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    Safari close to home

    / #1973-Citroen-DS-Safari / #1973 / #Citroen-DS-Safari / #Citroen-DS / #Citroen

    Also in the sale was a 1973-Citroen-DS-Safari , a LHD car bought from France as a project but never started. Offered with an immense fabric sunroof, the wrong front seats and significant rust, this most capable of classic haulers found a new home for £1800.

    It may be left-hand drive and have the wrong front seats, but it has to be worth saving.

    Citroën DS Safari was bought from France as a project, but the restoration never started.
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    / #Jensen-Interceptor projects getting a welcoming reception

    / #Jensen-Interceptor-MkI / #Jensen

    Good Jensen Interceptors have been fetching large sums for a while, but it takes time for people to realise that scruffy, shed-bound examples may finally be worth extracting. That time has now passed, it seems, and Interceptor projects seem to appear every month.

    In Nottingham, Mellors and Kirk auctioned a 1973 example – in the unusual livery of white paint with blue vinyl roof and a broad gold ribbon-stripe – for £14,000 on an estimate of £7k-£10k. Not bad for a car that had been off the road since 1992, offered as the only motorised lot in a fine art sale.

    Meanwhile, reader Bob Stevens got in touch to tell us of an example he’s agreed to sell for a friend who has owned it for 40 years.

    ‘It was in a barn near Shrewsbury,’ explains Bob. ‘It suffered an engine seizure about 20 years ago and was taken off the road. The bumpers have been removed, but otherwise it’s quite tidy – it doesn’t look rusty.’

    Under a layer of dust with the footprints of many farm cats, the chocolate brown paint and tan vinyl roof suit this Seventies cruiser to a tee. Interested parties can contact the magazine.

    This Interceptor has lived in a barn for 20 years and is now looking for an owner to nurse it back to life Any rodents that were resident in the barn must have decided to avoid this MkI Interceptor’s interior.

    This #1973 car in an unusual livery sold for £14,000 at a fine art auction recently.
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    1973 BMW 3.0CSL ‘ #Batmobile ’ £165,000

    Genuine ‘Batmobiles’ are be few and far between; this lookalike offers an accurate compromise, says Richard
    There’s a common misconception that every BMW 3.0CSL came bedecked with spoilers, fins and a stripped interior. Many owners, especially British ones, opted for more subtlety. That was the case with this car, now for sale from a private collection. Its conversion from Series II CSL to ‘Batmobile’ spec was done during a restoration using, according to the vendor, genuine BMW Motorsport parts. The attention to detail included conversion from right- to left-hand drive. It has covered under 500 miles since.

    Finished in Chamonix White with BMW Motorsport striping, care has obviously been taken to make this look as accurate as possible, with the full quota of add-on aerodynamic and weight-saving parts. Exterior condition is mostly excellent. Corrosion is absent, save for what looks like a minute stain at the rear of the left-hand side sill cover. On the other side, the right-hand side sill cover doesn’t quite fit flushly because of a loose securing screw. The left-hand rear edge of the bonnet also doesn’t sit quite as snugly as it could when closed. Up close, there are a few minor marks on some of the side trim and black-painted rear bumpers. The chrome wheelarch trims are all superb.
    Behind the Alpina wheels, only the nearside pair show any minor rim scuffing.

    Tyres are Bridgestone Turanza T001s, 205/55 R16 91Ws up front with wider 225/50 R16 92Ws at the rear, all from 2013 and looking healthy. The underbody looks to have been comprehensively sealed. Inside, the cabin is very tidy, although it shows more ageing signs than the exterior.

    With 67,679km (42,054 miles) on the speedometer, it has obviously been looked after but not over-restored so that it loses any patina. Thus the wood shows some some wear, mostly around the extremities by the doors. There’s a gap in the centre console for the radio, just waiting to be filled by a period Blaupunkt or Becker. Apart from the clock, all of the controls, gauges and warning lights work and behave as they should. The seats – leather with corduroy inserts – look nearly new.

    On the road, the BMW behaves impeccably. There’s no roughness, the idle is smooth and the temperature needle stays resolutely at the centre of its travel once it reaches working temperature.

