Citroen Berlingo van WRC special

Citroen Berlingo Van vs WRC rally star

Citroen Berlingo van WRC specialThe Citroen Berlingo van is virtually a brand in its own right. Frequently Britain’s best-selling light commercial vehicle, it has built a reputation since 1996 for toughness, flexibility and dependability.

So when Citroen World Rally Championship star Esapekka Lappi visited Britain, an idea was hatched. They could have let him do demonstration runs in a road-going version of the C3 supermini he spectacularly drives in the WRC. Fun, but maybe a bit ho-hum. 

Citroen Berlingo van WRC special

Instead, brilliantly, a new Citroen Berlingo van was given a rally-spec engineering makeover. A rally training school was hired for the day, and Lappi was let loose towork his magic. Even better, I was lucky enough to hitch a ride.

The idea was to show off how robust the Berlingo is. Citroen UK dubbed it a ‘stress test’, and it’ll be interesting to know if a day’s thrashing by one of rallying’s hottest young talents now becomes an official part of the development sign-off process.

Citroen Berlingo van WRC special

Citroen had an extra ace to justify the day: a Berlingo ‘Worker’ version was chosen. This has 30 mm more ground clearance than the regular van, more underbody protection, hill descent control, Grip Control (which magics up extra traction from the front wheels via electronics) plus beefier mud and snow tyres.

It’s more WRC-spec than any road-going C3, particularly with the installation of a regular ‘bar’ handbrake instead of the standard Berlingo’s electronic parking brake. Add on a WRC-style livery (“we weren’t allowed to use Red Bull branding, so we went with our centenary logo instead”) and it was all set for an unlikely afternoon of driving.

Rallying a Citroen Berlingo Van

Citroen Berlingo van WRC special

It was my turn first. Cool as a cucumber, Esapekka cheerily told me to do whatever I wanted, go as fast as I liked. Racing drivers can be super-cautious when being driven by people they’ve never met: rally drivers are a different breed. As I fired up the stock HDi diesel engine, he sat back and relaxed, as if we were driving to the first job of the day.

All that was missing was a copy of The Sun on the dashboard for him to read.

I won’t bore you with what I drove like, because I was rubbish. I understand circuit racing, but I really can’t get my head around rallying. There’s no grip, the vehicle must always be dancing, usually sliding, and the way you have to use Scandinavian flicks is a bit like playing snooker. I was bamboozled.

Citroen Berlingo van WRC special

The van, amazingly, felt great. Loads of suspension travel made light work of the lumpy rally-spec surface and even though I hadn’t a clue what I was doing, it was still fun to slide around. But I knew I only had a limited time with Esapekka, so I pulled up early. Time to swap, and show me how it should be done.

Citroen Berlingo Van WRC

Citroen Berlingo van WRC special

I quickly got it barely 10 seconds later, as we scrabbled away in a gravelly, clattery rush, hurtled towards the first corner and, unlike me, he didn’t brake and totter round but instead pitched sideways and drifted through it at barely-abated speed with the most ludicrous cloud of dust left in our wake. This is how you rally a Berlingo van.

At least with circuit driving, you can work out braking points and likely speeds through corners. Sitting alongside a rally driver, even in a van, is the most random experience because it all seems so confidently improvised and beyond-comprehension fast. This was a sun-baked gravel course whose surface you could do skids on in your shoes. There’s no way a standard road-going diesel van should be going this quickly.

Citroen Berlingo van WRC special

But Esapekka was on it, working at the wheel in a blur, making it do the most graceful things through bends probably three times faster than I’d taken them. Absolutely glorious is the only way to describe it – genuinely more fun and thrilling than many a supercar blast around a racetrack.

Citroen Berlingo van WRC special

We eventually had to stop because there was so much dust, we couldn’t see where to go. I had no idea a Berlingo van could do what I’d just been shown, and certainly no clue it could seemingly take such treatment in its stride. The man who winces when he hits a pothole had just experienced a van being monstered by a WRC driver, and it was still ready for more.

Citroen Berlingo van WRC special

Indeed, once the dust had settled, it was out again, so I could marvel at the 25-metre drifts and, as it disappeared back into the dust, growl of a hard-worked diesel engine and sounds of tyres battering gravel indicating Esapekka wasn’t letting up.

“It has a long heritage and is very well known in the light van sector,” Citroen’s CV boss told me later. “We had the chance to work with Esapekka so we thought we’d do something a bit different, to add to the Berlingo van brand story.”

