By on May 8, 2015

citroen_c6

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m a closet Francophile. Unfortunately, the nearest Citroen dealer is, at least, a forty hour drive-and-ferry ride from my Ohio homestead.

As much as I enjoy driving a small, taut-handling roadster, I must resign myself to the fact that I have a wife and two kids that will occupy the car as well. We are frequent long-haul roadtrippers, with at least four round trips of over ten hours over the last year as a family. A quiet, rapid, smooth-riding vehicle is in order. Who does calm and comfy like the French?

It seems, if I could be certain to handle the maintenance in my own overstuffed garage, that a modern Citroen, like this 20006 C6 on eBay, would be an ideal replacement for my minivan. A long, low hatchback with a vague resemblance to the legendary DS – even more like the later CX – this is a remarkably elegant cruiser. Twin-turbo V6 diesel, too? Oh, yeah.

How this came to be registered in the States is not clear. I can see it in Florida, which everyone knows will title a banana peel, but in New York? Perhaps this was owned by a diplomat. Anyhow, there are plenty of rational reasons why this would be a very bad idea. But if I were properly rational, I wouldn’t be a gearhead.

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61 Comments on “Crapwagon Outtake: 2006 Citroen C6...”


  • avatar
    Slave2anMG

    That owner’s a special kind of masochist…the C6 and in the background a VW Phaeton. Wow.

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      And a W220 S-class, also not known for its reliability.

      I love the wheels on the Citroen, the trunk strut/hinge setup is really cool, and the interior is nice.

      It’s 10 years old, don’t think it’s worth $25,000, but maybe to the right buyer it is?

    • 0 avatar
      Chris Tonn

      I almost used that photo for Jack’s amusement.

  • avatar
    nguyenvuminh

    Oh my God, please share with us more pictures and insight Chris. This is a rare opportunity not only for you but for us Citroen fans as well. I think the experience will be tedious but the unique driving experience will be worth it I believe. I simply love Citroens, well, except for the ones in the latest 5 years anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      Chris Tonn

      Oh, my budget for another car right now is currently around 1% of the ask on this Citroen.

      Unless someone were to give 175% of book on a 2012 Town and Country with 71k–I’ll even throw the stale french fries that are assuredly under the third row in the deal.

  • avatar

    I love these. So much.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Hmmm a low, comparatively cramped, impossible to service FRENCH car for what I’m assuming is a Dodge Caravan, Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey, for family hauling duties… yea, totally reasonable trade.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      That was my thought, too. His needs scream “minivan”.

      If he wants the Citroen as a project car, I think it would make a fantastic hobby.

      But he should keep the van as a backup for all of those times he’ll be waiting to have car parts shipped over from dealer parts counters in France. Also, the van will be useful for those home depot runs and other work that you would want to avoid with a one-of-a-kind car built out of unobtanium.

      So, buy the Citroen, keep the van. If that would create a financial hardship, then skip the whole thing.

    • 0 avatar
      Joss

      Agreed 25K go in quest of a 2011 Quest. At least you’d have something rare that drives nicely for a minivan per Edmunds.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Looks strangely elongated, like it was pulled off a larger turd.

  • avatar
    SELECTIVE_KNOWLEDGE_MAN

    The C6 was what many would claim as being ahead of its time. I remember it being introduced as the French alternative to a similarly sized German luxury car.

    Unfortunately the introduction of full scale usage of a CAN bus also resulted in some of the strangest electric gremlings known to man. Americans are quick to fault Audis for overly complicated and failing electronics when compared to American and Japanese cars. The C6 took this to a whole new level. Find a C6 owner. Any owner will do. He will have some amusing stories to tell.

    • 0 avatar
      993cc

      By reputation, Citroen’s hydropneumatic suspensions had been quite easy to service, if you understood them. THIS ONE, however, is very dense in sensors and microprocessors, none of which have proven to be especially reliable.

      RUN AWAY.

      TERRIBLY FAST.

