10 Citroëns to fall in love with at the Rétromobile sale

We’ve never met André Trigano, but if we did, we’d mostly likely shake him by the hand before congratulating him on a job well done. In his time, the former racing driver turned politician and tourism magnate has amassed a collection of 120 cars, including the kind of Citroëns that keep you awake at night dreaming.

He has decided to give up part of his collection, but rather than donating the cars to PetrolBlog, they’ll be going under the hammer at the Artcurial sale, part of Rétromobile in Paris. A total of 39 of his cars will appear alongside other rare Citroëns, ranging from a 1919 Type A to a Citroën C6.

You can check out the entire list of cars at the Artcurial sale here (scroll to the very bottom for Citroën love), but we’ve selected 10 of the most PetrolBloggy cars for you. It’s all part of the service. You can thank us later.

1961 Citroën 2CV Sahara

1961 Citroen 2CV Sahara

Why it’s so appealing

Because it’s an example of Citroën at its eccentric best. When building an off-road version of the 2CV, Citroën decided to have two engines, each one with its own gearbox, fuel tank and starter button. If the intrepid explorer behind the wheel felt the need, they could simply operate the engine at the back, creating a rear-wheel drive 2CV.

It was genuinely capable off road, but it cost too much (for a 2CV) and Citroën sold hundreds, rather than the thousands they had hoped.

The Artcurial auction car in a nutshell

The original owner was a veterinary surgeon in the south of France, who wanted a car capable of travelling up inaccessible mountain sites. It has done 11,367km – quite remarkable given its 1961 vintage.

Estimate: €60,000 – €90,000

1969 Citroën Ami 8

1969 Citroen Ami 8

Why it’s so appealing

OK, so the Citroën Ami 8 was a tad more conventional than the Ami 6 it replaced, but it lost none of its PetrolBloggyness in the process. And besides, we’ve been totally won over by this epic photo. It just looks so… right. Cool people might use words such as scene and stance.

The Artcurial auction car in a nutshell

You see that VéloSoleX on the right. Yup, that comes with the Citroën. It’s like going to a dog’s home and coming out with two pups, because you couldn’t bear to leave one behind. Crucially, this Ami has enjoyed an enviable existence in the south of France, so rot need not be an issue.

Estimate: €6,000 – €10,000

1971 Citroën M35 prototype

1971 Citroen M35 prototype

Why it’s so appealing

Even without the knowledge that the Citroën M35 was a Wankel-engined forerunner to the Citroën GS Birotor, this would look like a seriously cool car. A bit like an Ami Coupe designed by Le Mad Max.

Of course, despite appearances, it shared little in common with the Ami 8 and only 267 out of a planned 500 were ever built. Amazing to think that Citroën used its most loyal customers to carry out the testing.

The Artcurial auction car in a nutshell

Don’t let the number 417 on the front wing fool you. The numbering of the prototypes wasn’t continuous and there was a gap between 175 and 376. André Trigano purchased this 1971 car from its original owner in 1980 and, according to Artcurial, it’s in an original condition.

Estimate: €15,000 – €20,000

1973 Citroën SM

1973 Citroen SM

Why it’s so appealing

It needs no introduction, does it? The Citroën-Maserati SM is as beautiful as it is beguiling. The otherworldly styling, the Maserati V6 engine, the futuristic tech and those six headlights – this thing had it all.

Oh, and just look at that 1970s colour. It’s as though it came tobacco-stained from the factory.

The Artcurial auction car in a nutshell

It was originally sold through a dealer in Paris, before André Trigano purchased it in 1979.

Estimate: €10,000 – €15,000

1974 Citroën DS23 Pallas

1974 Citroen DS23 Pallas

Why it’s so appealing

If we’re honest, the Citroën DS is probably the least PetrolBloggy car in our Rétromobile top ten. It’s not that it isn’t great – because it most certainly is – but it hardly needs any extra exposure. The world knows just what a game-changing and important car this was.

The Artcurial auction car in a nutshell

If you were going to choose a Citroën DS, a DS23 Pallas would be high on your list of favourites. This one even features a sunroof, along with air conditioning and tan leather.

Estimate: €50,000 – €80,000

1980 Citroën Méhari 4×4

1980 Citroen Mehari 4x4

Why it’s so appealing

Thought off-road vehicles were heavy, lumbering machines? Think again, because the Citroën Méhari 4×4 must be one of the lightest off-roaders in he world.

