Confessions and ramblings of a mad Citroen addict...

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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Confessions and ramblings of a mad Citroen addict...

Post by andmcit »

I'm not totally sure the world is ready for this but once the Citroenitis bug is let loose
there's no knowing where it will all end! A nice white room where there's padding on
all the walls?

So, where the addiction started!?

Talking about G's elsewhere on the forum got me digging out my old photos! I say old,
as anything pre digital camera is positively ancient and full of graininess and transfer
hassles to get anywhere near a computer, but I persevered to share with those who've
never seen a GS!! :shock:

My first car!! Yep, earned enough dosh to travel from Swansea to Bridgwater buying the
car blind other than a grainy picture in the Bargain cars section of AutoTrader!! The owner
of EFJ522T was a bit of a chilled out hippy and asked me if I was a Citroen lover as she
wanted me to give it a good home, should have known and run away quick smart before
the totally fab little buzzbox totally won me over.

The buzz from that turbine engine that seemed to rev up to silly heights and with grip
and handling that felt like a go-cart; remember, I'd learnt to drive in a duff old Rover 200
and the G was indeed a revelation and a yardstick that everything else was then compared
and trounced by. I was happy but had a secret hankering for a GSA that had been drooled
over parked with a FOR SALE at a local garage repairer where nobody ever seemed to work!!
It was the weird bluey purple metallic that REALLY appealed to a carnut art student! :D
So naturally I HAD to have it and finally found someone in the office one day...

Yes, the dent in the driver's wing was my still green driving awareness of the corner
extremities when reversing! :roll:

Yep, mine and I was still in college when I then thought it was a good idea to buy another
Gs and 2x CX's. Before I'd even really worked in a 'proper job' I'd already accumulated
5 Citroens and needed to fund my growing (worsening!?) addiction!!

The Cx's weren't just any old Cx's but a LHD 2.4 GTi and a 2.4 C-matic Prestige!! Wahay.
Now a Prestige is quite a remarkable beast too - anything feels pokey inside once you get
used to being in one of these... :lol:


I really didn't stand any chance of choosing any old boring alternative manufacturer at
this stage and that's pretty much where I still find myself today! :D

I had GS addiction soooo bad that another x2 1972 1220's were bought from the heart of
France. One was collected on a trailer and the second was delivered in a batch of 2CV's
to Frome2CV - you just can't even make this stuff up!!


the second loose on the Gower moors:


Things got to the point even in my early Citroening days where I needed a space to keep
them all in and tinker! Here I've found a piccy of the first old barn. It was brilliant being
large and dry and the guy renting it to me made a promise that it could be mine for as long
as I liked; that was fine right up to the point of him getting planning consent to level it
all to the ground and make a tiny bungalow with nary any notice to empty it... :(


I'm, not over yet, in fact, I'm not even started - gawd help you all! :D


ps. for MrModerator, the huge size pictures will get resized from these ones
pasted from my ramblings on

Where you need to for a decent 'fix' of big Citroens!!
Last edited by andmcit on 23 Mar 2009, 19:28, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by andmcit »

As it seemed to everyone else I told at the time as an amazingly daft thing
to do, the following week's AutoTrader featured EFJ's advert fully replicated
on the cover bigger with a headline along the lines of "The selling power of
AutoTrader" Seller X sold her car the first weekend to the first caller, a buyer
who travelled xx miles all the way from Swansea etc etc.. :lol: :roll: 8)

I've not changed my ways even with an allegedly wiser head and more
experience! :lol: :lol:
In fact, I think I've got worse! :P

This first GSpecial 1222 had a profound impact on a car mad 17 year old
whose dad drove a Rover SD1 and Ma drove an Avenger Tiger (well, OK, it
was a make believe one as it had the full running gear of a 'Tiger' in a 4door
bodyshell). It basically snowballed almost the minute I got that and about a
year later I had 3 or 4 Gs's and a LHD CX GTi 2.4.

I really haven't stopped since and now have a silly amount of arguably
worthless old Citroen relics that would take every waking moment of the
rest of my days to marginally sort and enjoy but I'm happy with my lot and
only now have to deal with the BIG issue of trimming down by a noticeable
%age due to the ongoing plan to decamp from one of the barns I store
things in. :(

The thing is, along the way over 20ish years I've accumulated a fair few
Citroens and where other sane people pass on their last car as they buy
another I keep the old one too!! My 'collection' is nothing to get excited
about and could be seen as a BIG liability. Some may argue I'm hoarding
cars from people who'd rather have them on the road although I've never
had to beat people away when I was buying any of them. Even off ebay!
In the case of some of the Activa's I bought them to stop them being
scrapped for their engines - yes really!

