La Flotte

1987 Citroen CX 25GTi, Remanufactured by CXA

1977 Citroen CX 2200 Pallas, built to Australian Design Regs.

Technical Pages Here

Restoration Pages HERE

Taken at 2003 ICCCR, in Massachusetts

These photos were taken at port Sydney, before I shipped the car back to New York.

This CXA car # 91,  which is a Citroen CX 25GTi, Neptune Grey, VIP Interior.  The VIP cars were reserved by Citroen for higher level state functionaries, and Citroen Executives, and Neptune Grey was a color only available on VIP cars.  However, apparently you could also get a Fiat Panda in the same color.  Go figure.  Despite the expectations of many, the car has been very reliable.  The motors are reputed to run 200,000 miles before needing a rebuild, and the hydraulics have almost 20 years of debugging incorporated into their design.   I agree with the assertion that the CX is the last Citroen strictu sensu.  The car was designed in the early seventies at the tail end des trentes glorieuses, a 30-year period of growth and prosperity in France.   The CX was released to the market in 1974, to substantial acclaim.  The CX incorporated Citroen's  years of experience in hydraulics,  and capitalized on the innovations of the SM, considered by many to be the culmination of Citroen engineering.   As a result of the energy crisis of the early seventies, Citroen was absorbed into Peugeot, starting a gradual decline in the innovative engineering that so distinguished the car.   The CX's replacement, the XM, is not much more than a Peugeot 605 with hydraulics.  They even used MacPherson struts on the front suspension,  a step 20 years into the past. 

I purchased the 2200 in November 2002 in Sydney, NSW, and shipped it back to New York.  The car is in very good shape for something that has been around for a quarter-century.


Utensils, or,

 cars that have about as much meaning to me as the spatula I use to turn over my omelette in the morning.


Peugeot 505 DL.  R.I.P.


  1. Miss Puggy,

  2. the Little Red Wagon that never made it to the Fire Island boardwalk,

  3. the Rugmobile,

  4. the sacrificial anode

I bought this car in a fit of frustration at the GTi getting beat up by rugby players.   Rugby players are like a golden retriever at the beach - lovable and lots of fun, but completely oblivious as to the mess they leave in their wake.   Ruggers leave mud EVERYWHERE.  They slam the doors & the window motors.  They slam the trunk & ruin  the latch.  It was perfect for what I needed in a car at the time.  I took it all the way up to Toronto over new year's  to collect the 5-speed box that went into the 2200.  Coming back in a big snowstorm, it  tracked straight as on dry pavement.  I hauled the transmission around in the back for about three months so the added weight would help traction in the snow.  It was useful for carting around dirty heavy things - driveshafts, engine hoists, rugby players.   I could fit a front row in the back seat, and they would all be comfortable.  The French have a good approach to wagons - take the sedan, add about 20-25cm to the wheelbase and make it a wagon.   The Germans and the Swedes  don't add the length to the wheelbase, they just box over the sedan's trunk. 

The suspension was awesome - it would bang through NYC potholes and frost heaves with nary a jostled cup of coffee.   I would hear that solid axle thumping around back there, but never felt a thing.  Well designed seats helped. 

Like most trucks around here, the Pug was blessed with a stuffed critter tied to the grille.  It was a red dog or something from Ikea.  I named it "Clifford the Rugby Dog."

I had seen stuffed critters tied to many trucks in the area.  My critter is not really authentic in that it is not a found object; I spent money for it.   However, there is an element of serendipity in that I saw the red 'dog' at Ikea around the same time the rugby club president adopted a dog & named it 'Clifford the Rugby Dog.'   The real Clifford is a big red dog, like the car.

NY Times did an article on Critters on trucks.

Here's a site related to the subject.


While the suspension was world-class, the powertrain was a bit retrograde.  The car had the "Douvrin" motor, an OHC lump that went into Peugeots, Citroens, and Renaults.   The French car industry collaborated on the design and production of an engine in the 2.0 - 2.2litre range.   That motor leaked so much oil, I never bothered to change it.  The oil was never in the engine long enough to get dirty.   It started every time, though, but this is more a testament to L-jetronic than the engine design.

I called it the 'sacrificial anode' because I did not care how rusty it got.  One time when I was driving back from a Target project meeting, I hit a Bronx pothole which collapsed a sidewall and bent a rim.   I put the jack at the jacking point & ran the jack up.  The jack moved, but the car did not.  All sorts of crumbly brown chunks of corroded steel fell on the ground.  I was afraid to look.   Salt on the Peugeot means no salt on the Citroen.   Car Cash gave me $50 for it, the same afternoon I collected the 960.


Volvo 960, yet to be named.

This car has taught me to hate French Engineers.   When I replaced the timing belt / water pump/ tensioners etc on it I was delighted to discover that Volvo used only two sizes of fasteners on the motor, at least for the preventative maintenance work.  M8 and M10.  That's all.  So, a 10mm and a 13mm socket is all you need.  Unlike the Citroens, where one piece might have M7, M8 and M10 fasteners.  I have wasted so much time wrestling with sockets that don't turn a nut, only to discover that the nuts are different sizes.  Mais, c'est logique, n'est-ce pas?  putain bordel.   But I digress.  This car is not as comfortable as the Peugeot.  The seats are not as good, and I can feel the potholes that our cheap-ass mayor won't spend the money to fix.   But it's survived one rugby season thus far.    And it has a decent stereo, which the Pug lacked.   The powertrain is smooth as silk.  Motronic-4 on a straight 6.  effortless and silent. very nice.   I have no interest in listening to a motor, or knowing what a road feels like. 
Volvo Repairs:
Tailgate rattle