    Gear selection is easy throughout, with a surprisingly light clutch, and the steering feels tight and accurate with no play. As docile as the CSL is around town, the car comes alive when let loose on a faster road – it surges forward with no hesitation. Fortunately, the brakes are very sharp; they pull the car up quickly, without any veering to one side.
    Sadly when the owner responsible for the restoration passed away, the history went AWOL. However, this car bears all the marks of a very good 3.0CSL where the ‘Batmobile’ additions have been performed to a high, authentic standard. And it’s up for considerably less money than you’d pay for an original ‘Batmobile’.

    CHOOSE YOUR BMW 3.0 CSL E9

    1 Production of the homologation ‘Leicht’ BMW E9 began in 1971, under the 3.0CSL designation. Lightweight steel and alloy body panels, Plexiglass rear side windows and a stripped-out interior saved 200kg over the standard 3.0CS.

    2 After 169 cars, the second series came out in 1972 with a fuel-injected 3003cc engine in place of previous 2985cc twin-carburettor unit. There were 500 rhd and 429 lhd examples.

    3 The third series (1973-1974) saw engine capacity increased to 3153cc, and aerodynamic aids added. On road cars, these were often supplied unfitted in the boot for owners to fit. All of these 110 cars were left-hand drive.

    4 The fourth series (1974-1975) brought down the curtain on the E9 3.0CSL, with just 57 made.

    Car #1973-BMW-3.0CSL-Batmobile-evocation-E9 / #1973 / #BMW-3.0CSL-Batmobile-evocation-E9 / #1973-BMW-3.0CSL-Batmobile-E9 / #BMW-3.0CSL-Batmobile-E9 / #BMW-3.0CSL-E9 / #BMW-E9 / #BMW-3.0CSL / #BMW /

    Price £165,000
    Contact Private seller, Letchworth, Hertfordshire (07860 264932)
    Engine 3003cc sohc straight-six, M30 / Bosch electronic fuel injection
    Max Power 200bhp @ 5500rpm
    Max Torque 200 lb ft @ 4300rpm
    Performance
    0-60mph: 7.3sec;
    Top speed: 134mph
    Length 4658mm
    Width 1676mm
    Fuel consumption 17mpg

    Interior shows age-related wear but no over-tired trim pieces ‘Batmobile’ aero parts are supposedly genuine BMW items.
    The basis is a second-series E9 CSL, so it has a 3003cc straight-six.
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    / #1973-Citroen-DS23-Pallas-IE / #Citroen-DS23-Pallas-IE / #1973 / #Citroen-DS / #Citroen / #Citroen-DS23 / / #1973-Citroen-DS23ie-Pallas / 1973 / #Citroen-DS23ie-Pallas / #Citroen-DS23-EFI-Pallas / #Citroen-DS23-EFI

    £28,000

    This fuel-injected 2.3-litre range-topper has desirable optional extras including factory air conditioning, explains Mike Renaut.

    Shiny dark blue paint suits this 1973 DS #Injection-Electronique and covers straight, corrosion-free panels with generally excellent gaps. All the Pallas trim is in place and appears in nice condition despite some surface tarnish, especially on the rear window surrounds. All glass including the headlamp covers is free from damage, the inner set of lights turning with the steering. Originally sold in Prato, Italy, the left-hand drive DS came to the UK in 2014 and the headlights still appear to be set up for driving on the right. Bumpers are equally blemish-free, as are the Pallas wheelcovers. If we had to nit-pick, there is slight surface rust on the wiper arms and the lower door trims are not affixed perfectly straight, but otherwise this car is hard to fault.

    The factory-fitted – and operational – air conditioning is an unusual option. The blue and white cloth and leather-cloth interior is in especially nice condition with no obvious damage and the big seats with headrests prove both comfortable and supportive. The dashboard is free of cracks, but there are a few small areas of scuffed paint and the surround for one set of pushbuttons needs securing in place.

    A rear window blind is included and the light grey fabric headlining is droop-free and in perfect condition. Door cards appear unmarked, as does the dark blue carpet. Turn the ignition key and the engine fires up immediately, soon settling to a smooth idle at an indicated 1200rpm. It quickly warms up and nothing on the numerous warning gauges offers cause for concern. The suspension operates just as it should, with the car soon finding its natural ride height. Again, no leaks or untoward noises were spotted during our inspection.