Out of the undisclosed number (I'm not saying!) in my car accumalation,
almost all work fine and simply need silly minor things sorting though
there are a few exceptions. Some I'd mark as near perfect and others I
wonder why I'm bothering to keep them and there's no logical reason
why I am - barns don't come for nothing (sadly).

So, yes I'm mad, everyone keeps telling me I am so I guess that really
means I AM!

Well, depending on the definition, certainly mad about Citroens.

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Post by andmcit »

The first Cx!

My first pictures I took of it nearly 20 years ago!! That says something for
the car and Cx's generally! They can make that much of an impact on you.
I purchased it with the last month's paypacket when I was working in the
Interior Design department at Ford's Laindon Design complex in Basildon
Essex. Yes, I wanted to be a car designer but it didn't all quite work out
the way I expected it to!

So, the first Cx; it's originally a Belgian Cx 2.4 GTi manual in Swordfish
grey metallic (LHD) imported in 1989 and already saved once from being
scrapped by the previous owner who replaced a whole rear 1/4 of the car!!!
It was a superb professional rebuild by guys who did it for the hell of the
challenge and enthusiasm for an unusual (quirky!!) car; stood up perfectly
to today without outward signs of decay,


I still have it today not significantly any worse for wear from when I bought
it but sure it needs a new bonnet and a bit of attention to the top of the
fan/closing panel after I ran into the rear end shunting a Peugeot 405
writing it off (the stupid things you do when you're young... :roll:

It hasn't been used recently with all the other distractions, though I have
plans to have it for another 20 years so the nose WILL be straightened...

At the very least, sometime in your driving experience you need to try
driving a Cx - the steering and in fact the whole 'event' is truly remarkable!

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Post by CitroJim »

Great stuff Andrew :D :D Keep it coming as I'm thoroughly enjoying every word 8)

If I had the space I'd have much the same sort of collection. My one great regret is that I'm, relatively-speaking, a new-boy in the Citroen world. How I wish I discovered them earlier. I would have loved a GS :(

Sadly now, it won't happen as I'm fully committed to Xantaie and time and space dictate that my fleet must remain at three...

...Unless of course my six numbers come up and then, as they say, it'll be a whole new ball-game...
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Post by red_dwarfers »

You really don't know how much I've been wanting to hear your story 8)

Its truly magical! Grinning throughout :D

The pictures really add to the atmosphere too :D
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Post by ACTIVE8 »

What a great place to store, 8) and work on the vehicles!


What a waste of a good barn, to replace it with a small bungalow. :evil:

Interesting thread andmcit.
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Post by Chris Hughes »

Andrew buddy you really need to up date this Topic as your collection has grown some since these pictures were taken.

Is the red CX Turbo the one that got damaged on the motorway?....Dam nice looking car.

We need to get another Turbo on the road. Maybe a1ok?
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Post by andmcit »

Well, it's been almost a year since my last confession... :lol:

Got thinking about my Cx's again after reading and reminding myself
about them with Dave's rescued Prestige.

I'm not even sure where I left off here but I'm still filling in the big gaps
between discovering G's and then realising there was a whole new world
of utterly bonkers and addictive Citroens to immerse myself in.

So. When I was in Uni I already had x2 Gs's (the blue EFJ pictured earlier,
the GSA in purple and the LHD Belgian GTi CX with a modest amount of
misdirected sponsorship money I had from Ford of course I had to be
'rational' and went out and bought a CX Prestige C-Matic in silver on a
V plate which couldn't run very well! :lol: :roll: There we go again,
a sucker for a lost cause even then and I've not improved with age since.

This 16plus foot long silver cigar was parked in the front driveway of the
student shared house where it became a permanent sculpture and as
mentioned elsewhere on the forum it readily became a more luxurious
extension to the poverty student digs. The problem was, it wouldn't run
despite a big learning curve and irrational enthusiasm! It never really
dawned on me what lunacy a dead Cx Prestige flat on it's belly was until
the time came to wrap it all up and graduate as this was the final year
of my course... :roll: :oops: :?

