During its 17-year career, the Citroen CX proved remarkably versatile. Launched in 1974 to replace the revolutionary DS, it was almost as far ahead of its time as its predecessor had been 20 year earlier.
It was a (very) large hatchback for a start, a format that was only just catching on in much smaller cars. Though the shape was dictated by aerodynamics as much as practicality. And it used the DS’s hydropneumatic suspension. And it was one of the first cars to use a turbo diesel engine.
Alongside the hatchback, there was a cavernous estate, which proved popular for conversion into hearses and ambulances. More unusual, though were the three-axle Citroen CX Loadrunner versions built by coachbuilders Tissier and Pjjops.
They were created by cutting a CX in half, extending the chassis with steel girders and adding another rear axle, complete with hydropneumatic system grafted into the existing circuit. Tissier built the box body out of fibreglass; Pjjops used steel.
The main visual distinction between the two is that the Tissier cars’ rear axles were placed further apart, with a portion of bodywork between them.
Most were used for high-speed, overnight newspaper and magazine delivery, carrying loads of one ton or more from print works to towns across Europe. As such, they led hard lives. Many were crashed when the driver fell asleep, the rest simply driven into the ground.
Survivors are rare, among them this one I found on a German classifieds site, which sparked this discourse. I believe it’s a Pjjops car and I’m assuming the estate parked next to it is thrown in for the €5,500 asking price as a spares donor. Personally, I’d convert it into a camper van.
Images courtesy of: Mobile.de; Favcars.com; Wikipedia.org; MTB-News.de