A long held passion for classic cars is paying off for Tony Shields, a Bradford-based vintage vehicle restoration and parts specialist who is enjoying a sales boom of a very specific Citroën chassis in its home country France.
Nostalgic motorists are proving to be keen on one of the French manufacturer’s most iconic machines, the 2CV. Sales of restored models are going strong in the UK but Mr Shields has also tapped into the French market, with his “galvanised” 2CV chassis being snapped up from across the English Channel.
Having relocated his workshop to Low Moor, Bradford from Sowerby Bridge in recent years business is booming, he said: “Over the last three or four years turnover has gone up by about 40 per cent.
“We make the chassis because they have a tendency to rust and we usually sell about 200 a year with a large number of them going to France.
“They still make the original style chassis over there but ours is after market and are almost half the price.
“A lot of people are reliving their youth, they’re getting older and are a bit more affluent and they are looking at classic cars and thinking let’s go back to what we had years ago.
“The beauty of the 2CV is it’s very simplistic with no electronics and people can do all the maintenance themselves.”
The 2CV is a front-engine front wheel drive car that was manufactured by Citroën between 1948 and 1990 in a single four-door body style.
Mr Shields employs seven staff and even drives trailer loads of the chassis to customers in France himself.
His business, 2CV City, also does a strong trade in restored Citroën H vans. The vehicles are proving popular with catering companies looking to stand out from the line up of fast food vans at festivals and outdoors events.