Citroën Virus

Citroëns have been cars in our family ever since I can remember. Nobody really paid any attention to them, but I have always liked the special design and the nice ride they offer. In 1978, I bought a new Citroën GS 1220 Break myself. 10 more new Citroëns for daily driving were to follow. In 1998 I bought my first Classic Citroën, a black Traction Avant 15-Six. In 2005 I acquired two Traction Avant 15-H's, one of which has been fully restored.

My parents drove off on their honeymoon on 31 May 1949, in a 1947 Citroën Traction Avant 11 BL. My father still drove that car when I was born in March of 1950. Several more Citroëns were to follow in the '50s and early '60s. The models and the avant-garde technology have always fascinated me. As a student and a young graduate, I had two Renaults. In 1978 I bought my first new Citroën. Nine (9) more were to follow until the present date (2010). In 1998 I acquired my first Classic Citroën. A Traction Avant 15-Six, of 1952. More Traction Avants were to follow.

six 1951-03Unlike most modern cars, classic cars are great fun to work on, allowing oneself to understand how enigineers of the '30s had to to cope with the technical challenges of that time. There were no computers, no CNC machines and robots to build the vehicles. Knowledge of metallurgy, casting and welding techniques was far from what it is today. Yet the engineers at Citroën managed to design and build pieces of machinery that have withstood the hardships of day to day use and misuse, and have lasted for as much as 70 or more years. It is astonishing to experience the degree of accuracy with which most of the mechanical components were manufactured, despite the fact that they were all made with the use of man-operated machinery.
Starting with the Traction Avant, Citroëns have been revolutionary in their design, setting new standards of automotive transportation. Driving cars like the Traction, the DS, the 2CV, the GS or the CX is an experience one will never forget. Zooming along in modern traffic at 100 or 110 km/h (60-70 mph) in a 60 year old Traction Avant makes you even more aware of how much ahead of their time these cars were. I can still remember the day just before Christmas in 1956, when the DS19 made its appearance as our family car. It set a new standard for ride comfort. Later, I had many opportunities to drive the ID19 and the DS21 myself. They were fantastic cars!
Despite the fact that modern Citroëns have become more common and less avant-guarde in their technical concept, they still offer excellent and very comfortable driving combined with a high degree of reliability. Over the years I have had no less than 11 new Citroëns ranging from the GS (2) through the BX (4), the Xantia (2) to the C5 Break/Tourer (3).