Citroen 3CV

Fifteen years ago we bought a nearly new Citroen C3 for my wife. We’d actually been considering a Fiat Punto or Panda but the acres of cheap grey plastic and that nagging phrase of Fix It Again Tony wouldn’t go way.

The C3 immediately impressed us with its well put together interior and effective packaging as a city car. On the open road I was disappointed, this was my 14th Citroen and perhaps the first to have a fidgety ride. But never mind, it spent most of its life in the city and was an efficient carry all for delivering our three children to their many events.

Fifteen years on the C3 has done nearly 150,000 miles. We now live 8 miles out of the city so it has become a commuting car. I think the ride has softened with age as I’ve driven it to London several times and found it a good motorway cruiser.

There are a lot of C3’s in the village near here. All look absolutely like new and are probably all one lady owner. Ours is one lady owner too but it looks like it escaped from a hippie encampment.

The years in Clifton caused dents to every panel and a gouge from a skip. When a rear light had a meeting with our gate I replaced both with cheap Lexus style units as they were cheaper than Citroen ones.

When Southmead youth attempted to ram it into a stream the front bumper got left on a concrete upstand. That was replaced with a new one but as the raw grey plastic is quite similar to the car’s silver it’s never been painted. Like the Hindustan becoming a Peugeot 206 in an ad, this C3 is taking on the look of a 2CV. But it also has the resilience of a 2CV.

A new cam belt and engine fan this year cost way more than the car is worth but no regrets. It’s the most reliable car we’ve ever owned and our daughters are fighting over who becomes the next owner.