- Post is under moderationCAR #Citroen-GS-1220-Club / #Citroen-GS / #Citroen
ALL AROUND THE WORLD – AND BACK
OWNED BY Michael Browing
FROM Melbourne, Australia
FIRST CLASSIC 1949 MG TC
DREAM CLASSIC 1973 Porsche 911 RSR 2.8
BEST TRIP Along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road – illegally fast – in a 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Clubsport
It was a foolhardy idea: buy back the Citroën GS 1220 Club sedan I took delivery of new in Paris 45 years ago and drive it 1500 miles home, ignoring the fact that it had been off the road for two decades and its 145-15 tyres were older still. But ‘André’ (named for Citroën’s founder) and I made it from High Country Victoria to South East Queensland without any drama. I bought it from the same Citroën-loving family I sold it to after a year of European travels in 1972-’1973 – I am both the first and third owner of the first GS 1220 Down Under!
The odometer reads 108,000 miles and I take responsibility for the first 24,000 and the last 2000. The Rouge de Rio paint is now several hues, the doors have the pockmarks of careless parking and the shapely tail bears the scars of a poor repair after an unsuccessful ‘mount’ by a large Ford years ago. But the red fabric interior has been renewed very successfully. It’s in remarkably good condition.
A steam clean, new hydraulic spheres, a top-up with LHM fluid, new plugs, points and oil got it mobile again. I completed the post purchase trip at 4000rpm, which is about 55mph, averaging 35mpg and with negligible oil consumption. So there, Citroën doubters! Our adventures began at the Tourist Delivery Centre near Paris on 1 December ’72. Heading south, with the cavernous boot full of camping gear including a novel igloo tent with inflatable poles, Christmas and New Year were spent in Lisbon before sharing travels and cold, starry nights for the following 10 months. When money ran low, we returned to London to save for our next trip. Ayear later, back in Australia, we went our separate ways for 45 years. I was immediately drawn to the new GS. It was the most aerodynamic and advanced small car you could buy: its self-levelling hydropneumatic suspension set a new level of comfort with industry-leading anti-dive suspension; inboard disc brakes; and a small-but- willing flat-four air-cooled ‘boxer’ with belt-driven overhead cams. I loved the shape and it was affordable, so when the 1220cc was announced I put my money down. We camped mostly, but in May in Stuttgart a snowstorm forced us into a cheap hotel to visit Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. André didn’t mind when we left him for the weekend in favour of a new Porsche 911 RS 2.7, nor when I spent a day with Mercedes-Benz that included some 300kph laps of its Untertürkheim test track in a C111.
Of course, André has had issues. We were driven mad by its dashboard rattles – why a French car company would fit a plastic one-piece dash for a country with so many cobbles is a mystery. The gearbox was noisy (it’s on its third), there was a rear suspension hydraulic leak and a wheel-balance problem from new that was a faulty bearing. But the good points more than compensate. Plus, it is a cheap classic; they have never achieved the collectability of the 2CV or DS. I didn’t hesitate when I got the call: “I’m thinking of selling your old GS – interested?” And for a total investment of about £2000, we’ll probably remain together for the term of our natural lives.
‘“André” didn’t mind when we left him for the weekend in favour of a new Porsche 911 RS and a Benz C111’
Aerodynamic design and large, square boot with plenty of load-lugging capability endeared the GS to Browing and his plan to tour Europe in 1972. On its ’70s European travels with Browing At the bodyshop for minor rust repairs. Main: GS took Browing and companion from Seville to Berlin, Bergen to Istanbul in 12 busy months. Inset: owner with suitably 1970s attire.
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- Post is under moderation‘SUMMER DREAMIN'
Keith has resolved to make the most of the summer with his Citroen, but before he can do that he needs to retrieve if from Cumbria.
LIVING WITH CLASSICS
Our tales from the driveway, garage and out on the open road
OWNED SINCE March 2017
MILEAGE SINCE LAST REPORT 1500
TOTAL MILEAGE 94,020
LATEST COSTS £40 (MoT and bits ‘n’ bobs)
Keith Adams Contributor
CAR #1979-Citroen-GS-Pallas / #1979 / #Citroen-GS-Pallas / #Citroen-GS / #Citroen / HLP 875V
After a quiet winter and spring resting up in Cumbria, I decided it was time to ready the car for a summer of classic shows - and its first appearance at the Hagerty Insurance Festival of the Unexceptional. That’s easier said than done, when the car is at one end of the country, and you’re at the other - but in any opportunity for a long drive in one of my classics is an opportunity to be relished.
I’d had the car MoT’d the week before by my classic-friendly tester (Mill Garage, Frizington) and it passed without advisories.
My plan was simple - to get up before sunrise, jump into the GS, and drive it so I could then do a full day’s work. I would be helped by the fact the drive would be taking place on the summer solstice, and that a 260-mile commute from my home in West Cumbria to Peterborough in a #Citroen GS should be a joy from start to finish.
At 4.30am I climbed in, belted up, turned the key, and psyched myself up for the drive south. A couple of minutes later, the first sliver of sun crested the horizon, I waved goodbye to the barn, and headed towards the A66. Settling into a 60mph cruise in the GS, what struck me is why on earth I don’t do this more often - getting up early to drive your favourite car on quiet roads is something every petrolhead should do on a regular basis.
The roads were empty, and as the sun brightened, I got on with the business of enjoying myself. The GS was in its element - singing away at 4000-5000rpm, and wafting in a way that no car this small has any right to.
The problem with this as a drive is that there’s no bad story to tell. GS and I managed to avoid the usual A1 traffic delays - and for once, Traffic England managed to keep all of it open. By the time I rolled into CCWs Peterborough office at 9am, I was fresh, happy, and ready for work. I’m not sure any other comparable 1970s saloon could have managed that feat as well. I love my GS, and in my ever-changing fleet, it feels like this one is the keeper.
