Given the small cost of this book, you would be foolish to spend thousands on an example of Citroën's classic and iconic 2CV without taking it's expert advice ...
STOP! Don’t buy a 2CV without buying this book FIRST! Having this book in your pocket is just like having a real marque expert by your side. Benefit from Mark Paxton’s years of 2CV ownership: learn how to spot a bad car quickly and how to assess a promising one like a professional. Get the right car at the right price!
Review by David Burdett for 2CVGB News, July 2007
If you're going to look at any second-hand car, taking an expert on the model along with you is the obvious ideal. If that car happens to be a 2CV then Mark Paxton's well-written book may be even better.
Mark first asks the questions that few about to be 2CV owners ever do. Is the 2CV the right car for you? Could you live with one? In the world of the power-assisted, servo-braked. non-rusting, dependable, quiet supermini these are important and relevant considerations. Looking wistfully at a shiny 2CV through a rosy haze, with thoughts of sunny days and the wind in your hair and no consideration of how you are going to get it home and look after it, or whether you mind it dripping on your leg when it rains, can be an expensive mistake. As can omitting to check the whole car for hidden mechanical or structural nightmares due to being distracted by the very friendly and chatty seller. Which, of course, is the whole point of this guide.
After explaining the different models, from early ripples through to the last Portuguese examples and pointing out their pros, cons and relative values, the book takes you through finding and then meeting your potential purchase for the first time. You are told what equipment will be useful to you and what questions it might be pertinent to ask the seller before you start. Then, by guiding you round the car in a logical order, examining all the 2CV's known problem areas with colour photos and easy to follow text, Mark's 'Fifteen Minute Evaluation' should tell you whether you ought to stay and undertake further investigation or catch the next train home.
If the condition and price seem right, the next chapter is the 'Serious Evaluation'
with a unique point scoring system for each area of the car. This is where the book scores over the expert. It is completely impartial and if used properly doesn't miss a thing. Here again, colour photos and clear explanations help the uninitiated. Mark allows about an hour for this part including a fifteen-minute test drive during which you are advised about what to look and feel for, and even what the car should sound and smell like. Following this thorough examination the points are added up to see if your first impressions were correct.
With an inflation-proof spare parts price guide and sections about vans, paperwork, the 2CV community, restoration, auctions, problems with paint and lack of use, and lists of specialists and parts suppliers this really is a comprehensive little book. Taking it with you and using it will undoubtedly put you in a very strong position when it comes to agreeing a price.
As someone who has, on several occasions, let emotion preside over common sense when looking at a second-hand A-series, I wish Mark Paxton had written this guide about ten years ago. He might have saved me a lot of money.