OF VERNON RESIDENTS
in area on way
crazy about their design. It's the only car with more doors than cylinders... it's
a very simple car, but can go about 65 mph."
Josť Biesbrouck, -owner-
By ROB BOOTH
VERNON - lt gets 40 miles per gallon, weighs only
1,200 pounds, and its four doors, roof, and trunk are detachable.
What sounds and looks like a large toy actually is a car, the 2CV, which the French
manufacturing company Citroen stopped making in 1990. But American 2CV enthusiasts
are getting a special treat from Jose Biesbrouck of Belgium.
Biesbrouck, who owns six 2CVs, is on a three-month vacation in the United States, and is
driving a 2CV across the country to visit with car buffs he met over the Internet. Tuesday
he rolled into Tom Warner's driveway in Vernon.
"I've been 'Wanting to buy one for a long time," said Warner, who met Biesbrouck
for the first time Tuesday. "l lived in France from 1963 to 1967 when I was in the
While the 2CVs still are common in France, Biesbrouck estimates there only are 100 to 200
in the United States. He said he has seen them in U.S. car magazines, selling for up to
"People are crazy about their design," said Biesbrouck as he showed the car's
two-cylinder engine to Warner. "lt's the only car with more doors than cylinders ...
it's a very simple car, but can go about 65 mph."
The car's simplicity is evident by a quiek study of the car. The body is connected to the
frame with 26 bolts, the air conditioning system is a flap that opens on the dashboard to
let fresh air in, and the windows flip up.
"The car was always known for its great suspension," said Wamer, during a
Tuesday drive on a bumpy back road in Vernon. "It's amazing how smooth it goes on
a road like this."
Biesbrouck responded: "They used to use these cars to make movies in Califomia. They
put the camera on the roof (for moving shots) because they run so smooth."
And the car is so lightweight that when someone sits in the back seat, the driver has a
drank to lower the headlights because the rear of the car drops so low.
Most of the'Vemon residents did a double take as Biesbrouck drove by in his 2CV, which is
a 1963 frame with a 1984 body.
"You should have seen the looks I got in Manhattan," said Biesbrouck, whose next
destination is Colorado.