Where it all began

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Kitch
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Where it all began

Post by Kitch »

If we're all honest, being a bit of a nut about BXs is something the majority of petrolheads fail to understand. The BX still falls on to the 'wanky' car radar, even if in fairness, they were actually pretty good.
I'm 29 now, but I've been into them since I was a kid. When you're a 13yr old in secondary school, trying to explain why you wanted a BX 16v over an Impreza Turbo is like trying to convince people Margret Thatcher is better looking than Kelly Brook!

And when I was having a bit of a house clear-up the other day, I found a picture that brought it all back....

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A63 RPO....my Dad's BX 16TRS. I couldn't tell you why, but that car to me was a hero! I was insanely fond of it. He got it in (I think) 1989. It was a 1983 model...I can't remember the exactly sum of money that changed hands for it, but I think it was around £3,000. I would have been 6 or 7 years old at the time. He used to have an Opel Kadett (basically a mk1 Astra with round headlamps) which, along with all the cars before it he didn't really like. We had a crash in the Opel, and though it wasn't written off he sold it and decided he wanted a Citroen BX. I remember him telling me I was going to like it, because when you start the engine the seats go up.
Imagine my displeasure at finding out that when you start the engine, the actual car goes up, not the seats. Seems my Dad's dumbing-down of the hydropneumatic system wasn't required for this geek! :lol:

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Aside from the odd clutch cable gremlin (and randomly fading red panels) It provided stirling service for the next 5 years until the unthinkable happened in Autumn 1994.....a nurse in a mk4 Escort smashed into the back of it in Southampton. I was off school ill that day (SCIVEitus if I remember correctly) when I looked out the window at about (10:00am to see the BX on the back of a low loader outside. I went downstairs to see what had happened as my Dad got in and he told me he'd had a car accident. I ran outside to the front of the car while the guy was still unloading it to see no damage. "No, it's at the back" my Dad said. But the back didn't look damaged either! Then I noticed the towbar (which it came with, but we never used) looked a bit off-centre, before then noticing that it was hard up against the bumper. The guy reversed it off the transporter and parked it outside on the road. I was only a kid, so immediately thought it didn't look bad. But then my Dad showed me that the boot was stuck shut, because the rear bumper had pinned it there. The rear doors also wouldn't open, though we did later manage to get them open with some brute force; the 1/4 panels were pinning them tight. When I climbed in to the back I noticed the rear seat backrest wouldn't stay latched and the boot floor had what looked like a mountain in it.
The insurance assessor came to see it. Again, it didn't occur to me that it was worth not a lot here. He found out the car was a few inches shorter than it was supposed to be! I'm not sure what catagory write-off it was, but I'm guessing a B (I keep telling myself that, because these days I could have fixed it!) I was gutted!

However, just to prolong the pain (though it was fun at the time) my Dad had a couple of months-long argument with the insurance company about the value of the car, which meant it sat on our driveway for ages as a car to play in! My Dad then bought an XM 2.0 Si (another really early version) and the BX waited.

The night before it was due to be collected for scrap, me and a couple of friends were messing about in it and for some reason we pushed it forwards up the drive. For reasons I'm still to this day unsure of, I turned the steering and (because the car was no longer running and stuck on very very low) it got beeched straddling the driveway and garden. We couldn't shift it! That night it had the driveway (and garden) to itself and the XM (which was already in disgrace....I remember we'd only had it a month and my Dad wished it would get written off parked on the road) was reduced to leaning against the kerb.

