First off, I feel like I should make clear that this does not appear to be a joke, or a scam or anything like that. I’ve been in contact with the person who posted the ad, and they maintain this is all genuine: some lucky person can drive, for free, a rare and lovely Citroën XM in exchange for a bit of driving the owner around, mostly on weekend nights.
It’s weird, sure, but don’t forget, this is Craigslist, the world’s foremost place to, say, get a Cuisinart in exchange for a night of cuddling and some homemade biscuits. Here’s what the ad itself says:
I have a perfectly functional running and driving car I want to allow somebody to use indefinitely but there’s a catch, I need to be driven around on some evenings to center city ragers. No bullshit. It will be your car and you may use it as much or as little as you please. On weekends and some weeknights I will require a ride to and from center city Philadelphia with some occasional local rides. Mainly Friday and Saturday nights. I’m am NOT talking a full time chauffeur gig. I will provide at least 2 hours notice, more if possible, for all pick ups and drop offs because obviously you need a life too. I’ll even pay for gas and insurance as long as our deal is in place. We can pre arrange out of town/vacation dates etc.
Ideally looking for somebody younger that has some flexibility in their schedule. Must be a competent driver that I feel safe with...Too many Ubers have tried to take my life. You’ll need to pass my driving test and be able to drive manual. Racing Experience encouraged.
Ideally you’ll be a fan of Post Punk/Hardcore music and enjoy obscure French automobiles. The car is a 1991 Citroen XM 2.0 aka one of the rarest cars in the country. This is all very important and will heavily affect my decision making so be sure to include it in your email to me.
Contact me and tell me why you think you would be a good fit. Hopefully we can make something work for both of us.
And no. I’m not fucking kidding.
Just to be sure this guy isn’t, in fact, fucking kidding, I reached out to him, and he told me this:
I caught the French bug a few years back when I saw my friends Citroën cx diesel for the first time. After an entire childhood of my father talking major shit on anything French I finally saw the light. Wacky suspension and spaceship like styling I couldn’t look away.
When a 91 xm came up on Obscure cars for sale I jumped on it. Flew up to Schenectady NY and drove it back. The previous owner was a Columbia professor that used it for a daily but for some reason chose to part ways with it. Dave Burnham the local french expert in the NE said he knew of roughly 24 ever imported when a company tried to import them new.
I got the idea from listening to the Chris Harris interview on Joe rogan. He talked about the family that owned Caterham picking up and old banger Rolls Royce and gifting it to their favorite cab driver with the agreement that he could use it whenever but would need to drive them around whenever they needed. They had some crazy stereo and a beer cooler in the back and would only ever play AC/DC cds in the car. Trying to replicate that with my xm.
My dream is to walk out of a bar in Philadelphia at closing into a sea of boring Vomit filled Uber’s and have my Bertone styled space shuttle pick me up. I’m trying to make that a reality but I need to find the right person. I can’t just trust anybody driving one of the rarest cars in the country.
Let me know if you have any other questions and keep up the good work!
In a follow-up email, he made it even more clear that he’s not fucking kidding:
“Also just to be clear. Most people think this is a full time chauffeur gig in exchange for a shitty old Citroën. I need a ride to and from the city on fridays saturdays to partys. They think I’m an alcoholic scammer. I’m a reasonable guy and this is a serious offer.”
And, to help things out a bit more, here’s a picture of the actual car:
That is a lovely XM! It seems that it was one of the few XMs imported to the US, legally, by CXA, a company that had imported Citroën CXs before and kept importing XMs until 1997.
The XM was a very interesting car. While it wasn’t really a big seller, it had Citroën’s iconic Hydropneumatic suspension, novel streamlined, French spaceship-like design, and really felt like a modern big Citroën, very much a modernized DS.
These are incredibly rare in America, so if you’re a gearhead in the Philly area with a desire to drive an unusual French car around and some flexible weekend time, this seems like a hell of a deal, right?
If anyone does do this, please let us know! I’m pretty curious to know how this sort of exchange will pan out.