By on July 22, 2019

Citroën’s on-and-off history with North American importation make almost all of them rarities, and perfect for this series. Thus far, we’ve seen Citroëns in the form of Traction Avant, XM, and CX. Today’s front-drive Frenchy is a sporty BX hatchback from 1991.

The BX debuted in 1982, and filled a market segment where Citroën hadn’t played for a few years: the large family hauler. The lower trims of the DS filled the gap through its demise in 1974. At that point, the more luxurious “executive” DS trims were supplanted by the CX (and eventually the XM). But those cars were too expensive for the average family; BX took its place between the smaller (and dated) GSA and the larger CX.

Citroën hired Marcello Gandini to pen the angular styling, and he gave it his hallmark flat rear wheel arch. Gandini didn’t need to do a lot of work to come up with the BX: He simply searched in the V section of the filing cabinet, where the rejected 1979 concept for the Volvo Tundra resided. The slightly reworked design was applied to a joint Peugeot-Citroën platform shared with the upcoming Peugeot 405, and the older Citroën Visa.

The BX was available in five-door hatchback or wagon variants. Plastic body panels kept down weight, and underneath them was Citroën’s adjustable hydro-pneumatic suspension. The BX came with a variety of engines depending on year and market, but critically, Citroën avoided using the air-cooled engine from the GSA. All engines were four cylinders and liquid-cooled, with displacement ranging from 1.1 to 2.1 liters. Gasoline or diesel, carburetor or fuel injection, front-drive or four-wheel drive: BX allowed for consumer choice.

BX remained in production through 1994, before its replacement by the less interesting Xantia. During its run, Citroën kept itself busy by adding additional engine options and sporting versions to the BX lineup. Today’s Rare Ride is one such sporty model. In the middle of the range, the 14 on the badge indicates a 1.4-liter engine under hood. That particular engine is good for about 70 horsepower via the five-speed manual transmission. An import from salt-free Spain, this BX is yours for $9,500.

[Images: seller]

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25 Comments on “Rare Rides: There’s a 1991 Citroën BX 14 in Maine...”


  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    The first order of business would be to get some trim adhesive and stick the black strip on the rear bumper back on.

    For $9,500, couldn’t someone detail this thing, or at least vacuum the interior? It’s like some Kia Sephia you’d find on Craigslist.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      What really drives me nuts is when a dealer can’t be bothered to detail a used car, especially if it is a franchise dealer with a crapload of employees.

      Maybe it’s because even when I was a broke-a$$ college kid I was helping buddies glue rub strips back on bumpers in the dorm parking lot. Even if it was an 1982 X-body Buick.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    One spoke steering wheel – check.
    Horn activator nowhere near the steering wheel – check.
    Hydropneumatic self-leveling suspension stuck in the old Subaru Outback sedan height – check.
    Interior designed by a group of people who a) had to be talked out of installing a radio and or climate controls on the floor and b) either returned after a 4-day bender or was angry about having to work a 20-hour week – check.
    Spare tire resting up against a hot engine block – check.

    Yup…it’s French. And how I miss their cars in the US!

    A friend of mine overseas drove the platform-mate, the 405Mi16, and if you could live with some odd quirks, you’d really enjoy a lightweight, high-revving, fun to drive sedan. Maybe it’s because so many cars today are so alike with only tweaks to external styling to set them apart (another 2.0L turbo with 8 speed automatic…yawn…) that I love these oddballs so much.

    • 0 avatar

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2018/07/rare-rides-peugeot-405-mi16-last-peugeot-in-america/

      Covered one of those previously!

      • 0 avatar
        theflyersfan

        I would have paid $7500 for it. It’s attractive, quick, and I remember those front seats being very comfortable. It was a great stealth sedan and was one hell of a Hail Mary toss to save Peugeot in the US. And in that era, 160hp from a small 1.9L-4cyl was nothing to sneeze at.