Quite brilliant, Citroen. Even Esapekka seemed surprised. “I’m actually impressed with how much fun it is to drive – it corners well and it’s very strong.”

Rally drivers really are a different breed, and will drive anything spectacularly. That a future WRC champ has given such kudos to the Berlingo van is surely now worth a point or two on the building site or delivery yard.

Revealed: the number of speed bumps in the UK

Speed bumps in the UK

A freedom of information request (FOI) by Citroen has revealed exactly how many speed bumps and associated traffic calming measures there are in the UK.

The number of speed bumps has risen to 42,000, which is a new high following their controversial introduction in 1983. Speed bumps have seen a five percent increase in investment since 2015, hence the large figure.

Via its FOI request, which was sent to more than 400 counties, Citroen also discovered that there are a further 12,000 other traffic calming measures in place. These include speed tables, ramps and width restrictions. Councils have had the power to install such calming measures since 1999.

Where are the most speed bumps?

Speed bumps in the UK

It will come as no surprise to discover that London is the speed bump capital of Britain. On the basis of speed bumps per mile of road, eight of the top 10 councils are in London. Outside of London, Norwich and Portsmouth lead, with a respective 17 and 13 percent of roads featuring traffic calming measures.

Where did speed bumps come from?

They first appeared in the UK in 1983 under the Highways (Road Humps) Regulations. Their origins go back to early-1900s New Jersey in the USA.

Road deaths, including pedestrians and non-motorised vehicle users, have fallen 80 percent in the UK since the last peak in 1941. Traffic calming measures, including speed bumps, are one of the key developments credited with this drop.

Why would Citroen be interested in speed bumps? It’s all to do with promoting the comfort of its vehicles equipped with its hydraulic cushion suspension. To a similar end, it filled in 200 potholes last year to “provide road users in Surrey a glimpse into what life with a new C5 Aircross SUV or C4 Cactus with suspension would be like”.

Speed bumps in the UK

“At Citroen, we are committed to providing our customers with the best journey experience possible no matter what the road surface,” said Souad Wrixen, Citroen UK’s marketing director.

“Speed bumps and other traffic calming measures have their place on UK roads helping to improve road safety and reduce fatalities.

“So, when approached at the correct speed and with care, our Citroen Advanced Comfort programme will ensure that humps and speed tables can be navigated more comfortably, avoiding the sharp jolts often experienced by road users.”

Young drivers can get FREE insurance on a new Citroen C1

Free insurance offer on Citroen C1

Young drivers can take advantage of a free insurance offer when they buy a new Citroen C1 city car this summer.

A year’s free insurance is available to customers aged 18 and over if they order and register a brand new Citroen C1 between now and the end of September.

The offer is available on all but the entry-level Touch trim level and includes hatchback and ‘Airscape’ body styles. The recently launched ‘Origins’ Collector’s Edition – which celebrates 100 years of Citroen – is also eligible for free cover.

‘A helping hand’

Eurig Druce, Citroën UK’s sales director, said: “C1 is an extremely popular urban vehicle that’s packed with style, technology and safety equipment, including those all-important full-length curtain airbags.

Citroen C1 interior

“We’re delighted we can now make this attractive model even more desirable, with free insurance for retail customers from 18 years of age.

“This offer has been designed in particular to offer a helping hand to younger drivers, whose insurance costs are usually higher. By covering these costs we hope to get as many young drivers into a safer, brand new car that they can be proud of.”

A Citroen C1 Feel costs £11,900 and boasts a seven-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. Some 65,000 C1s have been sold since the current generation was launched in 2014.

Manufacturers are ramping up their summer offers, with Vauxhall and Ford recently unveiling their new scrappage deals. Meanwhile, the Toyota Aygo X-Trend – which shares a platform with the Citroen C1 – is available with a £2,000 scrappage allowance.

Citroen voted best stand at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show


Citroen best stand Geneva 2019

Citroen had every reason to put on a good display at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, with the French brand celebrating its 100th anniversary. And champagne corks will be popping with the news that its stand has won the 2019 Creativity Award.

A jury of professionals from the Geneva Advertising and Communications Club decided that the ‘La Maison Citroen’ stand was the best in show, with the jury impressed by the way the brand recognised its past, present and future.

In 2018, Jeep won the award, while a year earlier, Bugatti’s small stand with just one car on display was good enough to impress the judges.

