"Cars To own forever"

Anything about BXs
User avatar
DLM
Our Trim Guru
Posts: 1569
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 6:41 pm
Location: Gosport, Hampshire, UK
My Cars: None since the last BX.
x 1

"Cars To own forever"

Post by DLM » Tue Sep 06, 2005 12:35 pm

Yesterday I spied the last issue of "Car Mechanics" on a newsagent's shelf - so I picked it up to find a new series has started: "Cars To own forever". It got me thinking.

What had they chose as this month's candidate, and next months? The Mercedes 180 and the Saab 9000. And what did they say about the Mercedes - something along the lines that it seemed incredible that a car retailing nowadays in the trade for "less than £1200" was capable of being run forever. JUST £1200 - that's a revealing statement. How many BXs retail nowadays for even half of that in the trade, or privately?

What of the BX? It's an ideal candidate in many ways - so long as we keep it so. Like the Mercedes, or arguably the Saab, it hadn't yet had the abilty to be maintained economically over a lifetime designed out of it. The most recent torch-bearers versions of the hydopneumatic flame, eg, (the C5 with its hydropneumatic-electric version) have possibly had indefinite life designed out - the jury is out on that for the moment.

Despite the trade bias that's part and parcel of the mag, it might well be worth thinking of approaching them with at least an article outline. The editor does have a soft spot for hydro-cits, even if that does tend to mean a swift trip down the road to Pleiades for anything hydraulic.

Also, when they ran an XM project a few years back one of the stated aims was to show mechanics unfamiliar with the XM how to keep them going for their customers. As a number of Citroen specialists and ex-Citroen mechanics who know their way around hydropneumatics have effectively dropped the BX, might this be a way of reintroducing the car to the repairing/maintaining trade, even if some of the sums don't add up at the moment? As far as they're concerned the sums won't add up until the cars are valued highly enough to make the costs of repair worthwhile.

We can keep the BX to ourselves, cheap and obscure, or we can find ways to argue that it's VERY underrated and eminently runnable. Which do we want to do?

User avatar
cavmad
Keeper of the site Goat
Posts: 7858
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 9:13 am

Re: "Cars To own forever"

Post by cavmad » Tue Sep 06, 2005 12:50 pm

What had they chose as this month's candidate, and next months? The Mercedes 180 and the Saab 9000. And what did they say about the Mercedes - something along the lines that it seemed incredible that a car retailing nowadays in the trade for "less than £1200" was capable of being run forever. JUST £1200 - that's a revealing statement. How many BXs retail nowadays for even half of that in the trade, or privately?

As far as they're concerned the sums won't add up until the cars are valued highly enough to make the costs of repair worthwhile.

We can keep the BX to ourselves, cheap and obscure, or we can find ways to argue that it's VERY underrated and eminently runnable. Which do we want to do?[/quote]

I`d argue that it`s very under-rated and eminately runnable. Hopefully more chance of some being saved and possibly attracting non BXers into the car and the club. Also may mean more availabe spares rather than cars going straight to the crusher. I realise this sounds a little slfish btw, but I believe it`s in our interests to do so.

As far as the bit about the cars are not valuable enough to warrant large repairs I think spreading the word would also help in this matter as well. Let`s be honest, we all know of people who`ve spent huge sums getting cars repairede would probably scrap if something that cost 50p broke so it`s down to personal choice. It`s making `our` car seems like it`s worth repairing rather than just using it until it breaks and buying something else-all cars go through a phase at some point in their lives where they become dirt cheap to buy and when something breaks they get scrapped, it would really help if we could stop this happening to the BX i.m.h.o.

On a final note I`ve not seen any Merc 180`s for less than about £2500 though I suppose it won`t be long. However there`s no way on this earth I`d sell my 190E for one as trying to find a similar specc`d car is nigh on impossible and I`d only then be getting it for the sake of it. I`m not so keen on the 1.8 engine either-nothing abjectly wrong with it but I prefer the two litre engine.
Vauxhall apologist.

