Citroen fanatic Ian Moore with his restored, and incredibly rare, 2CV pickup, one of only three in the world.The original 2CV pickup is pictured below (bottom right) here in the Taranaki car yard in the 1960s.

Citroen fanatic Ian Moore has restored an incredibly rare 2CV pickup with sentimental value and it is one of only three in existence worldwide.

Just 130 pickups were manufactured at the Citroen plant in England.

Half went to the British Royal Navy and the rest were sold commercially.

They were chosen by the navy because they were light enough to lift on and off the ship and good to take into the bush in areas like Malaysia.

Ian, now of Ashburton, used the pickup for a year or so on his dairy farm in Taranaki in the mid-1960s and then sold it.

He tracked it back down 50 years later and snapped it up from a dealer in Bulls for $7500 in 2017.

“It had been butchered and modified and had a smoke stack up the back and a Renault bonnet and very few original parts left it on,” Ian said.

The tailgate, hood, a bit behind the seat and the chassis were all that remained of the original 1955 vehicle.

Over many months the pickup has been stripped right back to the bare bones and painstakingly restored.

Local panel beater Luke Darrell was employed and spent around 800 hours lovingly recrafting the body work.

The dashboard is from a 2CV car and the back bumper of a Morris Minor is now the pickup’s front bumper.

A modified Morris roof has also been used.

A bonnet was sourced from Australia but still took two months to modify.

The pickup has been given a military-green look and there is a Royal Marines insignia on each door.

The 405cc, two cylinder engine is air cooled and has a centrifugal clutch.

A spare tyre is hidden on the passenger side and the fuel tank hidden on the driver side.

Ian has fitted the seats and been hands-on with parts of the restoration.

The vehicle is registered and warranted and a qualified citroen mechanic is coming soon to do the final engine checks.

“There is no other car like this and I’m pleased with how it has come together,” Ian said.

He didn’t want to think about what the restoration had cost, but it was hefty and worth it.

Ian inherited 278 Citroen cars from his late uncle in the early 1970s and sold most on.

His uncle ran a car dealership in Taranaki and imported new vehicles into New Zealand.

Over the years Ian estimates he has personally owned and driven 73 older-style Citroens.

As well as the 2CV pickup, he has a 1937 L12, 1973 wagon, 1987 2CV and 1974 DS23 in his garage.

All are right hand drive and in top nick and the wagon has just been reluctantly sold.

“I do have a love affair with Citroens which goes back to my uncle and his first car in 1948.

“I’ve restored a Citroen every year for the last 10 years – it’s just a passion,” Ian said.

The pick-up is very rare and there are just two others known to be in existence – one is in England and another in Holland.

“I’ve visited and spoken to the Dutch owner and I’ve used his vehicle as a template for my restoration.”

Ian has a photo album detailing the restoration process. It is full of snippets and information about the 2CV and his favourite car manufacturer, Citroen.

The final piece of the restoration project is the fitting of a small illuminate the dashboard.

-By Mick Jensen