      (and besides, you can’t even get it with a stickshift)

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    From the listing: “Routine maintenance was performed by a Citroen mechanic.” Where the heck did he get a Citroen mechanic in NY State? Did they fly one over periodically?

    Top Gear really liked this car and then it went on to sell about a handful in the UK.

    Check out the steering wheel and dashboard. Obviously Citroen still enjoyed designing ‘quirky’ autos up until this point. Too bad they still do not manufacture larg(er) luxury autos for those who have lots of time, money and a desire to be different.

  • avatar

    Never mind the cesspool of non-standard, complex and fail-prone electronics that is the C6 (and you thought Audi was bad!). What makes this a genuinely bad idea—which you sort of touched on—is the fact that being granted registration for an imported car by a particular state does not mean that it is ineligible for seizure by the federal government. Just ask all of those pissed-off R32 and R34 Skyline owners.

  • avatar
    Steinweg

    DO IT!

    Or come to your senses, buy a 2006 S500 and save.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    The butt looks right out of the trip Homer went on when he ate that chili pepper.
    http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NDgwWDY0MA==/z/G1IAAOSwBahVSl2h/$_12.JPG

  • avatar
    salhany

    How on earth did the owner get it titled? I wonder if it’s here on a diplomatic plate and they got some sort of exemption to keep it here.

    I don’t care how much of a PITA it might be to service: it fills me with lust. I want it bad.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    If you need to smoothly film a horse race from a bumpy dirt road, there’s few cars better for the job than a C6.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    Hatchback?
    https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2061/2033441617_2f7825f4fe_b.jpg
    It’s not a hatchback.

  • avatar
    david42

    If there were even the slightest possibility that this car is truly legal, then I would buy it in a heartbeat. But I can’t even begin to imagine the shenanigans it took to get it registered. Good luck to the next owner, ideally someone who has incriminating pics of their local DMV chief.

    Btw, it’s not a hatchback: the only big Citroen hatch was the XM.

    And it is possible to have Citroens serviced in NY (http://www.daveburnhamcitroen.com/)… if someone is genuinely interested in this car, I would get in touch Dave because I’m sure he would be aware of it and its history in this country.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    It’s SO BEAUTIFUL. What elegance. I have always loved these, ever since I learned of them on the Top Gear segment which philadlj just referenced above.

    Minor correction though, it’s not a hatchback as it has a real trunk.

    With that V6 turbo diesel, this is certainly a range-topping Prestige trim level. Those panel gaps on the dashboard tell me that there are probably some creaks in this thing. Can’t believe they didn’t clean it up more before photographing, considering they’re asking $25k to start (not worth that much, to anybody who has the info on how to register their own.)

    Oh jeebus, a perfect garage – park a blue and white Avantime next to this. Better yet, park both of them in front of your mid century home. Ahhh.

    • 0 avatar
      cpthaddock

      Agree wholeheartedly – elegance and individuality designed in, no resort to crude bulges, creases and purposeless sharp twiddles and protrusions.

      Given Doug’s Skyline adventures, I have to wonder how the cost of this one would compare to one imported from mainland Europe. Also, how this compares to the cost of a well maintained DS?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    This car is WAY cool.

    Then again, so was my dad’s ’73 SM. Check that spaceship styling, the ultra-cool and luxurious interior, the adjustable suspension, and that Maserati engine. It was a spectacular car…as long as you didn’t actually depend on it for transportation. When it got below 40 degrees, your chances of getting it started were about 50/50.

    And then the engine blew…doing 35 mph…in second gear. Replacement? Sure…give us $5,000 (in 1975 dollars, mind you) and wait six months for the part to come from Italy. And this was in the mid-’70s, when there were actual Citroen dealers.

    Finally, Dad unloaded it to an attorney that lived down the road (I think Mom finally got sick of him taking her car to work every other day). He was afraid the car was so bad that the guy would sue him, but apparently not.

    I wouldn’t touch that C6 with a million-mile-long pole, cool or not. I can’t even imagine what it’d be like to try and get some major part or repair done. You might as well own a F-15.

