Episode 247. Citroën XM. M295 VMJ. (Part 4).

 As has become tradition with this little tale of how I bought and sold twelve cars in a year, the sale of the Citroën XM didn't exactly go according to plan.

As ever I listed it for sale, and had a few enquiries, but nothing of any significance, however a couple of people came to look before the auction ended. The first person who looked didn't seem to be all that interested in the Citroën, and this is where the sale of it  really deviated from the plan, but more about that in the following post. One other person who looked liked it, but he was not prepared to offer me what I was hoping to get for it, namely the price that I had paid for it. So he told me that he was probably going to bid on it if it ended cheaply enough. It obviously didn't, as he never put in a bid at all. However the listing did end with a bidder who was willing to buy it, and so away it goes...

So what can I tell you about my month or so of happy motoring in the Citroën? well, starting at the front, under the bonnet lurked the mighty 2.0 litre turbochagred XU10 engine which was fitted to both the Citroën XM, and the Peugeot 605, which develops a whopping 139 horsey power, and whisked the 2,888 lb Citroën along at a pretty good pace. Yes I know, I've probably got the wrong engine, I should've got one with a V6, but atleast it was a petrol and didn't run on tractor fuel, and to be fair, despite being just a 2.0litre it went quite well! Indeed it gave the fella a good run for his money in his X-type a few weeks back. But not only that a couple of nights later while I was out and about just for a bit of a drive I had some fella in an old Ford Ka once again literally in my boot as I drove along the windy country roads at a safe, but fairly brisk pace. Anyway, this chap did eventually come flying by me, and started to make a break for the horizon. But, it was late at night, there was no one around, and I was 'feeling it' so I flicked the button by the gear lever into 'SPORT' mode, and mashed the loud pedal into the Axeminster!

Once again, we were off. Now, the road was qiuet, it was late at night, but the moon was out (no I hadn't turned into a Werewolf), and the visability was good, the road was also dry, but very twisty! Obviously me being in a big wallowy Citroën, and him being in a Sport Ka  I really couldn't get by this fella, but that being said, I was right on him, and he didn't seem to be able to get away, not even through the twisty bits, I was all over his case! I was absolutely gobsmacked! Admittedly I was probably having a far harder time at keeping it on the road than he was, but I genuinely thought he would just pull away from my big old wallowy Citroën, but he didn't, and it seemed as if he couldn't! More importantly though was that although I was putting in the extra effort it still really wasn't that much of an effort for me to keep up. Although it has to be said that there was one corner where I thought I'd be experiencing a 'brown trouser moment' but it didn't happen, and the Citroën went around it as easily as anything. I'll bet the guy in his Ka couldn't believe that he couldn't get away from this big old barge! The funny thing is, if we were on a track where I wasn't going to be heading off into the trees or an on comming vehicle, and I had taken my 'man pills' so I could really go for it, I reckon I'd have got him in the end, and then I reckon I would've been away! But I guess everyone says that. 

The thing is though, it's just not that kind of car. It wasn't built for racing along country lanes, it really  feels more like an executive saloon (er, or hatchback) which I guess was the part of the market that Citroën was aiming at. It really was quite a nice thing to drive and I enjoyed it right up to the point that it left me.

Sitting at the healm of my Citroën XM was a pretty good place to be, and I noticed that on more than one occasion I would arrive at my destination, and just sit there in the XM for five or ten minutes just taking it all in, it was great. The seats were fairly comfy, and the velour uphostery was warm, cosy, and inviting expecially on those chilly winter mornings. However, getting into the damn thing on those chilly winter mornings was a real mission, especially if it had rained, and then got cold as the doors, all off them would freeze shut, and no amount of heaving and straining would open them. On more than one occasion we all had to had to climb in through the boot, but after driving it for about three or four minutes the ice that had got into the door shuts would thaw out, and the doors would open easily! I think that the problem was caused by the door opening actually going up onto the roof, so you had a flat join on the top of the roof that the water could infiltrate, then freeze, and make a real menace of itself! Having said that, it would never make it into the cockpit of the car it's self, and that always remained dry.

To me that dashboard looked fantastic, it put me in mind of the dashboard in my 1990 Ford Thunderbird, just it was the other way around. I actually meant to measure it up incase some day I buy another Thunderbird (extremely likely) and decided to make a right hand drive conversion on it (extremely unlikely, but you never know!)

