So it goes in the case of this Citroen BX GTI - you're looking here at a bona fide sidekick. And that's rather appealing, to be honest, as more often than not it's the lesser models that get overlooked in favour of the faster, more honed, and more special stars of the show.
Evidence of that comes in the fact that prices of BX GTI 16vs are starting to creep inexorably upwards - though they still come up for sale, while rarely, with greater frequency than eight-valve GTIs. Or at least, eight-valve GTIs as clean as this one.
0-60mph takes 8.1 seconds, mind you, which is brisk enough to be entertaining, and the GTI feels it thanks to a useful wodge of low-down torque, a willingness to rev and a rasping engine note. It's pretty good fun in the corners, too; there's a considerable proclivity for body roll - the payoff for the softer suspension which allows the BX to float over mid-corner bumps without being knocked off its line - but that is combined with a remarkably tenacious front end and the ability to provoke gentle, predictable oversteer with a mid-corner lift.
This example looks remarkably original - even if the wheel trims aren't quite right for the car - and it's rare to happen upon an early example like this one without the front chin spoiler and smoked rear lights. The mileage is distinctly reasonable, too, and the dashboard doesn't appear to be cracked either. If the seller's description is to be believed, it's also had four recent new spheres - always extremely handy - and comes with a decent amount of MOT, too.
The price may have something to do with it. It seems people simply aren't quite ready yet to spend that sum on a non-16v BX - especially one that looks barely any different to a bog-standard diesel. It wasn't all that long ago that a decent GTI could be had for well below £1,000, which makes the £2,000 being asked for this one feel a little steep.
But that may be short-sighted. The upward creep of 16v prices means that, whether now or in the near future, this GTI will be worth the money it's up for. And let's face it - this is a car which has lots in common with a 205 1.9 GTI - a halo model in its own right - yet costs a tenth of the price. Sometimes, buying the sidekick makes sense.
SPECIFICATION - CITROEN BX GTI
Engine: 1,905cc, 4-cyl
Transmission: 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 125@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 129@4,500rpm
First registered: 1987
Recorded mileage: 92,000
Price new: £10,994
Price now: £1,995
See the full advert here.