Muhammad Ali once claimed to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Contrastingly, it will take a bit to make today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Citroën float down the road on its hydropneumatic suspension again, and that’s only if its price doesn’t sting.
While its zero to sixty time may be measured in terms of glacial ablation, yesterday’s 1979 Mercedes Benz 300SD was in amazingly tidy shape, and came with years of service records to read in case you’re having trouble sleeping. All that prompted 57% of you to award the car with a Nice Price win for its sub-seven-grand price.
That Benz was a drive-away buy, with very little needed to make it whole. Today’s 1973 Citroën GS1220 however, is another story.
You know what we don’t do all that often here is total project cars. That’s because project cars are far more difficult to assign value to unless one has intimate knowledge of what it would take to get a particular ride back on the road, and what that might cost.
Despite all that, this long disused GS is just too weird and wonderful not to discuss.
For those of you unacquainted with the model, the GS was introduced by Citroën in 1970 as the bridge model between the 2CV/Ami and the executive level DS. The car took its styling cues from the larger DS and its engine layout from the smaller cars. That meant a north-south flat air-cooled engine, only here with four pots instead of two. Behind that is a four-speed manual and inboard disc brakes. These cars also maintain Citroën’s glorious hydropneumatic system for suspension and brakes.
The GS won the European Car of the Year award in 1971, beating out its sexy bigger brother, the SM.
This one is claimed to be one of 30 to have been imported into the U.S. however, while it has side marker lights it sports Euro headlights which were not legal at the time. It also has European bumpers and for the ’73 model year Federal requirements would have demanded an energy absorbing unit in the boo-tay. A prototype U.S. version was considered, but never put into series production owning to Citroën’s serious financial difficulties.
Perhaps this was one imported by a third party and the lights were added later. Actually, that’s the royal use of ‘lights’ as the car presently has only one, and it’s broken. On the other side is nothing but a creepy dark empty socket. Apparently the seller has the glass for both, stored in soggy boxes along with a bunch of other parts including several
live hand grenades hydropneumatic reservoirs.
That’s a finicky system and will probably need a thorough going over as the car is said to have sat since 1994. The ad does note that the brakes do need to be redone, so that’s a pretty good clue that the suspension will need to be as well. Also, if you’ve never experienced Citroën hydropneumatic brakes… well, they’re pretty freaky.
The body is in pretty bad shape, with rust overtaking the boot lid and apparently the battery box. That’s likely worse than the back end as the seller doesn’t even provide a pic of it. There’s also a lot of denting on the hood. Apparently that’s not a good place to have sex.
The interior also needs work, as everything inside is dirty and/or craptacular. You do get a wonderful dash design, wide seats, and a parking brake handle that might make you think you’re deploying a drag chute on every yank.
On the plus side, the seller says the 1,222-cc flat four fires and runs. Not only that but has a propane tank in the boot and will apparently run on either gas or... well, gas.
It comes with a clean title, and is old enough to even be registered in California. Also, there are those boxes of parts that might help with the restoration and prove that cardboard was NOT invented in the Pacific Northwest. Lastly, there’s the price, which is $900.
Yep, for less that a grand, you could become a Citroën owner. Notice I didn’t say Citroën driver. To do that will cost a bit more.
What’s your take on this wild and weird project car? Is $900 a fair deal to make this long dormant and very rare French car your own personal project? Or, is even that paltry sum too much to delve into the horrors of long neglected Citroën?
H/T to highwindadvisory for the hookup!
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