The day came - again I was off school with a similar illness. I waited by the window. A HUGE car transporter arrived with two burly blokes. My Dad had gone to work, leaving just my Mum and me. She knew the score....she knew why I was off.
The door knocked, the guys did the paperwork and then looked at it puzzled wondering why it was beeched across the driveway & garden! They managed to heeve-ho it off again before pushing it onto the road (it grounded out another 2 or 3 times, just to make its point) before it was winched onto the transporter. It got stuck being pulled up the bed too, which was resolved by one of the guys beating the hell out of it underneath to bend whatever was jamming it out of the way. Today I know it was no big deal, but back then it was killing me! I don't mind admitting I sobbed like a little girl (embarrassing seeing as I was 11) watching it get taken away. The two burly guys probably wondered what the hell was wrong with me! I watched it drive round the corner, reversed on the end of the top deck (so it looked longingly at you for help), then sprinted upstairs to catch it going from my Mum & Dad's bedroom window at the rear of the house (we lived next to a 90 degree bend). I saw it drive past the black ph2 H reg BX 16v (the car that made me want a 16v) at the entrance to our estate, before turning onto the main road and disappearing forever. I think it went to a breakers in Taunton, or Bristol. Or something.

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I've owned 10 BXs since then, but that was the one. I'd give anything to have that car back. I probably have had it since.....I eat baked beans afterall!


It just all got me thinking about what kicked off the obsession with the weird French car :lol:
CCC BX monthly column writer bloke thingy - bx@citroencarclub.org.uk

The national BX register - click to submit a car!

1983(A) 16TRS (Rouge Valleunga) - 1987(E) GTi 16v (Noir) - 1990(H) 16Valve (Rouge Furio)

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Kitch
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Re: Where it all began

Post by Kitch »

How times change:

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Same driveway, same colour, same 11 year old boy!

But that picture was taken 12 years after A63 RPO was taken away.
CCC BX monthly column writer bloke thingy - bx@citroencarclub.org.uk

The national BX register - click to submit a car!

1983(A) 16TRS (Rouge Valleunga) - 1987(E) GTi 16v (Noir) - 1990(H) 16Valve (Rouge Furio)

mds141
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Re: Where it all began

Post by mds141 »

Lovely write up Kitch, brought a tear to my age wearied eye.
Mark Smith

Is it just me or is everything shit?

1989 BX GTi 16 valve. Blanc Alpine. Completed the Citroen Classic Challenge Ecosse and 1337 miles without a hitch.
2000 XM VSX 2.1 td Auto. Rouge Magenta.
TGD saloon many years ago.

1990 Swift 'Corniche' 12/2 aka BXClub HQ.
Honda Firestorm. Gone, but not forgotten.
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docchevron
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Re: Where it all began

Post by docchevron »

It was all my dad's fault in my case!
As a kid i thoguht diesel was the fuel of buses and lorries, and French cars were just weird.
Then one day he came home in F614, or Richie as it is now.
I immediatly thought "oh my god, my Dad has gone mad!"
But then I went for a ride in it, and instantly discovered what a truly sublime place it was to be. The diesel was quite and unstressed, even on the motorway, and the comfort was just incredible. Even as a kid the haemophilia was a big issue for me, usually sporting an odd shaped knee of horrifically sollen arm or whatever (John Merrick almost sometimes) so it was really the comfort that got me.
Roll on a couple of years and I'm using the ambulance as daily transport, which at less than 10MPG was a bit, erm, expensive, even back then.
Then I happened across a Hillman Super Minx estate. Spent months welding the crate up, put an OD box in it, disc brakes and all that crap, and discovered after all that work, I still hated it! Lovely to look at, bloody awful to drive. So I gave that away, and since Dad was getting back into classics offered me F614. Since then I've had 39 of the damn things, and despite Richie currently being parked up awaiting another pump, and a complete restore really since it's getting frillier than a whores knickers, I still have it, a million miles later, and wont ever part with that car.
Smokes lots, because enough's enough already!

Far too many BX's, a bus, an ambulance a few trucks, not enough time and never enough cash...

mds141
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Re: Where it all began

Post by mds141 »

I can't lay the blame for my BX affliction at my parents. I grew up on a diet of Austin 1100's and Datsun's!! :oops:
Mark Smith

Is it just me or is everything shit?

1989 BX GTi 16 valve. Blanc Alpine. Completed the Citroen Classic Challenge Ecosse and 1337 miles without a hitch.
2000 XM VSX 2.1 td Auto. Rouge Magenta.
TGD saloon many years ago.

1990 Swift 'Corniche' 12/2 aka BXClub HQ.
Honda Firestorm. Gone, but not forgotten.
2015 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC.

