1961 Citroen Bijou 425
An overlooked Anglo-Saxon gem of 60s motoring
Dynamo blew up, clutch cable snapped, front brakes stick, exhaust replaced, front wheel.
I've had classic Citroens for years, but when a rare British built Bijou model came up I had to have it. It's such a comfortable car and with a higher MPG than the original 2cv, it's an amazing little thing with some great attributes.
You've got to see the car in the right way, otherwise it's just a terribly underpowered cramped piece of rubbish, if you take into consideration that cars like this were blown out the water by the Mini at the 1959 Earls Court Motor Show.
The motor's the same 425cc unit it was fitted with from new, and with it topping out at around the 50 mark, foot to the floor motoring is needed constantly to keep up with modern traffic. Hills can also cause a bit of a problem if I'm honest. Smokey start ups are a common occurrence on cold or rainy mornings, and if the heater and choke are on at the same time, toxic fumes are likely to enter the cabin.
Despite having a fibreglass body, it hasn't swapped the brightwork rusting in places. However, saying that, after over 40 years, the undercarriage is in good condition for its age.
Being a car with a non corrosive body, most owners seem to have kept it out on the street for most of its life, as the "Sherwood Green" paintwork is now faded to different shades in different areas. In my opinion though, this brings out a patina that looks good on this car, and I'm not too concerned with the paint at this time.
Having just spent a weekend tuning it up to some extent, the car is running excellently at present and despite being a rare and highly uncommon car, I plan to put the car into daily use from next week. 425cc and all!
LONG LIVE THE BIJOU!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th February, 2009