    On the road the Citroën is quiet and well-mannered with very light steering that still feels precise. Finding your way through the five-speed gearbox using the column-mounted gearlever soon becomes second nature, with each gear dropping into place positively. Stopping power is impressive, the sharp brake pedal virtually halting the car dead in its own length at low speeds. Winter and summer tyres are supplied with the DS, the set fitted during our test being Petlas with excellent tread. The jack and an unused ‘multiseason’ spare tyre are present under the bonnet. A generally tidy engine bay has a little worn and scuffed paint on some components, but no obvious leaks or areas of concern were noted. Recent #MoT certificates mention a weep from a power steering hose joint, but our inspection failed to detect it.

    The odometer reads just over 98,400km (60,000 miles). The previous owner added a new swivelling centre headlight assembly, alternator, high-pressure pump and fuel pump. New injectors and fuel pipes were fitted, and the fuel tank cleaned and lined in 2014. The air conditioning system was repaired and re-gassed in 2015. This very attractive example of a #Pallas has an excellent specification. The car drives beautifully and a little tidying under the bonnet would finish it nicely.

    Good colour, Pallas trim is all there and the panel gaps are generally good Interior looks and feels almost brand new Engine runs well, but its bay would benefit from tidy-up.

    1973 Citroën DS Pallas IE
    Price £28,000
    Contact European Classic Cars, Avebury, Wiltshire (07813 394167, europeanclassiccars.co.uk)
    Engine 2347cc 4-cyl OHV
    Power 141bh p@ 5500rpm
    Torque 135lb ft @ 3500rpm
    Performance
    0-60mph 11.7sec.
    Top Speed 116mph
    Fuel Consumption 29mpg
    Length 4874mm
    Width 1803mm


    CHOOSE YOUR CITROËN DS

    1 Unveiled in 1955, with hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension, power steering and disc brakes. A more basic ID version was available.

    2 September 1962 restyle saw a new nose, pointed front bumper and better ventilation.

    3 Pallas model with 41 improvements including a more luxurious interior debuted for 1965. The original hydropneumatic system used vegetable oil ( #LHV ), then switched to synthetic ( #LHS ). For the 1967 model year, Citroën introduced mineral oil-based oil ( #LHM ).

    4 1968 model year cars got four glass-covered headlights, inner set swivelled with steering.

    5 #Bosch fuel injection was introduced for 1970 and a 2.3-litre engine in 1972. Production ended in 1975 after 1,455,746 DSs were built.
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    On track in SM - sadly not mine... #1973-Citroen-SM / #1973 / #Citroen-SM / #Citroen

    1973 CITROEN SM

    DAVID LILLYWHITE @Drive-My David

    The Caterham has been returned to the factory, now the Academy season is over. The MGB and Saab are reunited in a barn down the road. And the SM is back, awaiting my attentions after BL Autos made such a nice job of realigning the front chassis legs, repairing a previously hidden rust spot further back on the engine bay chassis members, and refitting engine, gearbox, brakes, steering and suspension.

    In case you’ve missed a couple of episodes, I had done all that before the chassis problems were spotted, so I asked BL Autos to strip and rebuild the engine bay. It cost me £1000 but I really couldn’t face doing all that work again.
    Inevitably, my enthusiasm for the project was beginning to wane, roughly in parallel with the emptying of my bank account. But along came SM guru Andrew Brodie with his well-campaigned SM, fresh from a fourth place on the Mini Britannia, to the Drive-My track day at Goodwood, and he let me out to play in it.

    On a wet and shockingly slippery track, the long, heavy Citroen appeared to have no grip at the rear, slipping and sliding this way and that. But as the track began to dry, the SM demonstrated handling and poise worthy of much smaller, sportier cars. It rolled about, the rear wheels skittered; but when it did let go it was easy to catch, and it just flew round the track, prompting smiles, amazement and perhaps just a little fear from other drivers.