Dollywobbler
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Re: Where it all began

Post by Dollywobbler »

Nice one.

My first BX experience came in 1989, when my primary school headteacher's wife had a BX. Had a few trips out in that. Loved it. Then tried talking my dad into getting one but he never did (not that he had that much influence - it was always company cars, usually Montegos).

Then in 1998, I bought this.
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A 1992 K-plate TGD with odd bits of black interior trim where it should have been grey. Looks like the same colour as my TXD. Did 6000 miles in it in six months but being young and foolish, I traded it in for a Daewoo Matiz.

My first hydro-Cit experience was a friend's dad's GS estate in bright yellow. That gave me my love of the hydraulics. Absolutely fabulous. I must have only been about 8. Made quite an impression, as did this page in a classic car reference book that I was given when I was ten.
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Tim Leech
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Re: Where it all began

Post by Tim Leech »

Same for me, my dad went off to work in a B plate Montego 1.3 base (4 gears etc) and came back the same evening now with a new job in B437DBD a BX 19RD in black! I was about 11 also I think Kitch (the car was nearly new) and spend hours in it playing with the electric windows and trick suspension.

Ive never owned a Montego, or a Cortina or the other reptastic cars we often had but Im on BX number 32!
Lots of Motors, mostly semi broken....

Mickey taker
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Re: Where it all began

Post by Mickey taker »

I bought my first one when I decided to grow up and sell my stage 3 engined skids 130 lse estelle.
It was a grey E reg 19 trs and served us well ,even towi.g our old Avondale caravan 5 up without complaining.
Only sold us when child no4 was imminent, the BX was replaced by a2.5 cx familie, this was also a great car,
After moving to MK I bought the first of two white 8 valve GTi's before buying the valver. After a short daliance with "that "white yes auto I got the meteor
1991 BX Meteor 1.6

light travels faster than sound, thats why you look intelligent and then you spoil it all by opening your mouth !!!!!

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mat_fenwick
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Re: Where it all began

Post by mat_fenwick »

I've mentioned this before, but my Dad originally had a GSA which I was very keen on - it was the first car I really remembered. After a brief flirtation away from Citroens he bought a BX in 1991 I think. I was just getting into cars properly at this stage, being about 12. I remember studying the brochures in great detail, and going with him whenever he went to visit dealers. He was initially looking for a 1.9 NA diesel, but at the same dealer where two were shortlisted there was a 3 year old DTR Turbo, F122 BET.

Although it was out of budget, I pointed out that if he bought either of the others he'd have to pay for a towbar to be fitted, plus an extra cooling fan was required on the non turbo diesels (at the time I even remembered the Citroen list price for fitting this, but not that sad I remember it now!) Sensing a weakness the salesman suggested a test drive, and during the drive offered to knock something off the forecourt price. That was it - we were sold!

Had lots of fond memories travelling in that car, and on one holiday campsite when I was 16, it was the first car I ever drove. I used to work on it, so I suppose it's the car I first learnt any mechanical skills on. Looking back, my Dad was very trusting to let me loose on it, although it was limited to servicing and things like fitting an alarm & fog lights. My enthusiasm for it was well known amongst his friends, and when I met up with one of them a few years back, the topic of conversation drifted to cars..."So what Citroen do you drive then?" he asked me.

I wanted a BX when I first learnt to drive, but sadly they were too pricey. The Mk1s were almost but not quite within reach, but I didn't like the small indicators :oops: So I remained BXless until 2004, when we needed something more practical than an Alfa 75 V6 for carrying building materials around. Not to mention it was quite thirsty on long camping holidays, although massive fun! I found a TZD Turbo estate (for some reason I've always preferred the estate), with about 95k miles on it. It's now coming up to 220k miles :-D Although a diesel estate is not really a driver's car, it's still enjoyable to drive, and cheap enough to use without worrying about the economy too much. Although with fuel prices now, the Alfa was probably cheaper per mile back then!