One Vision

Introducing the stand, Arnaud Belloni, Citroen’s senior vice president of global marketing communications, said: “As we’re celebrating our centenary year, we, of course, wanted to pay a tribute to our history and also give you the brand’s vision.

“It is, therefore, an extremely rational stand. We have two zones: a past/present and present/past zone, and a zone that represents the future with the Ami One Concept.

“In the present/past zone, of course, we have all the limited editions which pay tribute to the Citroen brand’s 100 years. On the second row, we’ve put the Type A, Traction and a 2CV, which is a nod to our present-day limited editions.

“In the middle, there’s a boutique, because we’re also here to do business.”

Citroen Ami One and 2CV

Belloni went on to describe the electric Ami One Concept, saying “it’s a concept car which, potentially, will not require a driving licence, so you’d be able to drive it as of the age of 14 in France or 16 in the rest of Europe.”

Earlier this year, Citroen launched a range of Origins limited edition cars, including C3 Origins and C4 Cactus Origins. These models pay homage to 100 years of Citroen, with bespoke badges, bronze highlights and other exterior and interior upgrades. These two models will be joined by Origins versions of the C1 and C3 Aircross later in the year.

The Citroen stand at Retromobile 2019 looks fantastique

Citroen at Retromobile 2019

Citroen’s stand at Retromobile 2019 was always going to be special, but as this 90-second video demonstrates, it promises to be the star attraction in Paris. 

From the Type A 10 HP of 1919, through to the C5 Aircross SUV of today, Citroen has assembled a group of 30 cars representing 100 years of innovation, creativity and eccentricity.

The vehicles are divided across three themes: production cars, concept cars and racing cars. You’ll need more than 90 seconds to take in the splendour of these magnificent machines.

There are famous vehicles, such as the Traction Avant, 2CV and DS 21 Pallas – three of the most significant cars of the 20th century. You’ll also find a Type H Van that’s not selling hot drinks or overpriced sandwiches – a rarity that’s not often seen in the wild.

Motorsport fans are catered for thanks to the likes of the Xsara Kit Car and ZX Rally-Raid, while concepts include the Camargue and GTbyCitroen. The 3D virtual tour also shows Ronnie Pickering’s choice of wheels, although the Picasso isn’t listed as one of the cars on show in Paris.

Alongside Citroen’s centenary stand, Retromobile will also celebrate 60 years of the Mini, 45 years of the PRV engine, and the 1950 BRM Type 15.

Doors open 6 February

The doors open on 6 February, but don’t worry if you can’t make it to Paris – our man Tim Pitt will be on hand to take photos of the best exhibits.

In the meantime, enjoy this tantalising glimpse at the Citroen stand.

Citroen marks 100 years with Origins special editions

Citroen C4 Cactus Origins

Citroen is paying homage to 100 years of ‘creativity and boldness‘ with help from a new range of Origins limited edition cars.

Sadly, this doesn’t mean we can look forward to a Citroen AX GT ‘restomod’, a CX for a new-generation or a modern-day 2CV – although we can dream. Instead, it’s a range of limited-run specials based on some of Citroen’s most popular models.

The first two vehicles in the UK are the C3 Origins and the C4 Cactus Origins. Later this year, Origins versions of the C1 and C3 Aircross will be available to order.

All feature bronze highlights and a nod to the original Citroen chevron logo.

The C3 Origins is available in a choice of Polar White, Cumulus Grey, Platinum Grey or Perla Black body colours, paired with a black roof and 17-inch black alloy wheels.

Citroen C3 Origins

A special Origins colour pack features bronze fog lights and Airbump panel surrounds, along with the Origins logo on the door mirrors and roof pillars. Inside, the C3 Origins features Heather Grey and black seat upholstery, and a soft-touch dashboard trim with a bronze surround.

The C3 Origins is available with a choice of two 1.2-litre engines – a PureTech 82 and PureTech 110 – with the latter equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission. Prices range from £16,585 for the PureTech 82, to £19,005 for the PureTech 110.

The C4 Cactus Origins is largely the same as the C3 Origins, although Pearl White paint is also available, while Perla Nera is substituted for Obsidian Black. Only one powertrain is offered: a 1.2-litre PureTech 110 with a six-speed manual gearbox. The price is £20,215.

