Car & Classic Dealer

Artcurial Motorcars

7Rond Point, des Champs Elysées Paris France

1986 Citroën BX 4TC Evolution For Sale by Auction

For sale in our forthcoming auction in Paris, on 24 october 2021.

Competition vehicle
Châssis Evolution n° 18

- Exceptionally well preserved
- Car purchased directly from Citroën in period
- Very rare factory Group B
- Interesting race history
- The Jean-Claude Andruet car

"This car was much better that what was said about it, or what it was able to do." This is what Jean-Claude Andruet told us when we had the pleasure of meeting him at the circuit at Lohéac to carry out a test drive on the car. " When the four-wheel drive BX project got off the ground, Guy (Verrier) contacted me and I was happy to get involved with a project like that. "
At that time Guy Verrier was in charge of the competition department at Citroën, with a mission to develop a competitive Group B car. Not an easy task with the sales department at Citroën requiring the car to remain close to the standard model. This left the engineers little room to design the architecture of the engine, restricted to a longitudinal front-engined set-up for example. As the original BX had a transverse engine, this required the installation of cooling radiators at the back.

Built from the BX saloon with a body constructed by Heuliez, the 4TC had a 380 bhp 4-cylinder turbocharged engine and transmission using elements of the Peugeot 505 Turbo Production car. The gearbox came from the Citroën SM, but the car's biggest feature was its oleopneumatic suspension, the speciality of the marque. Unfortunately, the Citroën team lacked the time and resources to perfect the car's development, despite the goodwill of engineers, mechanics and the drivers Jean-Claude Andruet and Philippe Wambergue. At the start of the season Andruet declared, "When we know how to fully exploit the handling of this car, it will be formidable."

Over 35 years later, he took to the wheel of this car again at Lohéac and rediscovered the same experience. "I found the car to be as I remembered it, which was very uplifting. (...) The gearbox is very good, very smooth, even though the car has been in the museum all these years. That's quite surprising. "
His best result with the BX 4TC was in Sweden : " In the Rally Sweden, we were only familiar with one stage out of three. With the snow, the speeds we were going and the bumps, not knowing what was behind, it wasn't possible to be in the running. I finished sixth, but if we'd had the time to carry out proper reconnaissance for this rally, like the others, I wouldn't have finished sixth… " In other words, I would have been able to win !
Clearly the car's main asset was its handling : " The suspension is fantastic " Andruet confirmed. " I don't know if we will look back and recognise exactly what Citroën achieved at this level, but the suspension, on the bumpy roads of the Acropolis, was fantastic, extraordinary… "

The BX 4TC was short on opportunities and only took part in three rounds of the World Championship : the Monte Carlo Rally, Rally Sweden and the Acropolis Rally. Twenty Evolution examples were prepared by the Competition department to be used for racing, along with 200 cars known as the " Series 200 ", produced for homologation. These were intended for sale but a large number remained unsold.

For Jean-Claude Andruet, this would be his last season in the World Rally Championship. Following his world title in 1972 in an Alpine A110, he tried his hand with Italian marques, competing in a Lancia Stratos, Fiat 131 Abarth, Ferrari 308 GTB, Lancia 037, in addition to several outings in a BMW. He remains as passionate today and never misses an opportunity to take part in historic events, driving with remarkable pace and precision.
At Citroën, he teamed up with the talented Philippe Wambergue, who enjoyed several seasons with Citroën and Peugeot, and was French rallycross Champion in 1989 driving a Peugeot 205 Turbo 16.

Today, the BX 4TC Evolution, developed by Citroën as an outright competition car, remains a testimony to an era of great freedom in engineering that gave rise to a range of very different models : alongside the mid-engined Peugeot 205 T16, the normally aspirated V6 mid-engined Metro 6R4 and the front-engined Audi Quattro, the 4TC brought its oleopneumatic suspension that, on a well-developed base, could have been a huge hit.

The BX 4TC Evolution we are presenting was obtained directly in period by Michel Hommell and Olivier Quesnel. This is why it remains in an astonishing state of preservation, untouched since its last rally. Considering that it is one of just 6 or 7 examples still in existence, this offers one of the last opportunities for collectors to acquire this factory Group B model developed by Citroën.

Photos © Romaric Croisile

Auction estimate: €250 000 /€350 000

- details above

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