About 25 years ago (I was just 13 years old) I spent my holiday in France, with a family that owned 2 DS's, an AMI 6 and green Méhari. I'd never saw a car like that : it smells like a 2CV, sounds like a 2CV but has its own character.
I don't have a picture about that appetiser but I found one that has exactly the same color and exactly the same version.
It's an early model (see it's nose). Notice the blinklights on the side at the back. That's a nice detail I remember from then.
I remember the first ride in that plastic box. The
top removed, the windshield down on the hood and off we went. My God did I enjoy that ride
! That was the day I promised myself that once I would own my own Méhari.
Well, being fond of all kind of vehicles -and I have had quite a few- I never got to my Méhari. I loved restoring old junk cars (I couldn't afford new ones anyway :-) and even drove my own 2CV 'special' for a while (a 400 cc by the way), so I could got the 2-cylinder-taste of it. Until one day, I met somebody who was the proud owner of a Méhari and I guess that lit the flame again..
At that time I felt the urge to restore another car
so this could be the time to start a Méhari project. Having no idea about the value (to
me, it was just a plastic 2CV -no offence please-). I found them rather expensive so I
just waited and looked around a little bit.
Being also a PC-addict and curious about the unknown, I took my first subscription to the internet about 4 years ago, and just surfing around I stumbled over some 2CV and Méhari-sites. Gathering info and mailing to other addicts, I got some tips from my new friends about Méhari's for sale. Unfortunately, most of them where beyond my budget or in perfect condition (remember, I absolutely wanted to restore one). Until the day that José Biesbrouck, a real 2CV-addict (email@example.com), sent me an e-mail with three photo's in attachement. A genuine Méhari, bad enough to need restoration, but still in a pretty good condition. Even the price seemed reasonable ! And that's the one I have now.
This is one of the pictures José sent me :
You'll notice that the car has french licence plates. Indeed, the guy who sold it to me was a second hand car dealer who just brought it along from over the border. Thank God ! It came from the south of France where it had been living in the sun (and the sand) for 16 years (it's a '82). That's what made the chassis survive but killed the paint (it looks beige but it's actually a bleached orirginal 'Montana green' which is acutually the color of the car on top of this page).
A week later, we brought the car to its new living place where it would get stripped completely to start it's second live. It drove on and off the trailer using its own 26 HP. I just removed the roof and took it for a spin in the street.
I always had the strange habbit to assign a gender to my cars and usually even a name. To assign the gender I have to drive it first to see 'how it feels'. Now this Méhari is definitely a 'she' : she runs smoothly, is rather noisy and squeeky, has a fine vivid character and seems pretty happy to be on the road. (message for the female readers : this is not my definition of the perfect wife)
The technical part (engine, clutch and brakes) seems to work fine but we'll inspect it later anyway. The platform chassis seems ok and the tubular chassis (which supports the plastic -sorry, I should say ABS- needs some welding. Still, there's much to do at the body : at least 3 holes and quite some cracks.
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