Moto Magazine

70s Style

By Gardenamateur
When you think of those flared trousers, hairy sideburns, wide ties and dodgy wallpapers, the 1970s do not have the best reputation when it comes to fashion and style. Yet, when you look at these two sleek cars pictured below, this decade wasn't all bad taste. (Some might wonder whether the architecture of the 70s-designed Pompidou Centre in Paris, outside which these cars are parked, is the ultimate in 70s good taste or bad taste, but we have enough bland buildings in this world, and the Pompidou Centre certainly isn't guilty of being bland.) Nor are these cars.

70s style

The blue Citroen CX and the gold Citroen SM are still as beautiful as ever. If I could have my
pick of any of the long line of Citroens, delivered to me today as a brand-new vehicle for me
to own and live with day-to-day, I would love to be the owner of a CX. This Prestige model
would do me. I am sure the man on the bicycle in my little diorama agrees. By the way,
the CX model is 1:43 by Minichamps, and the SM is made by IXO.

70s style

If the factory was fresh out of brand new CXs but there was a gold SM going begging, I'd
have it! For this diorama of an SM at speed out on the highway, I thought I'd reverse my
inadvertent sexist bias and put a woman behind the wheel of a fast car. She's in a hurry!

Why would I have a CX instead of an SM? Am I mad? Well, I know I'd lose my licence quickly in an SM, and I do think a gold SM would be a cop-magnet, too. But I also feel that the SM is a bit of a one-off Citroen 'special', and so I prefer the CX as the ultimate development of the line of Citroens which started back in 1955 with the original DS. All along the way, through the 50s, 60s and into the 70s with the CX, Citroen had managed to make some very swift and comfortable open-road cars using surprisingly detuned, smallish 2.0 to 2.3 litre four-cylinder engines. It's one of the forgotten features of the great Citroens, Peugeots and Renaults of this era is that they won rallies and went fast on highways without relying on big, powerful engines to haul them along, as so many other marques from other countries did.

With the SM they slotted a powerful Maserati V6 into the place normally taken up by a smallish four, and no wonder the thing went so quickly. And no wonder the SM appeals even to people who normally don't get too excited about French cars. The SM had a bigger, sexier, more powerful engine than anything else slotted into a mainstream French car before then. I am sure it would be a thrill to drive.
But the old French car fan in me says the humble 2.3 litre four in the CX is actually something to be proud of, as much a part of the Citroen tradition as the hydro-pneumatic suspension and the comfy lounge-chair seats. I am sure a long drive in a new CX would be  comfortable and fast, both a thrill and a pleasure.

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