1989 Citroen BX 16 RS Pilot SE
(Featured on 24th May 2014)
Model: BX 16 RS Pilot SE
Sellers original description:
It would be so, so easy to use all the usual meaningless terms here; you know the ones that many sellers of rare cars like this seem to like to use. Words and phrases such as; "time warp", "out of the box", "when did you last see one of these" ,"barn find", blah, blah, are all too freely banded about, without any foundation or substantiation.
So, this is a 1989 (G Registration) Citroen BX16 RS Pilot Special Edition, and is believed to be just one of seven remaining Pilot models left. At just 34,000 miles, and with service history to substantiate it, I would also rather suspect it to be the lowest mileage example among those cars. It was originally bought by a gentleman on his retirement from David Hiam Citroen Ltd, in Sutton Coldfield, and still carries its original dealer window sticker, tax disc holder. I also still have the original number plates, but these were looking a bit tired, so I replaced them. However, life being cruel like it can be, shortly after taking ownership of the vehicle, the gentleman passed away, leaving the car to his wife, who barely used it. She kept the car 21 years until 2011, after which it found its way to me, via a good customer of mine.
Now you may ask what is a Mercedes Specialist doing with a Citroen? Well I am allowed to like other cars!, and do have a bit of a soft spot for older Citroens, and particularly the BX, as it was the first properly fast car I was let loose with. Back in 1987, as a car mad 19 year old, the company that I worked for, let me regularly drive their black BX19 GTi (reg no; D59 KWX if I remember rightly!) . I was instantly smitten, and I came to admire Citroens, for their individuality, refusal to follow the crowd and daring to be different, even verging on mad in some cases. Sadly, this is no longer true, and as with every other manufacturer that used to have character, they now turn out modern electronic nightmares, that depreciate like crumbling masonry. However, this stark contrast between Citroen now and the Citroen of old makes cars like the BX probably among the last of those "mad Citroens". That together with the fact that the BX was a landmark car for Citroen, in that it saved the company from the financial abyss, bodes extremely well for the classic status of the remaining BX's and hence their desirability.
I've actually had this car in my possession for just about a year now, and have really enjoyed every minute with it, however this is the first time I've offered it for sale, infact I'm not sure I'm ready to part with it just yet. As with most French cars of the 1980's, the BX does give the impression that it's somewhat flimsy, when it reality the actual structure of the car is very strong indeed. The mechanicals and particularly the engines are also renown for their strength and durability, and were built to survive the way many French owners appeared to completely disregard the need to service their vehicles.
Although not concourse, which again is a very overused, and misleading term, this vehicle is in extremely good condition, with no corrosion to mention. All the areas in which BX's tend to suffer, are superb, probably because its been kept undercover most of its life. I have had some small areas of paintwork carried out, however these were purely cosmetic, and the paintwork on the car is by and large all original with the all important "Pilot" decals have been preserved. I've had all five of the wheels powder coated too to further enhance its appearance. Naturally the car is free of accidents and is HPI clear.
The interior is also in excellent condition, as can be seen from the photos, and is as dry as a bone too. Infact although I always invariably garaged the car, as a test, I purposely left it outside in the open on couple of the recent stormy nights, where monsoon like rainfall fell for hours on end, driven by strong winds, and it didn't let in one drop .
On the mechanical/electrical side, the cam belt was changed less than 100 miles ago, as was the clutch cable, and a service was carried out too, along with new distributor cap, rotor arm and spark plugs. Also, as some of the dash illumination bulbs were out when I acquired the car, I replaced every single dash bulb, so everything lights up. Everything else works as it should, including the sunroof and the suspension; the BX's party trick, and goes up and down as it should. Incidentally clampers used to detest the BX…when the suspension it at its lowest setting, its impossible to get a clamp on any of the wheels! It's also just passed its MOT with absolutely no advisories whatsoever, which for a 24 year old Citroen is testament to how this car has been maintained. Finally, once you get used to it's Citroen "uniqueness", its actually a very pleasant car and comfortable car to drive and is surprisingly lively.
So, there you have it, a piece of Automotive history. I would love this car to go to a custodian, rather than just an owner, as its important that cars like this are kept on the road, to remind us that there once was a time when cars had unique character, and weren't simply a clone of something else.