We sometimes run across rather odd-looking cars being sold on eBay. Remember this 1962 DAF Daffodil microcar, the infamous crocodile car? You either loved or hated it at first sight. We found another car that reminds us of an amphibian, today’s remarkable find, this 1971 Citroen – Ami 8 Estate – 2CV Platform:
Seen from the front with its headlights and grill juxtaposed with the face of an amphibian, it looks strikingly like a toad or frog of some kind. Maybe a bit like this image of an unhappy tree frog?
The Ami 8 replaced the somewhat underpowered Ami 6 in 1969, and the designers completely changed the way the back of the car looked. It is true that the Ami 6 has often made people’s “worst looking cars” lists, but the Ami 8 was a vast improvement, even though the headlights still look unusually high. As it turns out, we have the French bureaucrats to thank for this design flaw. The Ami was the first production car to use rectangular rather than round headlights. The original design of the Ami had the headlights placed too low for the liking of French authorities, so the designers moved the headlights up to their new, frog-like position.
We kind of like the car, and especially appreciate the well-preserved state this 40-year-old car finds itself in, both exterior and interior. The car has had only three owners in its long life, the second owner keeping meticulous notes on the car’s service history and even a trip diary from when the car toured the American southwest.
The listing further describes the car:
“This car has had a lifetime of care and has recently benefitted from a high quality repaint in its original color. If you follow Citroens on eBay you know that the 2CV’s and DS’s are plentiful, SM’s and Traction Avants somewhat less common, and Ami’s rarely if ever coming to market. Incredibly, close to 2 million Ami’s were produced over a 17 year run, yet very few examples slipped through the cracks to the US. This one has good bones, a good owner history, and is overall a terrific example of one of Citroen’s best selling nameplates.”
The car has been repainted in the original Blanc Cygne (Swan White), with the paint job described as “glass smooth” with “excellent depth and gloss.” You can see the extent to which the car was disassembled before the interior and exterior were painted:
Interestingly, the original manual notes that you can pull out the seats relatively easily, without power drills, and use them as picnic chairs. As the seller says, this car has a certain joie de vivre as only the French know how to bring to even something as mundane as car seats. Being of French origin, it is surprising the car doesn’t come with a built-in place to store wine bottles and glasses. Luckily, a quick search on eBay reveals the perfect bottle holder to go with this car, this Red Car Wine Bottle Holder Ragtop Convertible:
But now that the car is in the USA, we would pair it with this brilliant bit of American ingenuity, the converted ’62 Porsche coupe BBQ:
A barbecue, some wine, and unusual-looking cars. It must be Friday.