I sure hope some of them are going to be saved!
Last Saturday fellow Opponaut Jobjoris and I went to see what is probably the biggest collection (or hoard) of Citroën CXs (CXses, CXii, whatever the plural is) in the Netherlands, if not the World. It consists of 147 cars! I’ll let you take that in for a moment.....
Most of them are CXs, with some DSs, BXs and XMs thrown in, and to finish it up a Diane and a C6. To keep things exciting there were also a Rover SD1, 2 Renault Aliance Convertibles (why?), and 2 Jaguars (an XJ40 and either a XJ6 or XJ12).
So why stockpile such an enormous amount of cars? Well from what I gather it’s a combination of passion for the brand and model, and entrepreneurial spirit. A Citroën specialist, the owner of this collection, noticed the prices of trade-in and lease return CXs were low in the late 80s and throughout the 90s, but he had the gut feeling the prices would increase. So what he did was store all these cars in a complex of former chicken barns (And 8 others at a (former) garage in Breda).
Now the idea of stockpiling some future classics is not a bad one, on the contrary, it could earn you some nice profits if your predictions were right. However, it is key that you keep the cars in an as good as possible shape. Storing them in chicken barns, and neglecting them for between 20 and 30 years, doesn’t help towards that goal, especially not so for Citroëns that are know to fare best under regular use and maintenance.
So I can hear you wondering, how bad are these cars? Honestly it depends on where the cars are. The 8 cars in Breda are clearly the best ones, and could get back on the road with some TLC, as they have been stored in a good location.
As for the barn cars it varies per barn. The first barn we went in was very moist, had a roof which was in the process of caving in, and full of birds, and the cars clearly showed, some being completely covered in excrement, and others being rusty and having small pieces of moss growing in the panel gaps.
The biggest barn probably has the best cars off that complex, as the roof is good, there are not too many birds and it is reasonably dry, which showed in the cars being in slightly better condition than the ones in the other barn. However this barn was mostly filled with the less desirable models, mainly diesel and LPG fuelled lease returns, and the odd ones out (except for the Rover). It did have tons of Breaks though!
The final barn was heartbreaking to see. It’s inside walls and roof had been covered in styrofoam at some point, and birds hat eaten away at it, making the roof leaky, and the floor and cars covered in a layer of styrofoam pellets and excrement (the smell wasn’t the greatest). The cars in here were some of the more desirable ones (Turbo’s, GTi’s, an early low roof Prestige), however, as the styrofoam and poo was everywhere they were probably among the worst of the collection. The styrofoam had filled intake manifolds and bonnet vents, on some cars for instance.
It was very impressive to see all these cars, too bad I’m not in the market for a CX (although the collection, and especially those in Breda got Jobjoris itching for a CX), or else I could maybe have tried to save one with lots of TLC.
If any of you feel the urge to save one of the cars, this is the link to the Dutch site:
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the pictures and story, of this extraordinary place. Also, I want to thank Jobjoris again for joining in on my plan relatively last minute, and driving me there in his Porsche 911!
(Pictures taken using my Canon 700D with EF 50mm f/1.8 lens, and my iPhone 6S. The 50mm forced me to stay away from taking too much overview pictures, and to look for the details and such. Some of the pictures are slightly edited, others are straight out of the camera, as I already liked the look of them.)