Meanwhile, matters were made even more complicated in the final throes
of Uni as not content with the "issue" of the silver Prestige, my Citroen
AWACS has picked up a local 1974 vintage mint GS a retired couple were
advertising and I'd volunteered to collect the car just as I was finishing
and paid up front for the car - student loan? What's that for... :?

After plenty of long distance phone calls and Haynes immersion with my
carnut father it was decided I'd have to bite the bullet and get the local Cit
specialist to collect the Prestige (day after I had to leave the house) and
take it back to his workshop to get working again and grit the teeth to see
it going again..

wonder of wonders, after an eye watering £300ish quid the airflow meter
was deemed ropey and decent second hand item I'd only just bought was
fitted (this was BIG money to a pikey student in those days). The car was
deemed working and was duly collected and driven home a week or so
later with the red 1220 GS in tow - the full family convoy consisted of the
Prestige, the Gs and my first Gs with regular swapsies between them all.
My word what a car that Prestige was!! The experience was almost Biblical
- the drive home through the twisties and motorways of Worcester were
an experience I'll not forget! The ride was akin to what I expected a
hovercraft would offer yet that fabulous long wheelbase and superb
suspension geometry eyc etc made it feel like the Gs - THIS WAS THE
HIGHEST PRAISE I could ever hope to offer any car.

It really was a phenomenal machine. The clutchless C-Matic powered
automatic yet not gearchanges by selecting through the standard looking
gearlever just made sense and in many ways the system predated all the
fancy J boxes and felt like a sports auto.

My father had already adopted my first Cx -(the left hooker) as he said
insurance was a bit daft and secretly he didn't trust a 21 year old speed
freak in a left hand drive 2.4 GTi Cx in College with a whole load of other
likeminded car nutters - I couldn't see the problem with the scenario
myself but that was the lie of land and I had to like it! My pops owned a
near new recently purchased Rover SD1 2600S and my but had taken
a real shine to the CX I had waiting back at home and found himself
driving it all the time - yes, I converted my father to Citroening and whilst
my Ma drove a Hillman Avenger 4door in all but name tweaked up Tiger,
this needed surgery so had adopted the blue GS and I drove the purple
GSA. Life was complicated even back in those days!

When the Prestige got home, I pried the Gti back and my Pops found
himself in the new family limo. It turned out to be the ultimate long
distance family holdall and made several 6+ hours trips to family back
in my hometown roots up in Northumberland 30 miles north of Newcastle.

To pay my way and get some funds to fuel my growing Citroen addiction
I found a rubbish stopgap job in a local petrol station after leaving College
and I was the first to see a series 1 GTi Turbo1 in the first few minutes
of the Thursday Exchange and Mart having been delivered at 5am that
morning. I made the call about the car as the seller was having his
breakfast!! 8-) I managed to wangle out of any further shift work and
hoofed across to Basildon PDQ the same day in my GSA to see the car
and give the nice man a deposit. It may be worth mentioning all this was
in the days pre Paypal, ebay, mobile phone etc and a skill was perfected
searching small ads, newspapers/freeads etc for cars/parts etc and
everything is too easy these days!! :D

Things in the family got VERY interesting as my had father decided to take
a great offer of early retirement and offered to pay the balance of the car
and when we collected it and tried it within a few weeks had purchased
possibly the best that was available Nationally at the time Cx GTi Turbo2
AND a Cx DTR turbo2 Safari. To say I was in Citroen heaven would've been
an understatement!!

Right, watch this space - I'm going to rummage for some piccies as all
these words must be very dull! :lol: More to come!!

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Post by Dommo »

A very interesting read I must admit.

I'm now going to be looking up the C-matic system! How does it work??

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Post by davetherave »

Interesting stuff Andrew! Thats quite a few citroens youve notched up!
Cant wait to see some more piccies!
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Post by andmcit »

The only way I can describe the C-Matic operation is the gear lever looks
and works like a normal manual gearlever but the trifling 'inconvenience'
of using a clutch pedal had been dispensed with! Nice smooth changes
when you wanted them with a torquey eager engine but only 3 speeds
where more would've been nice I guess.

I haven't got any info at hand at work here to give a decent reference/
description and whilst I hate doing this quote Wiki to fill in more gaps:
Citroën produced a number of variants on semi-automatic transmission. The Citroën DS, introduced in 1955, used a hydraulic system to select gears and operate the conventional clutch using hydraulic servos. There was also a speed controller and idle speed step-up device, all hydraulically operated. This allowed clutchless shifting with a single selector mounted behind the steering wheel. This system was nicknamed 'Citro-Matic' in the United States.

