I spent a day last week in the company of hundreds of classic Citroëns and hundreds of classic Citroën owners. If asked, I wouldn’t have identified myself as a particular fan of the marque. But wandering around the gathering models at the 15th International Citroën Car Clubs Rally just outside Harrogate, I started to realise just how many of these cars that I had admired.
The sheer spread of Citroën’s product history is amazing. There was no shortage of Traction Avant models - still a remarkably elegant design. The DS still dazzles and the CX is ageing very gracefully. The odd little Bijou is crying out to be reinvented.
I was especially struck by the GS models on show, particularly the estate and van versions. Even today, the GS stands out as a really neat and modern concept, with the added benefit of hydropneumatic suspension, a characterful flat-four engine and Citroën’s truly different interior design. It is amazing to think that the car was launched in 1970 and was on sale for 16 years. Has there ever been a car so prescient in its styling? It also struck me that the GS is almost exactly the same size as the Mini Countryman and came as a hatch, estate and van. If I was a Citroën product planner, I’d be looking at a revival of the GS line. It could have been greater potential than the DS3.