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Citroen: Classic & Performance range guide

Citroen: Classic & Performance range guide Classic and Performance Car
Citroen C6 and DS Citroen BX 1970s Citroen range Citroen XM V6 and BX 16v Citroen SM Citroen Saxo VTS Citroen Xantia Activa V6 Citroen C6 and SM
Formed by Andre Citroen in 1919, it’s fair to say that Citroen has created some of the world’s most iconic and innovative cars of all time. The brilliance of the pre-war Traction Avant, functional ruggedness of the 2CV and the futuristic DS were all stand-out models, but with these cars followed the financial difficulties of the late 1960s and early 1970s. 
 
With the need to develop several new models, while investing in rotary engine technology that would ultimately never see the light of day, Citroen had serious money issues and was forced to give up its independence in 1976, with Peugeot taking a controlling stake in the company. 
 
Although Peugeot has kept a tight control of the company’s finances, Citroen has still managed to produce a number of successful and clever models – retaining the successful Hydropneumatic suspension system right up to the current C5. Latest models like the Cactus prove that Citroen is still innovating, while the more luxurious side has been left to DS, a new sister brand spun off the success of the classic Citroen DS model line. 
 

Buying a classic Citroen

 
Citroen really made an impression on the motoring world with the Traction Avant, which was launched in 1934. Here was a car that featured unitary construction, independent suspension and front-wheel drive. Although the Traction was highly respected, it was the DS of 1955 that genuinely blew the world away.
 
Complete with its streamlined shape, the Citroen DS brought in something new: the company’s famous self-levelling Hydropneumatic suspension system. Front-wheel drive, four-wheel disc brakes and many other extremely advanced technical achievements mark it out as one of the most groundbreaking cars of the 20th century. Despite this, prices are still actually relatively affordable – excluding the super-expensive convertible Decapotable versions. 
 
Making the most of its partnership with Maserati, Citroen’s SM attempted to marry the DS’s advanced underpinnings with a glorious V6 engine and beautiful two-door coupe body. Was it a success? You’ll have to be the judge, as this machine is adored by some, and misunderstood in equal measure by the rest! 
 
The 2CV is also one of Citroen’s greatest hits, running in various forms from 1948 right through to its final incarnation in 1990. Here was a car that has appealed to an extremely broad cross section of society, from French farmers to modern day hipsters. On the same theme is the more upmarket Dyane, along with the utilitarian Mehari. All are huge fun to drive, and simple to maintain.
 
While there aren’t huge numbers to choose from, there is a lot of joy to be had from running a GS or GSA, with a characterful flat-four engine, classic Citroen interior and that great suspension system. The CX is perhaps the biggest bargain in the classic Citroen world, with only the very best GTI Turbo and Prestige models fetching strong money, even though any CX in top condition is a fantastic car to live with.
 
Now well and truly accepted as classics are the 1980s AX and BX models. Both were pioneers of lightweight technology, and the BX in particular proved that mainstream models could be clever, innovative and still be successful – selling more than 2million units. The performance variants are the most desirable with the AX GT and BX GTI 16v commanding significant premiums in top condition. 
 
The executive XM was a classic the second the first car rolled off the production line (also winning the European Car of the Year award in 1990), and the same could be said for the more recent C6. This elegant big saloon has yet to be replaced by the company, making it the last of the big Citroens for now, and almost certainly the last to feature the Hydractive suspension suspension system. 

Buying a performance Citroen


Although Citroen might not be considered immediately in the performance car arena, it has offered a number of slightly oddball choices for many years. Bordering on classic status are the 1990s hot hatches, including the Saxo VTR and VTS. These pocket rockets were idolised by a generation of Max Power readers. They are not just great fun to drive, but also extremely affordable.
 
The larger Xsara VTS is also an interesting bargain performance choice at the minute, offering the same 167bhp 2.0-litre 16v engine as the more respected 306 GTI and Rallye. Its underpinnings are similiar too, and it’s quickly becoming a bit of an endangered species due to the engine’s desirability in the 205 GTI tuning scene. The earlier ZX 16v is another one to consider, if you can find one.
 