Citroen Origins logo

Customers can place orders now, with deliveries expected in March 2019. Origins versions of the C1 and C3 Aircross will be available to order in March for delivery in June.

2019 Citroen C5 Aircross

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2018 Citroen C4 Cactus

2018 Citroen C4 Cactus first drive: it’s new, but is it improved?

The new Citroen C4 Cactus boats a trick suspension and lounge-style seats, but in growing up, has it lost some of its unique appeal?

2018 Citroen Berlingo Multispace

The new Citroen Berlingo Multispace is unashamedly unfashionable

2018 Citroen Berlingo MultispaceThe new Citroen Berlingo Multispace would take one look at a crossover, take a drag on a half-smoked Gauloises, before dismissing it with a Gallic shrug of the shoulders and sauntering off muttering something about stupid young upstarts.

Since its unveiling at the 1996 Paris Motor Show, the Berlingo has cemented a reputation for being one of the most honest and fit-for-purpose vehicles money can buy, and you’ve never required much in the way of cash to secure its services. Twenty-five years ago, a Berlingo cost less than £9,000.

Citroen will do its best to position it as a ‘Leisure Activity Vehicle’ (LAV), but the French company is fooling nobody. The Berlingo Multispace is unashamedly van-based, and that has always been central to its appeal.

Step inside a Berlingo, and it’s like entering a village hall, complete with masses of headroom, a huge expansive area, and the kind of echoes you associate with large, open spaces, spaces, spaces, spaces…

And like the village hall, you could probably use it to house the post office on a Thursday morning and the table tennis club on a Tuesday night. Multispace by name, Multispace by nature.

Initial sales were slow, right up until the point when Jeremy Clarkson gave the Berlingo the seal of approval. On a booze cruise to France, the then Top Gear presenter waxed lyrical about the van-based Citroen, praising its value for money, sliding doors, ample storage and ride quality.

One steak fracas, a facelift and a new model later – for the Berlingo, mostly – Citroen is about to unveil the new Berlingo Multispace at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. So, what’s new?

Van Morrison

2018 Citroen Berlingo Multispace

It retains its van-based origins, which means enough space in which to swing a crêpe, a pair of sliding doors, a vast tailgate, and more flexibility than an Olympic gymnast.

Naturally, the styling slots neatly into the Citroen stable, with the Berlingo Multispace having the look of a taller and more upright C3 Aircross. Fans of the outgoing C4 Cactus will be pleased to see Airbump panels at the bottom of the doors.

On the inside, the airy cabin and high-set driving position remain, while the seats can be folded to create a flat floor through to the folding passenger seats. Two sizes are available: M and XL, measuring 4.40m and 4.75m in length, respectively, with five and seven seats.

Boot space has been increased by 100 litres to 775 litres in the M version, or 1,050 litres in the XL version with five seats. Just like the original, you’ll spend some time discovering the 28 different cubbies, pockets and bins, which combine to provide 186 litres of interior storage space.

In common with the Cactus, the passenger airbag has been moved to the ceiling, which provides space for a secondary glovebox, known as the Top Box. This can be cooled (depending on the version) and contains a USB socket, jack audio socket, and enough space for a 15-inch laptop.

But space and practicality are no longer enough, not even for a van-based MPV… sorry, LAV. If Citroen wants to add to the 3.3 million or so sales to date, it needs to add improved functionality and technology.

Van Halen

2018 Citroen Berlingo Multispace

There are no fewer than 19 driving assistance systems, including a colour head-up display, lane departure warning, driver attention alert, adaptive cruise control, park assist, blind spot monitoring, and auto-navigation to the nearest Carrefour or Mr Bricolage. Probably.

And while the Berlingo Multispace is front-wheel drive, the Grip Control with hill descent assist should provide enough traction for the majority of drivers. You can even add a trailer stability control system if the dog doesn’t fancy sharing the ride with a crate load of Beaujolais.

Further hints of modernity include an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, wireless smartphone charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A range of petrol and diesel engines will be available, along with the introduction of an 8-speed EAT8 automatic transmission.

Far from being a niche model, the Berlingo is an incredibly important vehicle for Citroen. It’s the top-selling Citroen in nearly 17 countries and is the brand’s second best-seller behind the C3. While other manufacturers sweat over finding new niches, the Berlingo Multispace remains resolutely down-to-earth and unashamedly unfashionable. Combine this with the new safety tech and connectivity, and it’s hard to see it becoming anything other than a success.

