2CV) and beep my little horn with increasing desperation, but to no avail. Big John is gonna catch the ***** in the Porsche, no matter what is hitched to the back of his Mercedes. This is LAW.
I'm standing on the brake pedals and black smoke is pouring from the narrow little tyres, the headlights coming on and off, on and off, I'm waving my arms about like a demented dancing Dervish on speed, but Big John has not got eyes on his mirror - they are fixed on the rear of the Carrera like the lock-on systems of a jet fighter's missile activators.

I'm swinging just 3 feet behind him, receiving the full force of gravity and whip-lashing round the turns and twists like something out of Hell.. Lights flashing, horn beeping, smoke pouring from all four tyres.

Just then a gentleman from the Surrey Constabulary witnesses this high-speed procession roar by, grabs his radio and calls for a Surrey Police Interceptor car to get in on the chase. "Hello. PC-49 to Base. PC-49 to base. I wish to report a black Porsche Carrera speeding at 155 mph on the A22 through East Grinstead and proceeding in a Northerly direction, being chased by a big black Mercedes also doing a very high rate of knots - and wait for this, but you won't believe it: there's this crazed little bald-headed git with glasses and a ridiculous moustache driving a little RED CITROEN 2CV yelling and screaming and waving his arms, flashing his lights and honking his horn, with steam coming off his tyres, and he's only attempting to OVERTAKE the lot.!!!!".
In the end, the nylon tow-rope snapped, and I was catapulted on to a field still strapped in to my amazing little red 2-CV, smoke pouring out of every orifice in the little car, & where I was promptly encircled by FIVE Surrey Constabulary high-speed interceptors who immediately arrested me for reckless driving. and impounded the little car!!!
I refused to deny the charges!!
Thanks for sending that interesting story over! Various other 2CV items of possible interest appear on this site, including a look at a rare UK-market advertising leaflet for the 1956 Type AZ Citroen 2CV.
Return to the Your Cars section
Custom Search
Old Classic Car (C) R. Jones 2020. Content not to be reproduced elsewhere.
Website by ableweb.
Privacy Policy, Cookies & Disclaimers