Downsides? None really, other than the fuel consumption, which averaged 25mpg. But it’s a small price to pay. It’s now at
my place near work, sharing the drive with another Citroen - a gorgeous #Citroen-CX20-Pallas .
Did we make it to the Hagerty Insurance Festival of The Unexceptional? Of course it did - and as I drove through the gates of Stowe School, I was honoured to be directed to display it right at the front of the pack.
Even better news was that I met with Chris Salter, the guy I bought the GS from. I’d picked it up sight unseen, and even more unusually, I’d never met Chris face-to-face, concluding the deal via email. He was delighted to see his car again, his enthusiasm reinforcing what it is so magical about my GS... it’s going to be a great summer!
Keith catches up with his Citroen's former keeper, Chris saiter.
Ready for the longest commute Keith has done in a long time - he relished every moment.
GS currently shares the same drive as a CX.
Roads to himself (well, it is 6am...).
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- Post is under moderationCAR: #Citroen-GSA-Pallas / #Citroen-GSA / #Citroen-GS / #Citroen / #1980-Citroen-GSA-Pallas
Name John Leslie
From Warkworth, NZ
First classic Jowett Javelin
Dream classic A mint Citroën CX2400 C-Matic
Favourite driving song The sweet sound of a fine engine
Best drive Dunedin [South Island] to Warkworth [North]
BOXER THRIVES IN THE ANTIPODES
Surprisingly, given the fact that New Zealand is on the other side of the planet to France, Citroëns have always had quite a serious following here. Traction Avants and DSs are still often seen on the roads, are admired at rallies and seem to be the strong point of the Citroën owners’ clubs across the country. CXs are few and far between, but it is pleasing to see several in good condition, while GSs and BXs are seldom spotted. I understand from a club authority, in fact, that there are only about 30 GSs and GSAs in running order across the islands.
My introduction to Citroën came by accident... literally, when I was involved in a collision while driving my rather fine Rover 95 that wrecked the car and could have killed me. I recalled seeing a DS21 Safari for sale not too far away and so I replaced the Rover with the Citroën.
Over the years, there followed a DS21 Pallas, a new 2CV Charleston, a CX2400 #C-Matic , my first GSA, a BX automatic, two Xantias – one an auto, still in my possession – and the GSA featured in this article. My first GSA, purchased in about 1997, proved to be an outstanding vehicle, wonderful for a long journey. The air-cooled flat-four was ideal in Dunedin, on New Zealand’s South Island to where we had relocated. It was in due course replaced by the BX automatic, which was better suited to city driving.
In 2010, I came across a very well kept #1980 GSA Pallas, stabled it alongside my ’94 Xantia five-speed and 1998 auto, and have enjoyed it ever since. It is an early model with the GS dashboard; I prefer the round Jaeger instruments and the sea of warning lights, all of which are working perfectly – a rarity!
The car has been repainted at some stage in a metallic blue as near to the factory colour as possible, the cloth upholstery and carpets are excellent, plus all the rubber mouldings are original. The front seats wrap around the driver and passenger and, along with the ingenious suspension, give it remarkable composure on winding roads.
With 170,000km on the clock, the GSA runs superbly. The engine uses no oil between changes, there are absolutely no leaks, the cambelts and tensioners have been regularly swapped and routine servicing is done on the dot. There have been no hydraulic problems, the fuel pump, exhaust manifolds and Y-pipe have been replaced and the Weber carburettor heating pipes have been repaired. Most new parts are bought from Rob Moss at The Chevronic Centre, which provides a brilliant and prompt service.
The ride is similar to a DS, the way Citroëns used to be, with the oleopneumatic underpinnings that smooth every bump and wrinkle in the road. The centre-line steering is accurate and the handling is a delight. I always say to friends – and those who show interest in the GSA – that it puts a smile on my face every time I get behind the wheel. The Pallas is by far the best of my fleet for touring, the magic-carpet ride, its easy gait in top gear and the powerful all-disc brakes making long-distance motoring a doddle.
I run the Citroën on 98 octane fuel and use Total lubricants, as still recommended by the factory. I have owned about 36 cars in my 74 years – Austin, Jaguar, Jowett, Vauxhall, Rovers, many Daimlers, a Humber Super Snipe, Audi, Mercedes, Volvo and Renault – but the wee Citroën beats them all.
Clockwise: double chevron generations – Leslie’s GSA and one of his two Xantias; original trim is all in fine condition; as is immaculate cabin; oil-tight flat-four; alongside lovely Light 15 in Dunedin; handy large boot.
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- Post is under moderation/ #1978-Citroen-GS-X2 / #1978 / #Citroen-GS-X2 / #Citroen-GS / #Citroen
/ vs #1980-Alfa-Romeo-Alfasud-1.5 / #Alfa-Romeo-Alfasud / #Alfa-Romeo / #1980
They are cute! In today's traffic, these small formats with such vivid colors denote seriously: you can not drive more than 100 meters without looking away. It is also surprising to note the similarities between these two autos issued almost at the same time. A mix of taut lines and curves, the GS has a much more elaborate style that quickly demolishes its competitors (Simca 1100, Renault 12 ...) with, for example, shaped headlights and curved glass. The Frenchwoman can also claim a Cx absolutely remarkable, otherwise better than that of the ... Citroën CX! With its black bumpers, specific rims and anti-fog, the little lemon plays the card of sportsmanship now obsolete. Alfasud seems more fun to watch thanks to its more compact dimensions, a line that seems more dated and a serious dose of exoticism in our country. In any case, we appreciate these round bubbles, these tires so narrow and these amounts so fine.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
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