30 years ago, shortly after my first Saab, another turbo pulled into my garage. A Citroën CX GTI Turbo 2, built in 1987. The turbo of a different kind, the alternative to the Saab 900. But no less fascinating. The CX stayed short, the 900 a few years longer. But somehow I still cry for the CX. Which is rare for me, and extends to a maximum of a handful of vehicles.
The CX GTI Turbo 2 was green-metallic, pictures from that time no longer exist. The vehicle pictured here is similar, shares year and equipment with my CX and will be made in Sweden auctioned. At that time, the CX GTI came first-hand, from a nearby Citroën dealer, and the checkbook was serviced. The dealer no longer exists, and probably neither does the CX. Because the story didn't have a happy ending.
Turbo fascination different
Of course, the CX was the alternative to the Saab. What was ruthlessly logically arranged on the 900 was not on the French counterpart. One only has to think of the car radio that had made itself comfortable in the center console between the seats. This resulted in a great, tidy cockpit. Best Citroën Design, a sculpture and beautiful. But with terrible usability for the radio. The control satellites and the switches in the headliner were cool and much better than their reputation.
Because it was awesome when you hit the right button of this otherness.
In general, the CX GTI Turbo 2 was a fascinating car and the survivors still are today. The Citroën was the Concorde for the German autobahn. Super comfortable, casual. 168 turbo hp from a generous 2,5 liter displacement meet the hydropneumatics and an unladen weight of an estimated 1,4 tons.
It is this daring composition that makes the vehicle unique.
The Concorde for the German autobahn
After what feels like a slightly larger turbo lag, the charger kicks in, lifts the vehicle slightly out of the hydropneumatic springs and accelerates it vigorously. The experience is something of a fast-paced sofa and plane takeoff and is a very idiosyncratic mix. These Citroën Turbo experiences, they are 30 years ago, are still present with me. As if it was yesterday. Of all the CXs ever driven, the GTI Turbo 2 made the most lasting impression.
At the same time it was also my last CX until today.
Because the Citroën also knew how to impress in another discipline. He was a regular at the shop. In general, the CX stood more than it drove. Which, in hindsight, had to do with my lack of experience when I was young. Today I would approach old car problems systematically, back then I trusted the local mechanics. A mistake, because the CX developed into the most expensive car of my youth.
The Citroën CX GTI Turbo 2 loves the workshop
This couldn't go well.
Of course not. The bills for all the ailments reached astronomical heights, the psychological pressure mounted, and eventually I gave up. I did one last lap in the CX, floated around town one more time, and then parked it at an uncle's. He sold – as I heard at the time – decent cars. So no Citroën, which was maliciously translated as lemons in the family. But good German brands. My heart bled and with the CX my Citroën story ended for years.
I already missed the car 10 minutes later, but the facts were clear. I had no choice. You can ruin yourself with cars, I had learned the hard way and learned a lot.
The Citroën takes revenge in its own way
The story, of course, went on. Apparently it didn't end well. My uncle sold the CX, I got some money in my hand. My stressed bank account recovered and the Citroën headed east with its new Russian owner. It is unclear whether he ever reached Russia, the trail of the car and the Russians is lost near Erfurt.
The CX GTI Turbo 2 had an immobilizer. One that asked for a numeric code and was hidden under a small flap. A pretty fancy gadget at the time. But also a devilishly dangerous one. In the car itself was a small piece of paper with a handwritten code from the previous owner. Since I'm already suspicious of electronic things because of my job, I refrained from even looking closely at the keypad. Let alone activate it.
Because, with the wrong code, the control unit blocked and the CX was dead.
The Russian was much naive.
In the evening in Erfurt he activated the immobilizer, went to his hotel and entered the certain code the next morning. Which, no surprise, of course, was incorrect. The CX was getting his own revenge for the eastward transfer. He was refusing to work, the phone lines were glowing, the Russian had a real problem.
Nobody could help. A new control unit was probably due, or an expensive invoice from the Erfurt workshop. It may be that the Citroën was loaded and came to Russia on a van. However. I never heard from him again, but I still miss the other turbo fascination. A little.
With pictures from bilweb