by John Simpson
Moving on a few years, about 1970, and the introduction of the Citroen GS. The first models were equipped with a flat four cylinder air cooled of 1015cc and were fitted with cambelts, something of a novelty! They were a lovely little car and fitted nicely in the middle of the Citroen range of vehicles, selling for just over £1000 they proved very popular.
I remember working on a GS, I was going to change the front inboard brake pads and reached into the car to start it up and put the suspension on full height, they were hydro-pneumatic like the DS, but the customer had left it in gear and the car started off across the workshop with me hanging on to the 'B' post trying to stall it before it ran into the wall, which I managed, phew!!
Also I can't be the only one to have drained the oil out of a car and refilled it without putting the sump plug back, messy!!
One of my jobs was cleaning out the pit, which used to flood regularly, and it was common for the rest of the lads to put the pit boards back and drive a car over, trapping me, we used to get up to all sorts of tricks, bolting tool boxes to the bench, making and throwing water bombs and setting fire to rags mechanics used have in there boiler suit pockets, don't try this at home, it's very silly and dangerous, especial if the rag had petrol on it!!!
1974 and the first Citroen CX's arrive in the country, a totally different car to the DS and I always thought a backwards step, the early ones had an enormous steering wheel and no power steering, they also got through front brake pads at an alarming rate! I went on a technical course for the CX at Citroen's British headquarters in Slough and with other trainees we were able to lift the body off a CX in 20mins, never did it again at work.
Going back to when I bought my first car, around 1972 when I was 19 years old, it was a 1966 Vauxhall Victor 101 Estate, it was a bit rough and ready, but I went miles in it, a special fitment was a mattress in the back, say no more!
Also about this time I started racing a Ford Anglia 105E on the grass, I used to buy the shells from the local scrapyard for £15 each, but I had to remove the interior, glass, fuel tank and engine, but I could keep the gearbox.
The engine I used was from a Ford Consul Classic, 1340cc with modified head and Weber carburettor, off a Citroen DS, the crankshaft was a hollow cast assemble not suitable for high revs, but I regularly used to take it to 7000rpm and it lasted several seasons. It was fun for a few years but I met my future wife so it had to stop!!
Next time, the Citroen dealership loses its franchise and turns Japanese!!
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