While still in daily use around the globe, the regular Xantias might not be considered worthy of mention here, but the Activa models (which feature active roll control) are surprisingly fast machines, and are particularly sought after in 188bhp V6 form. 
  
The C4 VTS was never quite powerful enough to compete against top hot hatch rivals of the day, but it was a cool-looking machine and a pretty solid all-round performer. The limited edition Loeb editions were built to celebrate the company’s fantastic WRC results, and as a result are quite collectible today.
 
The most recent Citroen hot hatch was the DS3 Racing, which put out 204bhp. Using a heavily-tuned 1.6-litre turbo engine, as well as a limited slip differential, the Racing was sold in limited numbers, and is a slightly softer alternative to the stiff competition. 
 

Summary

 
Most car enthusiasts have some first hand experience of Citroens, be it the 2CV you bought as a cheap first car, or perhaps that ride in the back of a DS as a child started your love affair. If you have respect for intelligent, innovative cars then a classic Citroen has probably been on your wish list at some point, and with most models undervalued, you might not want to wait too long to pick one up.
Citroen C6 and DS Citroen BX 1970s Citroen range Citroen XM V6 and BX 16v Citroen SM Citroen Saxo VTS Citroen Xantia Activa V6 Citroen C6 and SM
Last updated: 17th Nov 2016
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  • Citroen Xantia 1996

    £250 £250

    New tyres, battery, disc and pads. Alloy wheels. Good runner but front suspension stuck at high. This is repairable or car can be used for spares. Asking £250 or near offer.

    • Mileage: 148000 mi
    • Engine size: 1905
    For sale
    £250 £250
    FridayAd
  • Citroen Saxo 2000 1.1 Forte Limited Edition 8 MONTHS MOT

    £450 £450

    Brilliant car, fun to drive! Starts first time every time even after sitting. Runs fab and has for nothing over the 2 years I’ve owned it, flew through MOT last year with no advisories and this year paid for a new pump and a bit of welding, has 8 months left. Had a new battery last year. Only put 60 miles on this year due to us buying a campervan and already having a daily drive, unfortunately just haven’t got the room and want someone else to be getting the use. Feel free to check MOT history and ask any questions. I am happy to send more pictures, I have plenty of all around the car and inside, it has been cleaned ready for sale. Has sunroof and a Pioneer face off CD player with Bluetooth etc. (Brand new) Has a dent to front driver side panel which was there when I bought it but I've never felt the need to get anything done with it as it's not a rust hazard. Asking £450 O.V.N.O.

    • Engine size: 1124
    For sale
    £450 £450
  • Citroën - HY - 1976

    €13,001 - €16,901.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.) €13,001 - €16,901.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.)
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    RESERVE PRICE
    Online Auction
    €13,001 - €16,901.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.) €13,001 - €16,901.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.)
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    RESERVE PRICE
  • Citroën - 2CV - 1964

    €2,416 - €3,140.80 est. (£0 - £0 est.) €2,416 - €3,140.80 est. (£0 - £0 est.)
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    RESERVE PRICE
    Online Auction
    €2,416 - €3,140.80 est. (£0 - £0 est.) €2,416 - €3,140.80 est. (£0 - £0 est.)
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    RESERVE PRICE
  • 1972 Citroen SM Coupe

    $52,500(£0) $52,500(£0)

