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French Rarity: 1987 Citroen CX 25 Prestige

French cars are a mysterious spot on the automotive landscape these days, a reminder that they were once an import like any other brand sold stateside. However, for the predominant brands of Citroen and Peugeot, a series of challenges made it all but impossible for them to compete with other near-luxury brands, and today, they are supported by a small but fiercely loyal group of enthusiasts. This 1987 Citroen CX 25 Prestige listed here on eBay for $21,898 is one of the few reminders left of what could’ve been.

This Citroen is located in Newark, New Jersey, which brings a smile to my face. Why, you may ask? Because when my parents would drive my brother back and forth to Loyola College in Maryland, we’d always pass this dealership with a huge, light-up sign spelling out the names of any number of near-exotic foreign makes like Citroen, Peugeot, and Alfa Romeo. New Jersey was a major landing pad for European makes, and any number of corporate campuses throughout the Garden State likely once housed the back-office operations of forgotten companies like Citroen.

Citroens were truly wonky cars, but they were also engineering masterpieces. Yes, they were needy mechanically if left ignored, and the complexity in the design demanded brand loyalty if you were to put up with the limited dealer and spare parts network while keeping such a beast on the road. But when running well, the ride quality was astounding, and highway travel was an absolute joy. The seller of this CX 25 provides us with next to no information, sadly, of this car’s history or mechanical condition, which is going to seriously limit interest.

For the short time that I owned a Peugeot 505, I found the community to be very passionate and eager to help me keep the car on the road. I caved early, spooked by the lack of parts availability and mechanics willing to work on it. I also found that, despite its charming demeanor and rarity, the driving experience just felt like a cheaper W123 Mercedes. This wasn’t a bad thing, but it wasn’t enough to make me want to commit for the long-term. Hopefully, there’s a Francofile out there willing to love this CX 25 back to good health. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Todd K. for the find.


  1. Phil

    I never owned a CX, much less a Prestige – but I own a DS21 Pallas. Citroen makes a fantastic car. A car like no other. Unfortunately they rust like no other as well. Hopefully the CX here has avoided that.

    Like 6
  2. JoeNYWF64

    I could never undertstand why 2 unobtrusive indestructible hood springs from the 1970s & earlier were later abandoned by american car makers, & never used by imports. Why have struts that work lousy in very cold weather or a dangerous prop rod in your way?
    Also the required amber rear turn signals seemed to dictate a “styling” of tailights that left much to be desired, tho the good looking 3rd gen camaro tailights are an exception.

    Like 1
    • Greenhorn

      I VERY much prefer the look and functionality of amber turn signals. I really don’t like both the taillights and the signals being red.

      Like 7
      • JoeNYWF64

        You don’t even like the sequential rear turn signals of the late ’60’s shelby mustangs, cougars & t-birds?
        Also, with 3!!! or more red lenses blinking or lighting up when you hit the brakes or just lit up at night, if 1 bulb goes dead, you still won’t get a ticket & you’ll be safer too. With an amber turn signal, there is just ONE bulb that could burn out! for signalling & 1 for braking or nighttime driving each side, which also seriously limits styling,compared to the futuristic tailights(& therefore rear styling) on such cars as the ’68 grand prix, ’70 t-bird, ’67 torondo, etc. Have you seen THOSE tailights/rear ends?!
        The future was more than 50 years ago before 5mph bumpers & all sorts of other ugly regulations.

        Like 1
  3. Steve h

    I had a new 2500 Pallas diesel in 1979. The motor blew to pieces at 60000 kms while cruising at 120 Kph on a Belgian autoroute.

    Like 1
  4. alphasud Member

    I own a CX Turbo 2 and I’m trying to clear my schedule this winter to finally remove the engine to rebuild it. There are very few companies in the world who supply parts for this car. The best source I found is CX Basis in Germany. These cars have a tendency to fall into disrepair fairly easy and take a lot to bring back. Super cool cars though. Unfortunately the car listed is not worth much in its current condition.

    Like 2
  5. Jim

    I really miss the days when the likes of France, Italy, Germany, and the UK gave us unique options. Everything today is so generic.

    Like 12
    • Al

      And geriatric (pertaining to the elderly).

      Like 2
      • jwaltb


        Like 0
  6. Ken Nelson Member

    Around 25 yrs ago I was at a Natl Citroen meet at Northfield mntn Mass (?) where one person had a CX. It was the Sunday of Father’s day in June, very hot, and as we were all leaving for home, the CX owner’s engine was strangling during startup & wouldn’t stay running. Other Cit owners popped the hood & found the BLACK PLASTIC INTAKE MANIFOLD sitting smack above the very hot exhaust manifold had gotten so hot the runners to each cylinder had been sucked flat! Shutting off airflow! The plastic was NOT THE NOW COMMON GLASS FIBER FILLED HIGH TEMP NYLON NOW USED IN NEARLY EVERY CAR’S INTAKE MANIFOLD. It was probably polypropylene – common kitchen container material.

    And there was NO heat shield between the exhaust & intake – very dumb setup!!! So the intake was removed, and while still hot, some of the fellows made rods of broomstick & crammed then into the still soft intake runners, to prop them open enough to get adequate air to the cyls.

    As I observed the scene, I realized I had the ONLY brand new INTAKE in all of N America – given to me by a Citroen engineer I visited as part of my job with DUPONT Automotive Polymers – designing engineering plastic parts for the world’s auto co’s that wouldn’t fail, using Dupont’s high temp materials – they invented nylon in 1938 – just in time for the material to be used in aircraft nylon locknuts to withstand vibration loosening.

    . I told the owner to give me his overnight address in Boston, called my office Mon morning, and had our secretary Fedex overnight the new part to the owner’s Boston address.

    He installed the new part and made it back to home in N. Michigan. Talk about a very odd coincidence!! The timing was perfect – that scenario could never have happened but for serendipity. Had Citroen talked with me prior to designing this part, I would have recommended our highest temp resistant material, instead of cheap kitchen pot plastic!

    Fact is, Porsche invented the first plastic intake in 1972 for that yr’s 911. BUT they had to glue and screw the part together, as Dupont had not yet invented the vibration welding process which now totally dominates the assembly of nylon and other plastic parts all over the world. Everywhere you look under the hood these days, is mostly black reinforced nylon or other high temp plastics, which have eliminated a huge no. of what used to be metal tanks, reservoirs, covers, and more. Millions of tons of metal have been replaced with engineering plastics so far, and in doing so have eliminated machining of metal parts, fasteners, and all sorts of ancillary metal parts thru integration of more functions into a single molded part.

    Like 15
  7. Ken Nelson Member

    PS: So the new owner of this Citroen CX should immediately fabricate a good heat shield to put between this black plastic intake and the exhaust manifold!
    OR – look to Europe for the diecast aluminum replacement Citroen had to make after the plastic intakes failed.

    Like 6
  8. John Manders

    I had same problem in Curacao; lucky me I had one other to canniballise – so the car continuede for some more pleasuarible years. and; Whenever you might need an original manual for sale, please contact me. Whatsapp +5999 6669678.

    Like 0
  9. Frank Barrett Member

    With so many needs, difficult parts access, no indication of engine health, and few competent mechanics, this car’s price is double what it should be.

    Like 0
  10. Michael Berkemeier

    If I woke up one morning and realized that I had bought this car (or any other Citroen), I would cap myself.

    Like 0

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