  • avatar
    Opus

    Might be worth a trip just to see who the owner is: http://curbed.com/archives/2014/10/29/bruce-willis-buys-house-bedford-new-york-celebrity-real-estate.php

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Also there’s one too many 0’s in the date, it says 20,006.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I would also like to see more investigation into this “register things which aren’t allowed here” phenomenon. This, and the circa 2002 London Cab on Ohio plates I saw a couple months ago makes me think it’s got to be fairly easy to skirt regulation.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      There is actually a company that sells London cabs here. Saw one on a dealer lot one time with a window sticker and everthing. Apparently the builder got them approved.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Even with RHD? That’s quite an accomplishment, can’t imagine they’d pass crash regs either.

        But maybe they sell them as a light truck or a kit car or something.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          This is America there are no laws that require LHD. Unlike Australia it is perfectly legal to drive a car with the steering wheel on the “wrong” side.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Well I’m not an Australian, but I didn’t know about either place.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It really is odd that there is no LHD mandate in the US. But there isn’t.

            Australia now mandates RHD. Those US pickups are outrageously expensive there because of the conversion costs.

          • 0 avatar
            PRNDLOL

            Which is how the Saturn Postal wagon came to be.
            http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2571/3988803259_02bc1046e2.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Indeed – Subaru would happily sell you a RHD Legacy wagon here for ages. The car of choice for contract rural mail carriers, but you did not need to be one to buy the car.

          • 0 avatar
            dtremit

            No laws that require left hand drive, though you do have to have left hand *headlights*, I believe.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @dtremit, yes technically you must have DOT approved lighting and the only DOT approved headlights are designed for driving on the right side of the road. That means the low beam pattern has a cutoff on the left side to lessen the light that could blind the oncoming driver. They also have a pattern that allows the light on the right side to be higher to illuminate road signs.

        • 0 avatar
          OliverTwist

          No, the LTI Vehicles TXII were officially sold in the United States for a few years in the early 2000s. I have seen several of them in Denver as ‘marketing gimmick’. I had a few sales brochures from LTI Vehicles (which was renamed into The London Cab Company a few years later).

          TXII had been engineered and manufactured to meet the US regulations, including left-hand-drive version. LTI Vehicles planned to establish a final assembly site in the United States as to qualify for ‘Buy American’ requirement.

          LTI Vehicles had put so much consideration into the accessibility for the people with mobility disabilities. The cabs had a built-in wheelchair ramp and wide open doors. That also included the visual aides for the passengers who are blind or have low visibility. They were simply perfect for taxi service.

          Two factors that doomed the US sales: narrow-sighted mandate of New York City and high price.

          New York City required that the taxicabs be taken out of service after a certain number of years and mileages. The taxicabs sourced from American cars or former law enforcement departments in the past supposedly became less safe after accumulating many miles and years of operations. NYC mandate had one purpose of forcing the taxi companies to modernise their fleet more often.

          TXII were specifically designed to be very durable and run for hundred thousands of miles. That significant difference seemed to be lost on NYC.

          I recalled TXII was retailled for $40,000, twice the cost for most crap-o-taxicabs from Dodge/Plymouth, Chevrolet, and Ford. Consequently, the taxi companies couldn’t amortise the higher cost of purchasing TXII in fewer years and lower mileages.

          That had a cascading effect on the market in other cities as well.

    • 0 avatar
      cpthaddock

      Traditional London cabs are quite old now and since they stay in service for a very long time, I could easily imagine that it passes the 25 year mark.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Ah ha, you see I thought of that. So I went home right after I saw it and looked it up. The front and rear fascias indicated it was at least a 2002 model.

        • 0 avatar
          dtremit

          There was a company actively importing the TX1 during the mid-aughts; they shuttered in the recession after not making much traction in the market.

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    if you have not seen one of these in the flesh all i can say is that the pictures do not do it justice. absolutely stand out gorgeous. and to my biased sense of color beauty the darker color and light interior really sets it off. there is surely all sorts of quirky going on here but if your s.o. is game why not consider it?