Citroën had high hopes of selling bucketload of these things to the military, fire-fighters and farmers. Sadly, they weren’t convinced, so the 4×4 version of the Méhari was never anything more than a niche curio.

The Artcurial auction car in a nutshell

It has the optional spare wheel on the bonnet, so that’s probably all you need to know. That, and the fact it has a mere 1,705km on the clock.

Estimate: €20,000 – €30,000

1984 Citroën Visa 1000 Pistes

1984 Citroen Visa 1000 Pistes

Why it’s so appealing

Oh goodness, send a cold flannel. Where to start with this one? The Citroën Visa 1000 Pistes was a development of the earlier Tropheé and Chromo models and was designed for Group B rallying.

Only 200 road-going versions were built, each one powered by a 1,366cc engine developing 112bhp in standard form or 135bhp in the Evolution models. Any Citroën Visa is as rare as hen’s dentures, making a 1000 Pistes a stunning find.

The Artcurial auction car in a nutshell

Given the four-wheel drive Visa 1000 Pistes was developed for Group B, it’s no surprise to discover many of them ending up going rallying. Which makes this 2,500km example all the more appealing. Never race or rallied. Blimey.

Estimate: €30,000 – €50,000

1986 Citroën BX 4TC

1986 Citroen BX 4TC

Why it’s so appealing

A decade ago, an unregistered Citroën BX 4TC sold at auction for €14,950, so the pre-auction estimate for this example shows how much the market has changed. Group B cars are in demand.

Not that the BX 4TC was successful. Citroën rushed the project, meaning the BX 4TC was never able to hold its own against the likes of Lancia, Ford and Peugeot. A sixth place in Sweden was all it could muster. Does that stop us wanting it? Of course not.

The Artcurial auction car in a nutshell

After being sold to its first owner, this BX 4TC was ‘recovered’ by Citroën and given to André Trigano on the understanding it wouldn’t be used for competition use. That’s because Citroën was so ashamed of it, bailiffs were ordered to oversee the destruction of all known BX 4TC. Drastic measures.

Citroën – if you want to donate a car to PetrolBlog, we promise not to go racing. A Citroën ZX Rallye Raid or Xsara WRC would do just fine. Thanks.

Estimate: €40,000 – €60,000

1988 Citroën CX GTi Turbo 2

1988 Citroen CX GTi Turbo 2

Why it’s so appealing

It’s a Citroën CX GTi Turbo 2. That should be all you need to know. We admit an earlier CX, with the wonderfully eccentric interior would appeal more, but when there’s a 168bhp turbocharged engine under the bonnet, who’s complaining?

The Artcurial auction car in a nutshell

This CX was formally ‘attached to the National Assembly’ and purchased by André Trigano in the mid 90s. It’s also done 121,361km, so it has seen some proper use on the French Autoroutes.

So this is an ex-parliamentary CX with a period Blaupunkt radio/cassette sat where Saab used to put the ignition key. Be still our beating heart.

Estimate: €6,000 – €10,000

2007 Citroën C6 Lineage

2007 Citroen C6 V6 2.7 HDi

Why it’s so appealing

If you were looking for more evidence of why André Trigano deserves the freedom of PetrolBlog, let us present the final car on our list of gems. Monsieur Trigano purchased this Citroën C6 new in 2007 and has since completed around 60,000km.

The Artcurial auction car in a nutshell

Crucially, it comes painted in Sarkozy Black with contrasting cream leather. The only thing better than a right-hand drive C6 has to be a French-registered C6 owned by a self-confessed Citroën fanatic. Where do we sign?

Estimate: €8,000 – €12,000

The Artcurial sale is part of Rétromobile and takes place on 5 February 2016. We’ve chosen our favourite Citroëns, now tell us yours. And let us know if you intend to place a bid.

All images © Artcurial

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ABOUT AUTHOR
Gavin Big-Surname
The chief waffler and founder of PetrolBlog in 2010. Has a rather unhealthy obsession with cars from the 80s and 90s, and is on a one-man mission to collect the cars nobody else wants. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.

2 comments

  1. January 27, 2016
    Darren Leslie

    Good call on all of those. It seems as the only other one I might be tempted with would be the 1968 ID 21 F Break, which looks absolutely amazing! It has so much glass area, that the roof (and rack) looks as though it really is just floating above the car.

    Reply
    • January 29, 2016
      Gavin Big-Surname

      Yes! Completely agree. That nearly made the shortlist. Such a cool thing.

      Reply

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