    Citroen’s brilliant SM was born of a desire by Citroen boss Pierre Bercot to offer a sporty DS-based car that could compete with the Porsche 911. Over the course of development, several prototypes were built using shortened DS platforms and various engines, but due to an internal rift between management and engineering who wanted to highlight the brilliant high-pressure hydraulic system, the end result became something wholly different from a 911 competitor. The new car was less a sports car and more a luxurious GT car comparable to a BMW CS coupe or Mercedes-Benz SL. Citroen had already approached Giulio Alfieri of Maserati to design an engine for the project, and by 1968, had acquired the ailing Italian firm altogether. Maserati’s Giulio Alfieri first supplied Citroen with a 90 degree V6 that was, in essence, a Maserati V8 with two cylinders lopped off. This prototype was used to gauge reaction within Citroen, and once the green light was given, Alfieri started with a clean sheet of paper to design purpose-built V6 engine for the new project. When the SM debuted in 1970 it was no longer a lithe sports car, but a full-fledged grand touring car with an exotic, 2.7L DOHC V6, front wheel drive, and a highly advanced chassis. In typical Citroen fashion, the styling appeared to be inspired by science fiction. The long sweeping body penned by the genius Robert Opron featured wheel spats at the rear and actually tapered like a teardrop when viewed from above. Headlamps encased in glass were hydraulically adjustable and swiveled with the front wheels on European models. The look was sleek, aerodynamic and incredibly advanced in the best French Avant-Garde tradition. The advanced chassis featured fully adjustable hydro-pneumatic suspension, load sensitive four-wheel disc brakes and fully powered, self-centering steering that allowed the car to be set up with zero caster, thereby keeping the tires in full contact with the road at all times and completely eliminating bump steer. Passengers were cosseted in a luxurious cabin with rakish bucket seats, metallic detailing, and an instrument panel fitted with fabulous oval dials – including a speedometer that also showed braking distance. A technical and stylistic masterpiece, the SM is truly a car like none other. This 1972 Citroen SM is a very attractive example of the breed, finished in the handsome shade of Brun Scarabée over a natural brown leather interior and presenting in very good driver-quality condition. It is a desirable 5-speed model with covered headlamps that was enjoyed regularly by its previous owner who kept it as part of a large East Coast collection of French and German automobiles. The light metallic color highlights the striking shape which combines large sweeping surfaces with sharply creased details, and this car does not disappoint with its straight panels, crisp lines, and very good gaps. The paint quality is quite good overall, with only a few minor flaws doing little to detract from the otherwise attractive presentation. Exterior detailing is quite good, with straight, original bumpers, rocker panel decos, and stainless steel trim all presenting in fine order. It rides factory steel wheels with original styled-stainless wheel covers and shod with properly sized 205/65-15 Dunlop radials that give the right balance of ride and handling quality. The futuristic interior is presented in excellent original condition, with the natural brown leather seats in fine condition, showing minimal wear. Carpets, headlining and door panels also remain in very good original condition and the signature brushed gold-colored console and instrument fascia inlays are excellent, as are the original gauges and switchgear. An aftermarket radio is fitted in the center console in its unusual but factory-correct location at the driver’s elbow between the front seats. Overall, the interior is very well presented, having been carefully preserved in largely original condition. At the heart of the SM is Maserati’s purpose-built 2.7 liter V6, which runs very well thanks to regular maintenance in the hands of its last owner. The underhood presentation is proper and clean, with correct green paint on the Citroen hydraulic components along with tidy wiring and plumbing. The cutting-edge hydraulic system powers the brakes, suspension and the unique DIRAVI self-centering steering system. The hydraulics benefit from recent servicing, with newer rear shock absorbers and hydraulic accumulators. It functions as it should; providing the signature ride quality, self-leveling ability, and ride height adjustment. The car performs beautifully on the road, with Maserati’s gorgeous V6 delivering smooth and linear power with a magnificent Italian soundtrack and crisp shifting 5-speed manual transaxle. This 1972 SM is a very strong example of Citroen’s masterpiece. Well maintained and presented in desirable colors and specification, it delivers the exquisite ride and performance that make Citroen’s revolutionary GT car so unique among its peers and truly like no other automobile before or since.

