Paul & Freda, Dallas, TX
It is done! The 2CV is safe and sound in Dallas. It was clean and in good condition. The custom broker told me that the Turn Signal light switch was broken, but on closer inspection I found that it could be just replaced onto the metal bracket fitted to the steering column. By the way you did a great job with the warning notices on the vehicle, it must really help the people who have to handle the vehicle during transit, and prevent unintentional damage.
When we got to the custom broker in Houston (who had transported the car from Galveston) I was able to start the 2CV first time, and was able to easily drive it up the ramps onto the dolly. Not bad considering I have never driven one before, and that the engine was cold. It must be my expert clutch control! The only concern I had, was that the narrow track of the 2CV meant that the tires were just over the ramp edges by an inch! So it was nail biting time, hoping that I could keep it straight going up and coming down. A truck driver helped Freda guide me up the ramps, and a friend in Dallas likewise coming down. I increased the front tire pressures, and had no problem with the tire straps. The journey itself was uneventful (about 5 hours with stops). Freda rode "shotgun" and kept me on the "straight and narrow" as far as the trailer wheels (wider than my Lexus RX300) were concerned, keeping me off the curbs and between the lane markings. The trailer/2CV had no effect on the handling of my RX300 at all. Actually the entire rig behaved very well indeed (except for the rattles!), I was really impressed.
My biggest problem, so far, has been getting the hood open. I eventually found the release lever under the front bumper!!!
Tomorrow I will go to the DMV and register it. The customs release form is stamped "Complies will all EPA requirements" which should expedite the DMV process. Then I shall take some short trip around the neighborhood to acclimatize my self to the uniqueness of the 2CV.
Again it has been a pleasure dealing with you, and I would recommend you to anyone.
I have started the DMV process. First, I have to take the 2CV to have it safety tested. Because you prepared it, there should not be any problem! only with the tester driving it! After that I have to take it to the local police, to have them inspect and certify that the VIN number matches the vehicle, and that it is not stolen, or is made up of stolen parts etc.
I am driving it around the neighborhood to get a feel for it, before I take it on the busy roads. It drives very smoothly, and I can even get it moving in 2nd and 3rd gear. This is good because I am often in the wrong gear! I need to refine my gear changing technique. I think I need to "palm" the gear change, rather than grip it. I don't expect it will take me long to master it. The next step, will be to fill it up with 93 Octane gas and see what happens. I am a little concerned about this as Dallas gas also has 10% Methanol in it, which doesn't help either.
Le Cheval Blanc is now legal in Texas. It has been safety tested, and registered. In the end, it did not need to be inspected by the Police stolen car unit (this was good, as it would have been a 30 mile round trip, through the city, to their location!!!). I persuaded the DMV clerk to accept the French title document which you had signed over to me, as proof that I legally had title to the car.