The drive to and from Le Mans always makes for a compelling supercar safari. This year's top spots included a Porsche Carrera GT, a Honda NSX-R and even a McLaren Senna (driven, it must be said, by a very senior McLaren employee). The days spent in Le Mans itself, though, are more remarkable for the French curio classics which, when not still being used as daily drivers, can often be found hidden down side streets or tucked away in underground car parks.
From well known cars of the people - 2CVs, first gen Twingos and the like - to more rarified machines like the Citroen SM and Peugeot 405 Mi16, there's a unique Gallic charm coupled with a certain lack of pretence that just makes them all so damn cool. And that's certainly the case with today's Spotted.
Earlier this year we reported on a collection of over 140 Citroen CXs offered for sale by a Dutch hoarder collector. This car is rather more expensive than any of his, but it also looks to be in significantly better condition too.
This Citroen CX25 GTI, then, has covered just 38,000 miles in its three decades, and looks like it too. The wheels, paintwork and even engine all appear to be in near pristine condition, although the upholstery could do with a little TLC. Its naturally-aspirated 2.5 litre motor may not be able to match the 170hp of the later Turbo variants, but 130hp and a 120mph top speed is nothing to be sniffed at.
Besides, you don't buy a CX GTI for speed. Going fast requires exertion, and French cars, much like French people, don't like to be seen trying too hard; they either accomplish things effortlessly, or not at all. What the CX accomplishes effortlessly is being just incredibly cool, whether it's going 100mph+ on an Autoroute or sitting by the kerb outside a cafe. Not because of its looks, not because of its performance, and not because of its price, but because of the way it goes about all of it.
It's the perfect antidote to brash American, flash Italian, uptight German, and slightly rubbish British modern-classics. It's easy to see how that chap in Holland ended up with so many, but for us just this one ought to be enough to sate the Francophile in us all.
SPECIFICATION - CITROEN CX25 GTI
Engine: 2,500cc 4-cyl
Transmission: Auto, front-wheel-drive
Power (hp): 138@5,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 156@4,000rpm
First registered: 1987
Recorded mileage: 38,000
Price new: Circa £12k
Yours for: £13,440