I liked all the swicthgear, and the little combination key pad that you needed to type in the correct combination before it would let you start the engine. I wonder how many of these were saved from being stolen due to the would be thief not being able to work out the combination. However the would be thief would've been able to have taken this one had they pressed the button that opened the door to the secret cubby-hole in the centre console. Inside a previous owner had used a Dymo embossing label maker to print out the code, and had stuck it to the inside of the cubby-hole. How very 1980's! I must admit this did send me on a bit of an eBay search, and I am now the proud owner of a Dymo embossing label maker, and some blue tape upon which I can emboss anything my tiny little mind desires, I've made labels for everything, and infact I am now in a position to have to buy another roll of embossing tape... Goooooooood times! I'm easily amused! To the left of the gear lever there is the mode button, where you can select from economy, or normal driving, to sporty! and on the right the height selector switch where you could go from ground scraper, about 4" clearance, to normal, about 8" clearance, to off road, just over 12" clearance!! To be honest though in anything other than normal the ride was pretty bumpy!

This is going to sound ridiculous, but there was something I really enjoyed about the delicacy of the dashboard warning lights, especially the indicator, this is probably the least manly thing I have ever written!

Much like the front seats, In the back it was the same story, masses of velour, masses of glass, masses of room, masses of comfort, and masses of loveliness, it was a nice place to be and my two little Monsters said they enjoyed it very much in the back. I reckon you could've driven anywhere, for as long as you wanted without feeling uncomfortable.

But as good as it is to be sat inside the XM driving it, it's outside that for me really grabs your attention. I'll admit that my particular example is a little scruffier than I'd hoped for, but it's solid, and as it's got quite a long MOT on it, it can't be all bad! I think that the XM is a very striking looking car from all angles, in either hatchback, or estate format. Theres just something about the design that I like, it's alonst as if it were designed by a man with nothing but a pencil and a ruler, with the exception of the wheels there are very few curves on the outside of this car, and I like it all the more for that. I like that at the time when it came out it would've been competing with the jelly mould shapes like the Sierra, but instead of following that format the designers went for an almost seventies angular look, futuristic perhaps for the seventies, but almost retro for the nineties when this was new.

For me this is one of the things that I admire about Citroëns, I feel that they don't follow the crowd, they bang their own drum and move to their own rhythm. I wouldn't exactly call them trend-setters, but you've got to admit Citroën cars do tend to be quite different to the offerings that are put out by all the other manufacturers.

So then, the big question is, would I have another one? Well, unsurprisingly yes, like I said It really was quite a nice thing to drive and I enjoyed it right up to the point that it left me. Sadly though, just before it left me I thought that I'd take it out one last time, and as I drove around for about an hour and a half I thought to myself that if the guy decided that for whatever reason he didn't want it, or he didn't show up for it, then I would just keep the Citroën, especially as I'd already sold something else. Like most of the cars in the Twelve Cars In A Year saga my ownership of the Citroën was pretty much fault free, right up until I drove into my road for the last time. As I approached BelongaClint the flamin' ABS warning light lit up on the dashboard... BUGGER! Oh well I thought, he won't want it now. But just 15 minutes later the new owner had arrived to take the XM away. I pointed out the warning light, and he said, thats ok, I can fix that. He gave the car a bit of a look over, said he was happy, handed me the cash, and my Citroën XM experience was over. Did I make my money back? Of course not, that would be crazy talk, if you're keeping count on the cars that I've bought and sold for this little experience, and what profits or losses I have made, you'll be pleased to know that it's business as usual with the sale of the XM. Bought for £500, put £20 of wheel trims on it to make it look a litle better, sold for £363.05, which of course translates to a loss of £156.95! Or if you like, to experience a 1995 Citroën XM for a month or so it has only cost me £156.95, or about £39.25 a week, which I guess isn't too bad in the grand scheme of things. It's a lot cheaper than smoking is how my man maths looks at it.

So where do I go from here? Well, I'd still quite like a Citroën XM estate at some point because as you probably know I like estate cars. But not just that, having had the Citroën AX, and the Citroën XM I'd quite like to get my hands on a Citroën BX at some point because I think it would be nice to be able to say that I've had the set! But all that being said its not really what I've got a real hankering to have right now, that would be this...

 Right now having had the Citroën XM has really made me think about my old tenth generation Ford Thunderbird, and to be honest I'd really like another one. When I sold this car I really thought that I was making a mistake in selling it. I still think about it from time to time, but having had the Citroën XM has really focused it in the front of my mind. As and when I get another one really is anyones guess, but it's fair to say that I have stepped up my search for one, so hopefully at some point another one will grace the parking spot outside BelongaClint. But only time will tell.

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