User avatar
DLM
Our Trim Guru
Posts: 1569
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 6:41 pm
Location: Gosport, Hampshire, UK
My Cars: None since the last BX.
x 1

Post by DLM » Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:05 pm

Whoops - did I say 180? I meant 190, if that's the BX-contemporary with less room in the back than even most mid-range Fords - but undoubted durability.

I can speak from experience about the rear room, having sat in the middle seat of a long-serving Greek Merc 190 taxi on a day-long "to the mountains and back" trip, much on dirt-or-near-dirt roads, with only South African ladies of a certain age either side for additional support.

Sorry for the mistake.

tom
Citroen Sorceror
Posts: 1239
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 8:51 pm
Location: straddling the channel

Post by tom » Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:12 pm

I'm actually writing the BX article for submission to them at the moment!
I wonder if they'll print?

User avatar
cavmad
Keeper of the site Goat
Posts: 7858
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 9:13 am

Post by cavmad » Tue Sep 06, 2005 2:26 pm

No problem! 190`s are falling into the `use until broken and buy another car` category mentioned above but with mine at least it`s incredibly well built and I can truly say that it still only looks about 8 months old despite being a 1990 and having done 163 odd thousand miles.
I still enjoy my BX though, it feels so right getting into it and it gives me a feeling of immortality if you catch my drift. I`d be quite happy to drive thousands of miles in it without even thinking about it.That`s what owning a car is all about as far as I`m concerned!
I think the more good publicity for Bx`s the better-let`s save them all!
Vauxhall apologist.

User avatar
DavidW
New Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:18 pm
Location: East Anglia

Post by DavidW » Tue Sep 06, 2005 2:34 pm

Interesting... don't buy Car Mechanics any more as the editor and some of the wicked technical errors annoy me.

I've looked after the same 1991 Mercedes 190E (1.8 inj petrol) for the past 5yrs, now on its third owner in that time. Has been driven in a low mileage retired bloke sort of way until the current chap bought it for 20K/yr commuting 18mths ago. He lashed out £1500 on an LPG conversion almost straight away and that has just paid for itself already. The car itself changed hands at only £1250!

Yes in many ways the Mercedes does have a "last forever" feel but a good part of that is the brand reputation that surrounds it and comforts you when owning/driving. Looked at without bias beside my Xantia TD you'd be hard pressed to say the 190 was a better car overall though.

And it is a valid comparison because when I bought my Xantia for about £2600 5yrs ago I could have bought this very 190E for the same amount.

I think it is true to say quite a few early-mid 1990s cars could be run "forever" in a way that was hard for 1960/70s cars. All you need is one with sensible miles and a good history, give it a mid-life overhaul and then maintain to the book.

And that is often how the best BX's about have been, and are being, looked after.

David
Citroen supporter for 25yrs plus. Former CCC BX/Xantia columnist. I like Land Rovers & John Deeres too!

User avatar
cavmad
Keeper of the site Goat
Posts: 7858
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 9:13 am

Post by cavmad » Tue Sep 06, 2005 3:40 pm

What I like about the Merc is it seems to run and run without really ever needing anything. The one and only problem I have had with it has been the brake master cylinder. I had a new front pipe a couple of years back but I class that as a consumable that any car would need so not too worried about it at the time.
Then again I find `tinkering` with the BX and trying to repair the little jobs that want doing actually makes me feel more involved and makes me like the car more, if that makes sense. It`s nice to have two such different cars and driving one always makes me appreciate the other-you end up comparing things like the BX`s magic carpet ride over the Mercs suspension and the whisper quiet interior comfort and heated seats of the Merc.
I often dream of building my own `special` with the bits of all my favourite cars and reating my own perfect car. I`m glad to report a large chunk of the BX would remain such is my love for them. All this from someone who even 5 years ago would rather have walked than had a BX. That`s my personal reason for wanting to promote the BX, how many other people have judged before they even tried and have passed on some bloody brilliant and extremely cheap motoring?
Vauxhall apologist.

