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BX Voici la Nouvelle CitroŽn


Thijs van der Zanden






€ 37,50

Back in the early nineties, I took the plunge and bought a BX GT.  Like many CitroŽn enthusiasts, I was suspicious of this ‘Peugeot 404 with plumbing’. Front suspension used McPherson struts instead of one of the traditional CitroŽn setups and the rest of the mechanical bits came from the Peugeot-CitroŽn parts bin and in this respect it followed the precedent set by the LN, LNA and Visa.  But at least it had high-pressure hydraulics to operate the suspension, brakes and steering.  I came to the GT from a GSA and while I anticipated more performance and better economy, I suspected that ride quality and handling would be inferior.  It is true that the ride was firmer than that of the GSA and the handling suffered from too much body roll.  One of the major plus points was the wonderful PRN controls.  Firmer ride notwithstanding, my baby son and dog regularly chucked up when transported in it – something they never did in my wife’s Ford Escort XR3i.  I disliked the upholstery material – it was scratchy when wearing shorts.

The GT was replaced in due course by a GTi to which I fitted a set of four round headlamps and a chin spoiler and my wife inherited the GT which, unfortunately, was written off early one Sunday morning when parked outside our flat.  The GT needed to be replaced urgently and the local CitroŽn dealer had a low mileage BX16 TRS Automatique at a reasonable price so we bought it.  This was probably the worst CitroŽn I have ever driven.  It was underpowered and thirsty and always seemed to be in too low a gear and there was no engine braking on the overrun. The 16 was replaced in short order by a BX19RD which was slow but economical.  The GTi’s suspension was much firmer than that of the GT and allowed one to make full use of the performance.  It was getting rather elderly by this stage and my Father then offered me his BX DTR Turbo which was reasonably quick and economical – although it did leave a cloud of blue smoke in its wake when one made full use of its performance. 

After eight years of running BXs, I was given a XM CT Turbo as a company car.  My wife inherited my DTR Turbo and in due course it was replaced by a Xantia.  While the Xantia was undoubtedly prettier than the BX, I always thought its handling was inferior.

All the foregoing means that I approached Thijs’ latest book with anticipation because, despite my initial misgivings, all the BXs (with the exception of the 16 TRS) were great fun to drive. 

As one has come to expect from Citrovisie, the book is a work of art.  It is beautifully laid out and is full of high quality photographs, many of which I have never seen before.  This applies particularly to the chapter on the development of the car.  And for those who do not speak Dutch, it is the photos that will be of the greatest importance.  For those who do speak Dutch, there is plenty of hitherto unrevealed information.  I especially found the country specific variants interesting: there was a BX11 sold in Italy, Scandinavian models came with headlamp washers and I was surprised to discover that the car was sold in some Comecon countries including the Soviet Union.

In addition to the photos, there are examples of advertisements and extracts from brochures.

Once again, my only complaint is that, title notwithstanding; the book is only available in Dutch.  If enough people were to commit to buying an English language version, perhaps Citrovisie might be persuaded to provide a version in English.

Citrovisie was founded by Thijs van der Zanden, who combines his passion for writing and CitroŽns.
Citrovisie publishes books which will interest the enthusiasts of the CitroŽn brand. 
The formula is simple: no basic books with well-known facts and standard photographs, but books full of new information and unseen images. Besides the heap of information a Citrovisie book offers, it's also a lot of fun browsing through the chapters, since there are many images in the books many of which have never been published before.

© 2016 Julian Marsh