Monday, August 29, 2011

The Frenchman and his Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2

It's wrong to judge by appearances but he really did look as though he should have been behind the wheel of a Range Rover Sport, or maybe one of the current line-up from Aston Martin. But fair play to the man with the long blonde hair (the sort that looks effortlessly dishevelled but you just know costs more in maintenance per month than an average old car) because he was behind the wheel of one of my favourite Ferraris and he looked as though he was loving it.

I'm not really a Ferrari guy. As a fully qualified Petrolhead I naturally understand what they are about and I'll always take time to have a good look if I see one parked up, but they rank far below the likes of Porsche and Aston on my list. There are three, however, that I absolutely adore. The Daytona, the Testarossa, and the 365/400/412.

Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2

The expensive Frenchman (I assume he was French, we were in France and the car was on French plates) showed fabulous taste with his 365 GT4 2+2. Pininfarina did a wonderful job of shaping this front-engined GT mile-muncher, elegant lines effortlessly disguising the bulk (as big as a Jaguar XJ6) but still retaining some sporty schoolboy-delighting detailing in the form of the pop-up headlamps and trademark twin round tails.

The bronze paint shone gloriously in the sunshine and the exhausts barked as he accelerated off the Autoroute and up the slip road. I hope he was on his way to somewhere suitably glamorous.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Citroën CX Leader D

I was 650 miles into my 1000 mile drive home from my holiday, somewhere in France, when a sleek silver shape caught my eye in the distance. Low, much lower than the modern cars around it, and so very very sleek - it could only have been a Citroën CX.

Citroën CX Leader D

As I caught it up in the traffic I took time to have a good look, it really isn't very often that they can be seen "out in the wild". The supple hydropneumatic suspension was working brilliantly, the car effortlessly floating over the broken Autoroute that was causing my own car some discomfort.

The CX was, for many people, the last of the "proper" Citroëns, coming not long before Peugeot took over the company. The graceful design really did justice as a replacement for the wondrous DS and although there are startling similarities to the Pininfarina BMC 1800 prototype some seven years earlier there was nothing like it on the roads.

The one I saw was a Leader D model, a diesel variant of a limited line in 1984. It was tatty but clearly loved and no doubt gets the owner lots of glances and attention. Long may it continue!

If you're a Citroën enthusiast, or you know someone that is, then you may find something of interest in the Citroën section of my shop. Small inexpensive gifts for enthusiasts and brochures/automobilia - have a look and see what I've got at the moment!