    For sale
    $52,500(£0) $52,500(£0)
  • Citroen SM

    £29,995 £29,995

    This striking SM is available for a negotiated sale around £29,995 which is the low range of our sales price estimate. See www.TradeClassics.com for full details and over 300 images and videos. EXTERIOR If you like your cars subtle in nature then this may not be the one for you! However, if you like to stand out a little, love the 70’s and quirky French design, then this is the car for you. It looks simply stunning and beautiful when we visited it in the morning sunshine. Wheels & Tyres The car is fitted with its original wheels and wrapped in Michelin tyres. The tyres all have good tread and even wear. Bodywork The bodywork is exceptional and after going over the whole car we only found two very small bubbles. One bubble on the lower part of the OSF wing and one on the NSR wing to the right of the wheel. It’s difficult to see under the car, however, Surjit assures us it’s in rot free condition. The bonnet, doors and rear boot all open and close perfectly and the panel gaps all look visibly correct and even across the car. Paint The paint is very striking and there are no visible signs of any colour difference across the panels, even in direct sunlight. The benefit of an older restoration is the likelhood of anything untoward coming through are much lower. Also, the car has always been garaged. Glass and Trim Both are in excellent condition across the car. The chrome is really very good and looks great against the gold paint. INTERIOR WOW is the word for this interior, it’s hard to think on a nicer place to be. The condition is simply exceptional and colour combination fits the car and the exterior colour perfectly. Seats and Carpets Of course the seats have been subject to restoration in the past and are in excellent condition, both visually and structurally. The carpets have been replaced at some point in the past too. The headlining is excellent with no signs of any sagging. Dashboard These are like new and there is no wear or splits on the dashboard. We did notice the RPM gauge is not working at the moment and would need to be looked into. Steering Wheel / Gear Stick Both are in original condition with no issues. MECHANICS These are complicated cars, both in terms of their suspension and that beautiful Maserati engine. The good news is this car has been very well maintained and everything, including the suspension, works just as it should. Engine and Gearbox The car started first go from cold and settled into a smooth tickover. There were no signs of any smoke and the engine felt very smooth when revving. Clutch and gear selection felt good with no issues noticed. Selecting reverse was also easy with no issues. Suspension and Brakes We didn’t take the car for a drive on our visit, however, we did manoeuvre it around the driveway and the assisted brakes felt good and we tested the suspension that worked perfectly too (see the video). The Drive As mentioned, we didn’t take the car for a drive, however, Surjit confirms that car drives and stops with no issues at all. In fact Surjit has used the car regularly during his ownership and has covered over 1,400 trouble free kilometers. Electrics and Other Windows and heating system all work correctly. The lights are directional based on the steering and Surjit is just confirming they work correctly, as they are currently pointing inwards. If there is any issue here then Surjit will remedy before the new owner picks the car up.

    • Year: 1973
    For sale
    £29,995 £29,995
  • Citroen Saxo

    £1,500 £1,500

    Citroen Saxo 1.6 i VTR 3 door for sale having covered 56,000 miles and sold with 12 months MOT and FSH. In superb condition and totally standard with one lady owner since 2003.

    • Year: 2001
    • Mileage: 56000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.6
    For sale
    £1,500 £1,500
    Dan Bonsall
    Dan Bonsall
  • Citroen Mehari 1976

    €19,950(£0) €19,950(£0)

    Citroen Mehari 1976, first owner, 11.000 kms This in 1976 delivered Citroen Mehari is from the first owner. This fabulous Mehari has Tibesti green paint, combined with original wheels. The interior has black leatherette and the original dashboard in the colour of the paint. Driven 11.000 kms, not detectable, but the car gives the impression that this may be right. This Citroen drives great and takes care of a lot of fun. Car has Italian title and mot/tuv. Easy to register in every EU country. You do not need to pay any import taxes. We can help with transport.

    • Year: 1976
    For sale
    €19,950(£0) €19,950(£0)
  • Citroën DS21 Cabriolet d'Usine '66

    €169,950(£0) €169,950(£0)

    After 18 years of development in secret as the successor to the venerable Traction Avant, the DS 19 was introduced on 5 October 1955 at the Paris Motor Show. The car's appearance and innovative engineering captured the imagination of the public and the automobile industry almost overnight. In the first 15 minutes of the show 743 orders were taken, and orders for the first day totalled 12,000. Far from being just a fascinating technology in search of a purpose, contemporary journalists were effusive in noting how the DS dramatically pushed the envelope in the ride vs. handling compromise possible in a motor vehicle. To a France still deep in reconstruction after the devastation of WW II, and also building its identity in the post-colonial world, the DS motor car was a symbol of French ingenuity. It defied virtually every automotive design convention of that era. It also posited the nation's relevance in the Space Age, during the global race for technology of the Cold War. The high price tag, however, hurt general sales in a country still recovering from WW II, and a cheaper submodel, the Citroën ID, was introduced in 1957. The ID shared the DS's body but was more traditional mechani