User avatar
Mike E (uk)
1K Away
1K Away
Posts: 1115
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:10 am
Location: High Wycombe, Bucks

Merc may run forever, but its a bit dull.

Post by Mike E (uk) » Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:57 pm

The BX is not over engineered like the merc, and the wiring is very poor.

Surely we drive these Citroens because they are interesting- I do not expect my BX to last forever,but so what. It has exceeded its intended life already.

We will never convince many people to drive BXs, they are something of an engineer's toy. They do not have a classy image and do not hide their years well.

If I could not fix my BX myself, I would never run one, it would be too expensive.

The Merc is a much better bet for the non-technical folk who do not own a garage with a pit!

Mike

User avatar
Kitch
Over 2k
Posts: 6185
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2005 9:36 pm
Location: Fareham, Hants
x 47

Post by Kitch » Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:53 pm

My 16v will be owned forever by me.....unless I bin it!

User avatar
Daniel B
Confirmed BX'er
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:35 pm

Post by Daniel B » Mon Sep 12, 2005 2:24 pm

Kitch wrote:My 16v will be owned forever by me.....unless I bin it!
Ditto mate 8)

even then, I would pay to get her rebuilt :?

User avatar
cavmad
Keeper of the site Goat
Posts: 7858
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 9:13 am

Post by cavmad » Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:23 pm

I can`t believe I forgot to `big up` the wonderful MK3 Cavalier in `cars to own forever`. A decent 2.0 8 valve (preferably 130bhp) engine will last for years with basic maintenance and the body is good on them too. Keep on top of the rear arches and inner wings and you`re laughing, spares are available everywhere and they`re cheap to run. Brilliant cars.
Vauxhall apologist.

User avatar
Calfskin
Confirmed BX'er
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 4:54 pm
Location: Fife

Post by Calfskin » Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:05 pm

Best car I ever owned was my Mk2 Astra 1.8CDi. It was a heap but she was lovely with it. I needed to replace everything on her but I didnt grudge it at all. Followed by the car that replaced it. A beautiful Mk1 Vectra 1.8i GLS. I did 100k happy miles in that motor. Hopefully, Rene will join that list. At the current rate he's certainly up there with the Vectra.

Worst car was the last one I had. A Mk4 Astra 1.4i LS. She was a lemon the moment I bought her. In the first 3 months I drove the garage's Saab 900i more. In the end I had to let her go for a very painful loss as she was destined to need a new gearbox sooner rather than later. Put me off new cars hence why I bought my current cars. Notable mention here goes to the Skoda Estelle II 120LS5 I had for a very very very brief spell. Drove it three times, test drive, home and then the scrappy two months later... Not a proud moment for me... LOL

Calf.
RIP Rene, 1992 - 2006.
He was the best car I ever owned.

User avatar
Mike E (uk)
1K Away
1K Away
Posts: 1115
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:10 am
Location: High Wycombe, Bucks

Cars to run for ever...

Post by Mike E (uk) » Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:09 pm

"the wonderful MK3 Cavalier in `cars to own forever`. A decent 2.0 8 valve (preferably 130bhp) engine will last for years with basic maintenance and the body is good on them too."

When I am fixing my BX, I drive my 1990 Cav SRI, the 130hp 2 litre.

A sill needed welding a few years ago,and the wheel arches are a bit bumpy, but it is the most reliable car I have ever owned. Bought it in July 1990 and I have replaced very few items.

So far,I have replaced the front & rear brake disks once, a rad, 4 shocks, antiroll bar bushes,a water pump,a fuel pump relay and one exhaust system+consumables. Still on the 1st clutch. :shock:

It is fast too.

BX is more interesting, but much more fragile.

Mike