I've only owned two other BXs; both TD estates and one very quickly became a spares car (bought for £100) due to its AC system which I removed. I'll have to try and find some old photos!
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2016 Hyundai iLoad

RobC
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Re: Where it all began

Post by RobC »

It was my dad's fault too - but in our case an X-Reg Yellow GSA Club Estate in the family from 1985-1989 until the spheres got so flat my dad assumed the car was past it (if only he'd known how easy it was to fix). Anyway as soon as I passed my test I knew the first car I bought was going to be a hydropneumatic Citroen - I bought a G Reg 14 Preview in 2000 (which had a messy demise in 2001) and now sadly addicted.
1991 Citroen BX 16v

KevR
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Re: Where it all began

Post by KevR »

Largely my Dad's fault too, although childhood holidays in France left me determined to have a 2CV van and/or an H van anyway.
We had Peugeot 404 estates in the seventies (one of which had previously been rolled...) - big enough for a family of six inside and a load of bikes on the roof (Parents were racing cyclists and I carried on the tradition). Then we moved on to a couple of rear engined Renaults (an 8 and a 10), followed by a 504 Ti saloon ( I remember arguing the merits of that with a schoolfriend against his dad's Capri) and a 304 Estate for my mum. When my parents split my mum got a 504 estate - I learned to drive in that) and later a 305 saloon, and my dad eventually moved onto a string of GSs and BXs. These days he's got a Xantia I think.
We went through a few 2CVs in the early nineties, but I mostly drove vans for a while. My first BX came after I spent a year with a monday-morning Xantia in 1998. Eventually it spat its cambelt and stranded my wife on the Peripherique in Paris, so enough was enough - I fixed it and flogged it. A mate gave me a 1987 TRS estate which needed new octopus and pipework. Drove that for a while, then converted it to TD using bits from a crashed donor. 20k later that was written off by a dimwitted woman who sideswiped me on a roundabout. Same mate gave me a 1990 TD saloon which I used for a year then gave to someone else when I got the white TD estate, followed two years later by the grey one. Grey one is in daily use and coming up to 190k. White one is up in the air with its guts hanging out waiting for me to finish putting it back on the road after six years in limbo. Planning on keeping both on the road as long as possible.
1990 BX TZD Estate ('the grey one', 1991 BX TZD Estate ('the white one'), 1982 2CV6 Charleston (in bits), 1972 AZU Serie B (2CV van), 1974 HY72 Camper, 1990 Land Rover 110 diesel LWB, 1957 Mobylette AV76, 1992 Ducati 400SS, 1966 VW Beetle, 1990 Mazda MX-5, 1996 Peugeot 106D, 1974 JCB 2D MkII, 1997 BMW R1100RS, 1987 Suzuki GSX-R1100, 1978 Honda CX500A, 1965 Motobecane Cady, 1988 Honda Bros/Africa Twin, 1963 Massey Ferguson 825, and a lot of bicycles!

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Matt H
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Re: Where it all began

Post by Matt H »

My Dad is also the one to blame... A multiple BX offender. It all started with a 19TGD in the early to mid '90s - which was at the time the best car in the world ever! Always liked the 16v back then too after a passenger ride in one, but the real love affair started with this one:

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Even though he must have gone through five of six other 16vs, this one was just the best. Broke my heart when he sold it, so kind of explains why I always hankered after a black one. Finding the one I did (even down to the Northern Irish plate) is more than I could have possibly hoped for:

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Dollywobbler
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Re: Where it all began

Post by Dollywobbler »

Ah yes. Your dad got me back into BXs again with a shambolic red Valver. Looked like sh*t and went like it too! Insane fun. It had to go purely because my driving was starting to upset by future wife... She was much happier when I bought the Green Tiger a few years later.

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Matt H
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Re: Where it all began

Post by Matt H »

Ahh, you must mean this bad boy!

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Dollywobbler
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Re: Where it all began

Post by Dollywobbler »

That's the one! Phase 1 dressed up as Phase 2 (as per the bottom pic) when I got hold of it. Did something silly like 4000 miles in it in eight weeks, then swapped it for a Rover 414 bubble.