Like the original Ford Mustang, Ford Model A, MG B, VW Beetle, Mini and its brother the Méhari before it, the availability of brand new Citroën 2CV body shells means that no tin snail needs to die anymore.

I’m not sure who makes them, but all the parts shops have them now: zinc plated, all new and allegedly made from slightly thicker steel than the original spec. That last thing’s not difficult, the OEM sheetmetal was very thin. The new shells are for the final, 1974 on 2CV6 model, so if you have a Chris Harris style ripple bonnet, you need to remain careful with that body.

Since all other parts of the 2CV have long been available, it raises an intriguing possibility: new Tin Snails. Sure enough, the outfits who cottoned on to that trick a couple of years back when new Méhari plastic bodies became available, now offer ‘new’ 2CVs. One enterprising company in Belgium even has a configurator.

The ‘new’ quotation marks are important for our US based brethren: if you can find the VIN plate of an old wreck, you can completely legally have a new 2CV in the Land of the Brave too.

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Not that you’d need to order a ready built one, of course. The nice thing about the umbrella on wheels is that it is the simplest thing you can call a car. It was designed to be built by brutes –production panel gap tolerances: 1cm–, operated by peasants and maintained by the village blacksmith. I rather fancy building one myself, in other words.

If the thicker steel and zincor plating isn’t good enough for you, duckservice.nl will do you a complete galvanised one. They also galvanise pretty much all other steel parts, which is to say the whole damned thing minus roof, tyres and seat upholstery.

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2CV Garage and Burton offer their own takes on the new shell with modern epoxy primers.

ECAS are working on an RHD version for those who hang that way.

(Photo credits: ECAS)