Did Citroën once build cars, or earthbound spaceships? The question arises when looking at the command center (cockpit) of an early CX, BX or a GSA. Was the past really that futuristic, and how boringly perfect is our present? The Citroën GSA came up again and again in my childhood, which was shaped by the brand with the double chevron. Sometimes as GS (the original version), later as GSA Club or Pallas. And the instrumentation always attracted increased attention.
The fascinating futurism of the Citroën GSA
He had it all. This unique futuristic mix of control satellites that could puzzle the uninitiated and magnifying speedometer plus digital-looking displays and pictograms whose importance shouldn't be questioned.
Because the weighty red “stop” display was enthroned above all of this. It glowed when the hydropneumatics didn't report that it was ready for take-off, or when something had gone wrong with the planned jump into hyperspace.
An aunt of mine drove a GS, then a GSA, and the car was so much cooler than the Ford, which was our family car. The GSA could hover, it had received a simpler form of hydropneumatics, but it wasn't as impressive as the DS and later all the neighbor's CX.
It lacked the luxury that distinguished the large Citroën. In direct comparison, the GS/GSA series, which represented the rise of 2 CV and Dyane, was a tin can. Plenty of bare metal adorned the interior, especially if you were traveling with the basic version called “Club”.
It got better with the switch to the well-equipped Pallas variant, if the basic tone of the boxer engine hadn't been present, which always made it clear that there were family ties to the cheaper models.
The only thing that I remember as fascinating was the futuristic command center. She had something of a starship for the bourgeois galaxy and made the GSA special. That was really big cinema, not just the Starship Enterprise ZDF, but in real life.
Long story short, I liked the GSA.
Unfortunately, however, the tin spaceship made ample use of the stop light, so that the aunt and space glider were welcome guests at the local workshop. At some point, after two, three or more GS/GSA, the curve of enthusiasm flattened out considerably. Instead of traveling through galaxies, the aunt preferred to use a vile VW Golf, which seemed incomprehensible to me at the time.
In the future, I punished offers of transport with childish disregard, preferring the bicycle to the golf course, because without a spaceship everything had lost its appeal.
The Citroën GSA in the present
Only a few GSA survived. Thin sheet metal, loveless owners, and only bourgeois middle class gave her the rest. She is largely forgotten, beyond the circles that are still loyal to her.
The memory of the compact space plane from France reignited when I saw one at a Swedish auction. A Citroën GSA X1 (1983), the sports model of the range that you have to know existed at all.
The command center is still fascinating and deserves an award for good, bold design.
The rest is more plain, simple, from today's point of view. After all, the doors are covered with plastic on the sports model, which looks cheap and reveals plenty of bare metal, but was already something upscale back then.
The sports model has 65 hp, which shows how far back in time the bourgeois spaceship was beamed. But the large spoiler at the rear leaves no doubt as to the seriousness of the claim at the time.
The GSA was particularly versatile; in contrast to the GS, it had a large tailgate with a corresponding storage space. The offered GSA X1 was a Swedish first delivery, with only around 114.000 kilometers, which the speedometer reveals. The vehicles are still not expensive, despite their rarity.
Almost €6.000 as the highest value, the estimate of the auction house Not. The GSA on offer ended up going for a lot less. What was the issue? Perhaps the condition, which speaks for care, but does not give reason to expect a collector's condition, but is only casually good.
After all, and this is important, a second module of the command center was included in the package.
Redundancy is important, also important in starships. Because the shelves of Citroën have long been empty at the GSA.
With pictures from bilweb