Prices have yet to be announced, but the new Citroen Berlingo Multispace will be built in Spain and will launch in the second half of 2018. Still want that fashionable but compromised crossover?

In summary: 2018 Citroen Berlingo Multispace

Built: Vigo, Spain
Debut: 2018 Geneva Motor Show
On sale: second half 2018
Price: tbc

Length: 4.40m (M), 4.75m (XL)
Width: 1.85m
Height: 1.81m – 1.84m (without or with roofbars)
Boot capacity: 775 litres (M), 1,050 litres (XL)

Citroen museum auction: breaking up is so hard to do

To some people, the auction catalogue for the forthcoming sale of 65 cars from the Citroen Conservatoire collection might seem like one of those chocolate selection boxes you’ll receive this Christmas.

It promises so much on the outside, but once you’ve prized open the box, you discover an awful lot of filler and not much in the way of tasty treats. I say to ‘some people’ while acknowledging that to Citroen enthusiasts, this remains a rare and exciting opportunity.

Exciting, and perhaps a little dispiriting. Allow me to explain.

Back in the summer – remember that? – I was fortunate enough to spend a morning in the Citroen Conservatoire, surrounded by some of the firm’s all-time greats. From concept cars to presidential limos, and motorsport heroes to true icons, the warehouse is like a dimly-lit spotlight on the history of Citroen.

While there, I was told about a ‘reserve’ collection: more cars in another part of the building, off-limits to anyone beyond Citroen circles. I tried, unsuccessfully, to gain access. If your name’s not down, etc, etc.

Fast forward a few months and Citroen has thrown open the doors to the reserve collection, as it prepares to move away from the sprawling Aulnay-sous-Bois site and to L’Aventure Peugeot Citroen DS in Sochaux.

With a collection of more than 400 cars and associated memorabilia, something has to give, which is why 65 vehicles and 90 items of automobilia are deemed surplus to requirements.

It all feels a bit like clearing the attic following the loss of a loved one. It’s not that anybody or anything has died – although no cars have been produced at Aulnay-sous-Bois factory since 2012, and the Citroen and DS divorce was a little awkward – it just seems a tiny bit sad to see the collection split up.

I’ve seen the auction lots described as ‘weird and wonderful’, but to casual onlookers and non Citroenians, the collection will be more ‘weird and a little underwhelming’. You won’t find a proper DS, SM or 2CV in the sale. There is a Traction Avant, mind, which is very much the genesis of modern Citroen.

You’re unlikely to find the items of automobilia featured in any auction previews, but there are some genuinely significant lots. Racing overalls worn by the likes of Jacky Ickx, Timo Salonen and Hubert Auriol are expected to fetch between €200 and €500 each.

There are numerous photos, brochures, models and dealer display items on offer, along with spare parts for a Citroen ZX Rallye Raid, if you feel the urge to take your ZX Aura to Dakar. Fancy the bonnet from Sébastien Loeb’s Xsara WRC car? It could be yours for between €500 and €1,000.

But, as ever, the cars are the stars, so what will see me hovering over the ‘bid’ button come 2pm on 10 December? Nobody asked me to create a list of my top 15 auction cars, but here are my favourites anyway.

Citroen GS: €2,500 – €5,000 (£2,250 – £4,500)

I managed to grab a brief go in a Citroen GS X3 during my visit to the Conservatoire, realising a lifelong ambition to drive one of the best cars my father owned when I was a child. You can read about it here.

This Spanish-registered GS is much older than my father’s, and indeed the X3 I drove in July, but it has covered just 921km from new and features the same red interior I remember from my youth.

Sbarro Berlingo Flanerie: €9,000 – €11,000 (£8,000 – £10,000)

Franco Sbarro has done some wild and crazy things with Citroens over the years, with the Berlingo a particular favourite of the Swiss coachbuilder. The Flanerie is like some kind of theme park safari ride that has managed to end up in a game of Crazy Taxi.

Citroen AX: €3,000 – €6,000 (£2,750 – £5,250)

There’s an electric Citroen AX available in the auction, but this one appeals because it was donated to the collection by Auguste Genovese, a former director at the Citroen plant in Rennes. It has covered just 11,414km since it rolled off the production line in 1991.

Citroen Visa Super: €1,500 – €3,000 (£1,250 – £2,750)

When was the last time you saw a Citroen Visa, let alone one as early as this? As a Super, it’s powered by a 1.1-litre four-cylinder engine, and features the wonderfully idiosyncratic dashboard of the early cars. Also, note the polypropylene bumper and grille.