  • avatar
    Fred

    I use to park cars a long while ago and every time I got in a Citroen which was rare, I’d look at that dash in amazement.

  • avatar

    This is a really cool car, with the spirit of the Citroens I remember so fondly. There’s a ’70 Citroen DS in Bethesda, MD in a neighborhood next to Glen Echo. It’s been owned by the same person since ’72.

    As a fellow francophile, I’m sure you’ll appreciate my review of a 2cv:
    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/review-1975-citroen-2cv/

    There’s a place that specializes in repairing 2cvs in Seattle.

    I took my first legal drive in a Peugeot 404 that my parents bought the year we lived in Paris.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Who does calm and comfy like the French? The Americans, but without all the mechanical drama.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      No, they don’t. Not even close. My Peugeots had a sublime ability to be both smooth riding while still going around corners. And unlike American float-barges, they maintain their composure on a frost-heaved rutted road at speed. Citroens are even better, at the cost of more complexity.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    One of my favourite things about Paris was seeing C6’s litter the streets like black Town Cars in any major North American city.

    We’re about 5 years from these being legal in Canada – considering they seem to retain approximately no value, I’d have to assume I could get one imported for about a fifth of the asking price on this. I mean, that would probably also be your maintenance costs every year, but it’d be close to worth it for a classy, comfortable yacht.

  • avatar

    You can find an article about long term ownership of the C6 here: http://driventowrite.com/2015/01/30/2007-honda-legend-versus-the-2007-citroen-c6/
    It’s a saloon, not a hatchback.
    I think you overstate its unreliability.

  • avatar
    barryfaetheus

    Pretty much impossible that this could be legally titled and registered in the US. I imported a Peugeot 205 GTi a couple of years back, and it was only because it was 25 years old that it qualified for exemption from the EPA and NHTSA federal requirements. Everything newer has to comply and have proof that it complies (which this wouldn’t). There are various scams people occasionally use, including titling a 15 year old car in Canada first then using the Canadian title to get a US title. But the feds are very wise and aggressive in enforcing this (google “skyline + crushed” to get the picture. A Citroen driving down the road in NY is kinda obvious…

  • avatar
    barryfaetheus

    The London taxis which are sold in the US would have been certified to meet US emission regulations, and several of them would have to have been crash tested to achieve NHTSA approval. Once that is done (which may cost millions of dollars), then they are free to import as many compliant units as they like. Citroen C6 ain’t on that very limited list.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I would place the odds of this being US street legal at about zero.

    I’m going to guess that it was brought here under the one-year visitor/ temporary import rule, and it was never removed from the US as it should have been. On that basis, it’s worth nothing.

  • avatar
    rcx141

    it looks great….. so you can admire it in the mirror of the tow truck. Some Citroens look great but there’s a good reason they are not sold in the USA – unlike Brits, Americans won’t tolerate cars that self destruct after a few months and are too complicated for main dealers to repair. Presumably the French can make these cars work, but nobody else can.

  • avatar
    Jack Denver

    “It is part of a small collection of garaged cars and driven several times per month when the weather was clear and streets were clean (e.g., no snow, rain nor salt).”

    Those must have been long drives because the car has 76,000+ miles on it. That’s about 9,000 miles/year and if the car was only driven “several” (say 3) times per month, each trip was around 200 miles. I call BS.

  • avatar
    mechaman

    I was gonna say ‘not bad’ from the first pic. The others cured that disease. Really? $25 large? Son, you smokin’ some real kush there.

  • avatar
    djn

    I had an 87 CX GTI that I purchased with near zero miles. It had been federalized in Atlanta. We drove it for nearly 8 years. The only major failure was the ZF auto transmission (German!). Parts were the same as BMW and Saab of the same era.

  • avatar
    daver277

    The C6 in the flesh is simpley one of the most elegant cars ever.
    In France it is rare as it’s solidly in the limo class, not your regular daily-driver-for-everyone class.

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