“Blow-ins from Castlejane, no Doubt!”

A special edition Citroën BX, the 1989-1990 Palmares. 

White Citroën BX. All images: the author

It’s named after a place that’s hard to find on a map. It might be in Buenos Aires. This example lurked in a gravelly forecort in the east of Jutland, about half an hour from Aarhus. Seeing it came as a surprise. It has been a while since I had the pleasure of slamming on the brakes and pulling up so I could hop out of the car to take some hasty photographs. The kids simply hate this kind of adult behaviour, that and visits to castles, roadside churches, ancient monuments, striking views and pretty much anything that isn’t a petrol station, shop or other opportunity for retail activity. But, now and again, I insist on making the kids wait and use some time to explore interesting things in grotty places. Leave nothing but photographs and take nothing but footprints, as the saying goes.

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We’ve talked a lot about the Citroën BX here recently so I will instead consider the diminishing opportunities to see interesting cars teetering between life and death in garage backlots. The same day I zoomed through a Peugeot dealer in the countryside and saw nothing from before 2010.

The dealer in Skive also had nothing of interest (if you are interested in old cars). I’m pretty sure that the situation was different about ten years ago. When I cycled around Germany between 2006 and 2018 I would often find roadside wrecks like this Citroën, as morbidly intriguing as the vernacular architecture and pastries that are the ostensible objects of scrutiny on such wanderings.

I really ought to save my disc-space for more important memories. However, it is clogged with recollections of sightings of old friends like the Lancia Phaedra I saw along the Danube in 2009, the red Citroën 2CV spotted amongst red things along the Limes Cycleroute, or the resplendent mid-1970s Mercedes S-classes found near Zell-im-Fichtelgebirge (the Saale Radweg, which was incredibly tough: Google it).

Oddly, I can recall these memories a lot more easily than some of the other things I saw whilst cantering through the countryside. I presume other, normal people retain vivid impressions of the castles, churches and monuments they spy while immersed in tourism. I tend to recall townscapes and café interiors more than castle elevations. And old cars like the one that is today’s start-point for this discussion.

You’ll be pleased to know that the price of entry for the BX club is still very low. My brief inspections of some of Europe’s leading car re-selling portals shows that a perfectly good BX can be had for approximately one to two thousand Euros. Some fetch more – most don’t. So, if you are pining for some BX memories of your own, it really isn’t that hard to get on board.

This car is doomed. I am not sure why it’s even still there, other than perhaps laziness on the part of the garage owner. There are not very many BXs still on the roads in Denmark so I don’t imagine there’s a lot of demand for spares. In any event, I don’t imagine this white corpse has many useful parts left to offer. Labour in Denmark runs at about 80 Euros an hour so, if you can’t fix it yourself, you need a bank account bigger than Jupiter. More sensibly, snap one up that is at least still running.

Then and after then.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

14 thoughts on ““Blow-ins from Castlejane, no Doubt!””

  1. The Palmarès is one of the myriads of BX special editions.
    Like most special editions it only has the small engine which means it’s underpowered and comes without power assisted steering. It seems they made 1,000 of them.
    It also had the least attractive of all standard BX wheel trims, painted white.

  2. Good morning Richard. What a sad sight, but not uncommon, I imagine. I wonder if it was replaced by the C5 sneaking into the last photo. Incidentally, does anyone recognise the alloy wheels in the boot of the BX? They look familiar, but I can’t place them.

    As an aside, I have a (probably irrational) loathing for such ‘special editions’. I wouldn’t mind getting some useful extra equipment thrown in for free, but the tacky (in both senses) stick-on stripes and badges that are used to distinguish them are always in poor taste. Moreover, they are often a ruse to try and sell an inadequate or fading car to the gullible. I wonder what the Palmarès offered potential buyers by way of inducements? The BX deserved better than this.

    1. Thanks, Daniel, that’ll be bugging me all morning now! 🙂

    2. According to the sales brochure the Palmarès had a rear screen wiper and special colours for the seats.
      And of course those attractive stickers and white wheelcovers.

    3. Sorry, Michael! 😁

      I suspect they are Citroën (or Peugeot?) items, but cant find a match.

    4. I loathe the special editions too. There is nothing special about them at all and I think they actually hurt the image of the brand and/or model. I’m not really on par with todays offerings, but my impression is that the phenomenon still exists although at a smaller scale.

  3. re stopping for hasty photographs… you are not alone (sadly). When riding my bike home I do this, last week I snapped a AMC Pacer, last year a canary yellow Silver Shadow in a scrap yard. On holiday in Chile a few years ago I came across a lineup of Citroens in the back streets of Valpariso…GS, Xantia & a BX. Keep on snapping!

    1. I occasionally stop for quick snapping too. Glad to see I’m not alone in this habit 😉

  4. I think the advert translates as ‘Ask for the moon’. They’re a bit sketchy on extras included.

  5. Quick snapping of cars requires a better moniker as it also a favourite pastime of mine.

    There’s a sense of beauty in decay. Added to this being an old French car withering in a corner of Denmark.

    Melancholic romance. And Regardless of trim (which does sound admittedly awful)

  6. Here’s an advert titled ‘Ask for the moon’. Palmarès equipment includes electric windows, central locking, GTI-type seats with height adjustment, tinted windows and power steering, with optional aircon and metallic paint.

    1. It seems they made country-specific versions of the Palmarès.
      There seems to have been a German version in red or white without any external decoration with GTi interior and 1.6 engine. These had a ‘Palmares’ (without any accent because Germans habitually don’t know how to pronounce the different versions of French ‘e’) sticker on the hatch, next to the ‘BX’ badge.
      The Spanish advert describes a similar car with metallic paint.
      The car in the pictures is a ‘Palmarès’ (with accent) that was based on the 14 TGE (basic trim level, small engine)

  7. Daniel, could they be 205 GTi 1.9 alloys? There’s a Peugeot specialist in the next town who has a brace of 505’s mouldering in their yard plus a very frilly looking decayed 504 coupe/ convertible. A tarpaulin hides the roof hence ambiguity. This must have been one of the very first as it has the smaller 4 eyed spider type headlamps with the yellow mainbeam tint. Very painful to see

  8. I’m still not quite sure if it was just a pun – but palmarès is actually a french word, meaning result or score card. Or even better, according to Collins, record of achievement. French marketing tried to be very creative in these times…

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