        I lived in a former French colony where most of their cars (I’m guessing due to favorable trade agreements) to this day are mainly French models. I was surrounded by Peugeots, Renaults, and Citroens as far as the eye could see. They were odd, temperamental, and could be as slow as molasses on a cold winter’s day, but there was nothing else like them.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      @theflyersfan

      In one of the pics in the HMN ad, I see the suspension lever pulled all the way back, to max ride height, os it may or may not be stuck.

      I do see some dents in the right rear quarter, so it could use some PDR.

  • avatar
    Johnnyangel

    I wonder why the Citroen emblem on the hood is upside-down? Stranger Things edition?

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    These were quite common in the Netherlands when I lived there. Some of them had afterthought-looking windows cut in their C-pillars.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    Reminds me of a less reliable version of a Hyundai Pony.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    I find it amusing that someone was paid, most likely a great deal of money, to ‘style’ that thing.

    A 9 year old with a box of crayons might, on a bad day, come up with a similar drawing of a car.

    Particularly egregious after Citroen had historically taken some major styling risks.

    As an aside, my neighbour who seems to make a living importing/collecting/selling ‘import vehicles’ added a new one to his driveway this weekend. A beautiful burgundy 2CV. :-)

    Few things can bring a bigger smile, to both those in the car and those you drive past, than cruising the urban boulevards in a 2CV with a drop top.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      It is Marcello Gandini, but yeah, it looks like he phoned this one in.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        This is still one of the better looking mass market French cars. They didn’t look bad at all on the streets of Hilversum in 1984 compared to DAFs, Renault 14s, Renualt 18s, Citroen LNs, Citroen Visas, Citroen GSs, Ford Sierras, Ford Orions, Peugeot 104s, Peugeot 305s, Austin Maestros, VW Santanas, Audi 50s, ad infinitum.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Rub strip trim falling off, everywhere.

    Citroen logo is upside down on the front clip – screams bad repair job at some point.

    The back seat looks…tired. Probably a product of cheap cloth and crumbling cushions.

    Appears that passenger side rear bumper on the outside corner has some previous bodywork, but very hard to tell as the car is soaking wet in the pictures.

    Black coated trim is peeling in a number of places, good luck finding replacement pieces.

    Interesting quirks:

    * Power windows upfront only, hand cranks in the back
    * Old school Alpine stereo for the win
    * Single spoke steering wheel with a massive airbag (or place for airbag)
    * Panel gaps and panel alignment make Hyundai and low-end GM vehicles of the era look well put together

    • 0 avatar
      Tomifobia

      Definite bodywork done. I check out that dealer’s website fairly often, and the undercarriage pics of this one show faint overspray on the spare tire.

      My heart, however, is set on the sickly yellow ’80 Moskvich, with bright red “whore’s boudoir” velour upholstery that is also being offered at the moment.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    You can’t fool me, Corey Lewis, been a Citroen fan since I was a kid, THIS is a Peugeot

  • avatar
    brettc

    Wow, this oddball car is pretty close to me. I might have to go check it out some Sunday. The guy that owns Motorland apparently wants to open the dealership as a museum with a Tucker as the signature attraction.

    https://www.pressherald.com/2019/04/30/1-8-million-71-year-old-car-to-anchor-new-museum-in-arundel/

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Back in the early 60s when I was a kid, I mowed grass for a guy who had two Citroen DS cars. He was a high school “shop” teacher and quite a good mechanic. One or both of the cars was always up on jack stands being worked on. His Economy garden tractor was far more reliable.
    I will say the front wheel drive (very rare back then) and jacked up ride height was quite useful for Cleveland winters.

  • avatar
    s_a_p

    Did someone lift that or is it an awkward height on purpose?

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    J’adore

  • avatar
    WallMeerkat

    In Ireland, my dad had a couple of these, I remember them being very comfortable and practical but very flimsy interior. The Americans on his construction site called the later one a “James Bond car” because of the adjustable suspension and because the angular styling looked quite stealth-like in black.

    I had the replacement, the Xantia. It had a plate in the engine bay explicitly forbidding export to the US, I guess because of the bumper height regulations that effectively banned adjustable suspension.


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