    I loved it. Balancing the weight of the big SM on its hydropneumatic suspension was as satisfying (perhaps more so) as driving a more obviously track-orientated car around the fast Goodwood circuit. I went home feeling inspired. It’s SM time again!
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    ‘Assistant editor Keith Adams was tempted but bailed out and suddenly it seemed crazy not to buy it'

    CAR: #1973-Citroen-SM / #1973 / #Citroen-SM / #Citroen /

    CAR: David Lillywhite Editor American beauty?

    I sometimes wonder if we unwittingly try to out-idiot each other on car magazines. I was chatting to another editor recently and he said I've just bought two Jensen Interceptors for £1000'. I was impressed, but was able to counter with I've just bought a Citroen SM project unseen in the States'. From the embarrassed silence around the table, it seemed I'd won. It was all assistant editor Keith Adams' fault. He'd been chatting with SM guru Andrew Brodie about how good it would be for one of the Drive-My team to own an SM. Before we knew it. Andrew had sourced a project car and was metaphorically dangling it in front of us. Keith was tempted but bailed out, the others just smiled politely, and suddenly it seemed crazy not to buy it.

    The car was one of several project SMs owned by classic Citroen specialist land ice racing champion) Dave Burnham in New York state, an old friend of Andrew's. In fact, Andrew had already bought it from Dave for a few thousand dollars, without knowing what he was going to do with it - at least until I agreed to buy it at cost. Admittedly, I'd loudly proclaimed that I was never going to buy another rusty classic ever again, and I had a £15,000 budget to spend on, well, something. It was going to be a 911, but after spending months looking I had to admit that I can't afford a decent pre-1973 and that I don't really like the later cars enough. And there's no room for my increasingly lanky daughter to sit in the back. An SM for £15,000 might be OK or it might need an engine overhaul, new suspension spheres, a transmission rebuild, body repairs... You get the idea. So I've convinced myself that yet another project is the way to get the car I want. The car I've bought has a dented rear wheelarch, scruffy paint, a few patches of light surface rust, but no serious corrosion except in the boot.

    The gearbox is good, the suspension has already been overhauled, the seats are presentable except for a couple of areas of loose stitching and there's nothing missing. The engine runs well - there's a video on the Drive-My website - but to be safe it needs to be stripped and rebuilt, which Andrew has offered to do for a fixed price. He also has a European front end available, to replace the ugly US-spec headlights, and an uncracked dashboard top. The body, minus engine, will go off to the local paintshop who painted the MGB (twice, after its fall from a workshop's ramps). We reckon that the project will cost around £15,000, including shipping from the US. And while it's on the boat I'm going to try and get the MGB finished (the blown engine is being rebuilt) and the historic race kart back together II relented and had the chassis blast-cleaned, and it's now resplendent in sparkling red). An idiotic plan? Maybe.

    Above One scruffy Citroen SM, waiting for shipment to the UK; interior is as wacky as the overall driving experience.
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    No more slip, just more grip

    CAR: #1973-Porsche-911S-2.4-Targa / #1973 / #Porsche-911S-2.4-Targa / #1973-Porsche-911S-2.4 / #Porsche-911S-Targa / #Porsche-911-Targa / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche /

    OWNER: Robert Coucher

    As mentioned last month I took my Porsche 911 2.4S Targa up to Prill Porsche Classics, where Andy attended to the fuel tank, suspension bushes, tuned the fuel injection and exacted a few other tweaks.

    But I didn’t have room to mention another important fix. The tyres. The Targa arrived from Australia wearing a nice-looking set of 195/60x15 Pirellis. Lots of tread and in fine condition. With the car up at the workshop, Andy called to tell me he’d date-checked the Pirellis and found they were 11 years old! No great surprise, as the 911 spent its life in dry, speed-restricted Sydney, where tyre performance is not so critical.

    I have a bit of a fixation about tyres, especially fitted to classics. Original tyres are narrow and high-profile so have a smaller footprint than modern, wide, low-profiles. So you really need classic tyres to be fresh and grippy, not hard and slippery. I’d noticed on a rally and at an Octane trackday at Goodwood that the 911 felt rather twitchy coming out of corners under power. I now know why.

