SOTW: Citroen CX Familiale

Eccentric yet graceful looks, a pillow-soft ride and an interior that's more spaceship science fiction than road-car fact. These are the pillars upon which the greatest Citroens are built and they are to be found in quirky abundance in today's SOTW - the Citroen CX.

Considered by Citroenistes to be the last 'proper' Citroen before the company was taken over by Peugeot in 1976, the CX lasted from 1974 right through until 1991, with almost 1.2 million examples finding homes.

They were a childhood favourite of a young Riggers, too. As a young 'un I was transported around in the back of a string of BXs and grew to love the squishy seats and floaty ride (fortunately I was not a car-sick child), but always knew that the boxy plastic one and its oh-so-dull interior wasn't quite what a Citroen ought to be.

The CX, on the other hand, was. It was graceful where the BX was gawky, and the cabin was luxurious and fantastically futuristic where the BX was a bit spartan. I had a sit in one in a Citroen showroom once and, although I could barely see over the steering wheel I knew it was something special - even though by that time it had lost some of its more exciting features, such as the rotating drum speedo.

It still looks good today, I reckon, and that does the car's designer, Robert Opron (who also created the gorgeous Citroen GS and the gorgeous SM before jumping ship to Renault), a great deal of credit.

I also loved the CX ambulances I spotted plying their trade when we went on family holidays to France, mostly because they looked vaguely like the Ghostbusters car...

...And so we come, in a roundabout way, to today's SOTW, a fine-looking maroon Citroen CX Familiale. The estate version of the CX isn't quite as pretty as the fastback/saloon, but it does have some of that crucial Ghostbusters/ambulance kudos (for me, at least) and it does have eight seats. Which presumably means it can carry the entire progeny of even the most prolific of good Catholic Frenchmen...

This particular car isn't exactly in concours condition (the petrol tank that leaks if you fill it too full is particularly worrying), but it has MOT, tax, and costs £750. As a way to waft up to eight people around in (mostly) supreme comfort, what could be better?

As the vendor probably rightly points out, this is the sort of car that won't be in Shed territory forever. "One day, we'll look back and remember when you could buy one this cheap," he says. Get one while you can, we say.

Advert is reproduced below

Citroën CX 25RI Familiale (8-seats) REDUCED! For Sale (1986)

Price: £750 Or near offer
Advert Type: For Sale
Category: Classic Cars
Make: Citroen
Model: CX
Year: 1986
Country: UK

One day, we'll look back and remember when you could buy one this cheap.

I'm selling my CX Familiale due to a house move. She's a 2.5 fuel injected CX with the ZF 3-speed auto 'box and 111k on the clock. Very scabby outside (mainly poor lacquer) but good interior and structurally pretty solid - these can rot in all sorts of places, but this one really is very sound.

Engine is smooth and it has had two new front tyres, new plugs and new leads.

The 25RI auto isn't a quick car - it's a definite slush box - but cruises masterfully. Not bad for a car launched in 1974. The hydraulics seem in good order - it rises quickly on start up and goes through the different heights with no bother. Steering is tight and accurate. Brakes are superb with plenty of meat on the pads.

Downsides are a fuel tank that leaks if you fill it up to the max (so I don't), a cooling fan controlled by a manual switch and a rear washer that's missing its bottle. You have to expect something to do at this price!

She does have a tow bar, though I've not used it. Tailgate is remarkably rot free.

No part exchange as I need the space and the money to fund the house move. Alternatively, you could buy my house and I'd throw in the CX for free!

EDIT - I've just done 500 miles in this car, in three days, with no faults. Well, ok, the interior mirror came off in my hand, but it lapped up the miles. I did discover that it has a rare seat trim - beige with a blue stripe - that was only available for one year. The condition of the trim is very good.

MoT until April, tax until November.

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Comments (216) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Calamity James 29 Oct 2010

    "a cooling fan controlled by a manual switch"

    My parent's BX17 diesel had one of these retrofitted too! biggrin

    I'll admit I quite like quirky old Citroen stuff smile although I'm not sure a leaky petrol tank is very safe!

  • Alfa GTV 29 Oct 2010

    The interior sounds.........different

    "I did discover that it has a rare seat trim - beige with a blue stripe - that was only available for one year."


  • SDxsi 29 Oct 2010

    You must be joking? Surely? That's horrible!

  • NiceCupOfTea 29 Oct 2010

    I love these! CX GTi Turbo for me please!

  • Egg Chaser 29 Oct 2010

    Feckin horrible cars. They look like a hearse.


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