Citroen BX GTI: €6,000 – €10,000 (£5,250 – £9,000)

Given the crazy prices being achieved by certain performance cars of the 80s and 90s, this Citroen BX GTI has a reasonable pre-auction estimate. It has picked up a few battle scars in storage, but there are only 21,499km on the clock.

Citroen Xantia Activa V6: €5,000 – €8,000 (£4,500 – £7,250)

Just 2,600 Xantia Activa V6 models were ever produced, all left-hand drive. Which means the V6 was never officially exported to the UK, making this the holy grail of the Xantia Activa world. There are just 1,575km on the clock. *Bites the back of his hand*

Citroen ZX Reflex: €800 – €1,500 (£725 – £1,250)

You have to wonder where the likes of this ZX Reflex will end up. It’s in excellent condition, as you’d expect from a 20-year-old car with 1,765km on the clock, but will it be used on the road or stored away in a private collection?

Citroen XM V6 Exclusive: €5,000 – €7,000 (£4,500 – £6,250)

This isn’t the tidiest or lowest mileage Citroen XM in the auction, but it’s arguably the most interesting. It was owned by Roger Hanin, who played the lead role in the French TV police drama, Navarro. Hanin was also the brother-in-law of President Mitterrand.

Citroen Ami 6: €800 – €1,200 (£725 – £1,000)

Being polite, this 1961 Ami 6 is blessed with a delightful patina, but in truth, it’s in need of a complete restoration. These were incredibly popular in France, but less so in the UK.

Citroen CX Pallas: €6,000 – €10,000 (£5,250 – £9,000)

Simply wonderful. In mileage terms (15,220km), this is effectively a one-year-old Citroen CX. Not only that, it’s a Series 1, complete with the idiosyncratic dashboard layout and desirable Pallas trim. Oh, to be able to drive home from Paris in this.

Citroen C-Cactus: €8,000 – €12,000 (£7,250 – £10,750)

The C4 Cactus is arguably the most Citroen of modern Citroens, although the facelift version will see it lose some of its eccentricity. This is the C-Cactus concept of 2013, which built on the original design from 2007. It wasn’t a massive leap from concept to production.

Citroen C5: €3,000 – €6,000 (£2,750 – £5,250)

This appeals more than it should, but to me, the original Citroen C5 has ‘future classic’ written all over it. It features clever active hydropneumatic suspension – so it’s a proper Citroen – while the 3.0-litre V6 petrol is the ‘right’ engine. A €6,000 upper estimate for a C5 with 1,151km on the clock seems like excellent value

Citroen Xsara Coupe VTR: €3,500 – €5,500 (£3,000 – £4,900)

There’s no Xsara VTS in the auction – although I was told about one in the ‘reserve’ collection – so this phase 2 VTR will have to do. With 477km on the clock, it’s practically brand new, and you’ll stand more chance of becoming friends with Claudia Schiffer if you buy it. Probably.

Citroen Xantia 16v: €3,000 – €5,000 (£2,750 – £4,500)

I make no apology for featuring a second Citroen Xantia because this is essentially a brand new and very early 2.0-litre 16v model. The mileage: an incredible 89km. Stick a Ford badge on the front, and you could add a zero to the upper estimate. Don’t be surprised to see this break into five figures.

Citroen Tubik: €20,000 – €30,000 (£17,750 – £26,750)

The Tubik was unveiled in 2011 and soon became part of the furniture at subsequent motor shows. My highly original plan for this: turn it into a mobile deli and tour festivals like some kind of Type H van from the future.

Restricting myself to 15 cars was tough because the other 50 vehicles hold strong appeal. The C-Elysee WTCC car could be fun, and I’m drawn to the Citela, Iltis and FAF, not to mention the Meharis, in various states of repair.

One thing’s for sure: I’m very, very tempted to register for online bidding, with the Xantias top of the wish list. Or maybe I should concentrate on perfecting the cars I already own.

It might be sad to see the Citroen collection being broken up and moving away from the famous old factory, but there’s no denying that this is a terrific opportunity for fans of the weird and wonderful.

Or maybe it’s the fans who are weird and wonderful. About that low-mileage ZX Reflex…

Click here to view the auction catalogue.

>NEXT: Is this Europe’s best car museum?