The Citroën 2CV gained an optional centrifugal clutch, marketed in English-speaking countries as 'Trafficlutch'. It did not help with gear changing, but it disengaged automatically when the engine slowed to an idle. A device was fitted to the carburettor to prevent the throttle closing abruptly, and the resultant clutch disengagement and lack of engine braking.

Later, the manufacturer introduced optional semi automatic transmissions on their medium and large saloon and estate models in the 1970s; the Citroën GS and CX models had the option of 3 speed, semiautomatic transmission marketed as 'C matic'. This was simpler than the DS implementation: instead of hydraulics it used a floor mounted quadrant lever operating conventional gear selector rods and an electrically controlled wet plate clutch in conjunction with a torque converter. The torque converter gave more of the feel of a conventional automatic transmission, which was completely lacking in the DS. Citroën semi automatic transmission of this era made no use of electronics: the entire gear selecting operation was carried out by simply moving the gear lever from one ratio to the next.
TBH, I have a fair few cars - 98% Citroen... :oops:

there's a few Suzuki SC100's and the original Rover SD1 - I'm 'putting up'
space for my father's x3 60's Sunbeam Alpines too.

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Post by Dommo »

Ah yes I remember seeing the DS gear selector on the clip with Richard Hammond off Top Gear driving it, it's a nice feeling knowing that the Top Gear boys - who have a bad word to say about most things - all love Citroens.
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Post by Citroenmad »

Another excellent read Andrew, keep them coming. :D

Cant imagine what it must have been like to own a CX and your daily drive at the age of 21, you must have been pretty flash!

Looking forward to the pictures!
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Post by lexi »

Yes keep confessing Andrew It`ll do you and the rest of us good . You`ve did the right thing telling us when it all started............ :yes:
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Post by andmcit »

Pictures to follow but I have now hit my favourite subject; Cx GTi Turbos! :D

Typical, I now find myself at 1:30am with an early start necessary
tomorrow, where I find myself on the brink of writing war and peace
on these truly magical Citroens and no time to really do them justice
and share with everyone their magnificence!! 8-)

Just as a teaser to get the Cx juices flowing then a few words!

I've now owned/tried almost every permutation of Cx both diesel and petrol
and really the only hassle would be the VERY difficult call to make between
a s1 and s2 although it may just edge towards the S1.

The best of the bunch? Yep, the series 1 metal bumper GTi turbo

For looks and purity in the overall design Citroen-ness I'd say the s1 is the
best, and in the guise of the Turbo1 it got to the ultimate development of
the s1 (either the GTi or the Prestige Turbo1!!). Most of the rust issues
were better resolved and basically the engine remained the same in
principle then to the end of the series GTi Turbo2. Sure there are obvious
changes on the s2 and that's why I'm torn with liking them just as much.

Certainly it visually got more butch with the deeper bumpers and sill trims
and the modernisation of the s2 dash is very successfull being striking and
visually effective in a different way to the early design. There were
streamlined changes and cost cuts in some of the fixtures and fittings that
were hidden from view but the feel remained the same though the big
marshmallow seats were swapped for firmer more shaped but still
comfortable one's.

The ride has always been best on all but the highest spec GTi models,
the estates being truly superb for their ability and stability. In fact, in
motorway crosswinds a Cx in uncanny in the way it seemingly won't
budge off it's selected path probably even in a hurricane!!

For ride comfort the Cx Gti's are noticeably firmer (certainly not as floaty
as other Cx's) but the ride isn't uncomfortable - in fact I'd go so far as to
say the Cx GTi is a match to the more complex Xm set up - the GTi being
tauter in body roll to match the Xm where the other Cx's will roll a bit


My first Cx GTi Turbo1 with a sister turbo at a CCC rally just a few years
back. For me, still the best! Only a small wrinkle on one front wing and
bubbles around the sunroof requiring attention! Currently safely warm and
dry stored away awaiting action.

Whilst on the general subject of Cz's, there ISN'T a better Estate than a
Cx Safari/Familiale (I'll get there sometime soon too).

Quite frankly if Citroen had pulled their finger out and galvanised the Cx
in the car's later years I think most of us here would be driving one of

All the best,