    • Year: 1966
    For sale
    €169,950(£0) €169,950(£0)
  • CITROEN C6 2.7 EXCLUSIVE V6 HDI 4d 202 BHP

    £6,990 £6,990

    Adjustable Steering Column/Wheel - Electric Rake/Reach, Adjustable Steering Column/Wheel - Rake/Reach, Air Bag Driver, Air Bag Knee - Driver, Air Bag Passenger, Air Bag Side - Front Side/Front & Rear Curtain, Air-Conditioning - Automatic, Alarm - Unspecified, Alloy Wheels - 18in, Anti-Lock Brakes, Central Door Locking - Remote, Centre Console, Centre Rear Seat Belt, Computer - Unspecified, Cruise Control, Deadlocks, Electric Windows - Front/Rear, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Programme, Exterior Lighting - Xenon Headlights, Front Fog Lights, Front/Rear Parking Sensors, Head Restraints - Front/Rear, Immobiliser, In Car Entertainment - Radio/CD/MP3/CD Autochanger, Lignage Full Leather Pack, Metallic Paint, Mirrors External - Electric Heated/Folding, Mirrors External - Electric/Heated/Folding/Auto Dimming, Mirrors Internal - Automatic Dimming Rear View, Mirrors Internal - Automatic Dipping Rear View, NaviDrive + HiFi Pack, Parking Aid - Front/Rear, Power-Assisted Steering, Rain Sensor, Satellite Navigation, Seat - ISOFIX Anchorage Point - Two Seats - Rear, Seat Height Adjustment - Driver/Passenger, Seat Lumbar Support - Driver/Passenger, Seating Capacity -

    • Year: 2009
    For sale
    £6,990 £6,990
  • CITROEN SM

    €59,500(£0) €59,500(£0)

    AN AMAZING CAR TO DRIVE Brand Citroen Type SM Color Blue Interior Tan Year of build 1973 Price € 59.500,- 1973 CITROEN SM injection A Genteel GT Designed from scratch by Maserati chief engineering Giulio Alfieri The SM was an expensive car, in the realm of the BMW 3.0 CS, Mercedes 350SLC, Porsche 911, and even Ferrari’s V6 Dino 246 A sports variant of the revolutionary Citroën DS The SM provided a combination of comfort, sharp handling, and braking which was not available in any other car at the time The Citroën SM is a high-performance coupé produced from 1970 to 1975. The SM placed third in the 1971 European Car of the Year contest, trailing its stablemate Citroën GS, and won the 1972 Motor Trend Car of the Year award in the U.S. In 1961, Citroën began to work on ‘Project S’ – a sports variant of the revolutionary Citroën DS. In January 1968, Citroën purchased a controlling interest in the Italian sports car manufacturer Maserati. The acquisition followed the absorption of the French automaker Panhard and the truck manufacturer Berliet, all of which was financed by selling a 26% stake in Citroën to Fiat. In short order, Bercot set Maserati to work designing a V6 engine for the SM

    • Year: 1973
    For sale
    €59,500(£0) €59,500(£0)
  • Citroen Dyane 6 Cote d'Azur

    POA POA

    1982 Citroen Dyane 6 Cote d'Azur Rare special edition of Dyane 6 New exhaust and fuel pump, running very well Original bill of sale Galvanised chassis, very sound body Article about Cote d'Azur, handbook and history This special edition appeared in UK only right at the end of production, only 285 were produced and the original sales invoice confirms this was one of them. Very well presented with largely original paint, new decals, on a highly desirable galvanised chassis, sound body, new exhaust and fuel pump, running very well with long MOT, much loved by last titled lady owner, included is an interesting article on this special edition (in French), owner's handbook and good history file. Guide price: Sold Mobile: 07711 509600 Email: mark@pioneer-automobiles.co.uk Phone: 01635 248158 Viewing: By appointment only Copyright ©2017 Pioneer Autos Ltd

    • Year: 1982
    For sale
    POA POA