    I called Dougal Cawley of Longstone Classic #Tyres to order some fresh rubber. Dougal pointed out that 195 Pirelli 6000s are wrong and that I needed a set of original-equipment Pirelli Cinturato 185/70VR15 CN36s for optimum handling. At £179 each (£799 for a set of five) plus the Vodka And Tonic, Dougal sent the set to Prill. Longstone doesn’t charge delivery in UK, Europe and most other countries.

    Combined with the replaced suspension bushes, the new Cinturatos offer a great improvement and the Porsche now rides superbly. There’s no more crashing over transverse ridges, the ride is quieter and the grip hugely increased. On top of that, the previously good steering is now even better, with sharper turn-in and lighter feel.

    A very satisfying result, which demonstrates the difference a decent set of fresh, correct-spec tyres can make. I’d suggest you check yours (date-stamped on the sidewall) and, if they’re more than six years old, a new set will transform your classic.

    Thanks to Dougal Cawley, www.longstonetyres.co.uk; and Andy Prill, www.prillporscheclassics.com.
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    Double the work?

    CAR: #1973-Citroen-SM / #1973 / #Citroen-SM / #Citroen

    OWNER: David Lillywhite

    One of the golden rules of restoration has to be not to lose momentum. Of course I’ve broken that rule many, many times over the years, and most recently with the Citron SM.

    It all started well over a year ago when the semi-complete SM had to be dismantled to fix a bent chassis leg and fractured suspension mount that had gone unnoticed. A little bit of enthusiasm died temporarily, a few new projects (a house restoration, Caterham racing, MGB tweaks, the usual nonsense) gained priority, and suddenly the Citroen project had slipped a few months.

    SM super-guru Andrew Brodie and the guys at BL Autos came to the rescue, and we got the rebuilt engine reinstalled and running. I was so proud I even posted a video of the first start-up on YouTube - but that was last spring! Since then, with more house upheaval, an effort to attend even more classic events, and an apparent acceleration of the space-time continuum, I don’t seem to have made much progress over the last few months.

    I think what really stalled me was my attempt to fit the mechanisms of the swivelling and tilting front lights. My car had a fixed-light US-spec front end. Andrew found me a European front end and all the crazy mechanical and hydraulic linkages that go with it. But can I work out how they fit? No I can’t - and that's where I left off.

    Now, of course, I've got several hours of work ahead of me just trying to fathom out what I was up to when I abandoned ship. Why is the steering column binnacle stripped down, when I clearly remember assembling it last year? How far did I get rebinding the engine bay wiring harness? What the hell are all these bits of rubber trim doing everywhere! I feel like I’ve doubled the amount of work needed.

    I know it sounds like a nightmare but actually it’s all part of the fun. I enjoy the total immersion of fiddling around with what was one of the most complicated cars in its day, and the highs of discovering how something bolts together. I love how good the car is beginning to look and the stunned expressions it prompts from friends and neighbours - six-year-old Connor next door has apparently memorised SM specifications. That I’m a full year behind schedule isn’t worth worrying about because this is a hobby, it’s meant to be fun and, when it stops being fun, it’s only sensible to drop it for a while.

    Now, though, it’s time to get back on it, and I’m making a list of what's left to be done. In many ways the car looks much worse than it is, because in less than half-an-hour the wings and bonnet will bolt back into place and it will look complete.

    So, first job is to route the tilting light mechanism control system from the rear suspension, along the passenger side inner sill, to the front end. Then the swivelling lights need to connect to the steering rack, which I’m still confused about, but Andrew has promised to enlighten me.

    The thin alloy outer sills need straightening and repainting and the lower front valance needs to be fitted. At the other end, the repaired stainless steel rear bumper has to be picked up from BL Autos in Welwyn Garden City and refitted.

    The interior is more or less finished but one electric window switch has packed up, and one window motor is a bit slow and needs a rebuild. The refurbished (now complete with iPod connection) original radio needs to go in, while the brand new footwell carpet needs to be unstuck to access the overlooked interior light switch wires, which are currently lost somewhere in the A-pillars.

    In the boot, I need to cut some more carpet, retrim the parcel shelf and somehow remake the rear window interior trim surround.

    And that's it. If I say it quickly, it seems like nothing at all.
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