What's a Citroën BX TS? I Don't Know, but there is one For Sale on eBay
Photo from eBay. Credit: Seller.
Update: This vehicle has been listed again on eBay. This article has been updated including additional information from the seller. May 2015.
Here's something really interesting that recently popped up on eBay: A 1989 Citroën BX "TS". Since the CarCynic wouldn't mind adding a BX to his collection, I was immediately interested, and started my research.
The term "TS" wasn't familiar to me despite the fact that I think I know pretty much about most Citroën models, especially the classic ones. Sure enough, There is nothing about a BX TS on the Citroën BX Wikipedia Page, or on citroenet.org.uk
Further Googl'ing got a few hits - mostly in Spanish (That is significant, as we will see), but there were also articles that said a Citroen BX TS never existed.
This car has the regular 1.6L, 92 HP engine with a single carb. It is not fuel injected. TS is apparently the same as an RS. According to the seller, they changed the designation in 1988.
It is notable that the car has Spanish tags on it ("E" is "Espana", not Europe or EU), and the eBay listing shows a set of (very nicely preserved) Spanish-language manuals.
The TU3 in this Citroën BX would be a 1.6L, 8-valve SOHC engine. Fuel injection was not added to this engine until 1990, so this is a carburetted engine. This version also seems to add some factory temperature gages to the center of the dash area.
The seller states that A/C is present and functional. The pictures also indicate that while it may be slightly different (or possibly modified) from what is found on BX's sold elsewhere on the continent, it was fitted with A/C from the factory.
The seller mentions that at some point, a Citroën BX GTi spoiler was added. In actuality, it looks to me like the entire rear hatch was changed out for the GTi one, so it now advertises itself as a GTi even though, as mentioned above, it is not fuel injected.
The seller also states that the seats were changed out for the GTi seats.
Such changes have obvious cosmetic advantages, but ruin the originality of the car.
The rest of the car appears to be in pretty good shape. The seller mentions a "minor" dent in the left rear quaterpanel. From the pictures, this dent is actually pretty large, and quite noticeable, so I would like to politely differ with him, on the "minor" terminology. One of the really unique things about Citroën BX's is their unique and very light weight construction - Tapping your finger on a BX just feels and sounds different than any other car. They were made out of a different type of steel, and many panels are actually composite. While this is one of the things that make a Citroen a very unique car to have in a collection (and along with the hydropneumatic suspension gives them incredible handling), one should expect some body men to take one look at the car and refuse to work on it.
Citroën BX's do have spots that are prone to rust; However, with the composite hood and hatch, some parts will never rust. In addition, by the late 1980's the reputation for rusting that European cars had was no-longer deserved. (And you cannot get much later in the 1980's than 1989 can you?)
One last note about the engine -- The 1.6L motor is not the "Douvrin" or "Suitcase Engine" that made it difficult to service the integrated gearbox. The TSU engines have a normal layout of engine and gearbox are pretty reliable as long an you make sure you use a good oil, and change it frequently to avoid sludge build up, which can lead to oil starvation.
Note also that since this car is carburetted, it will require ethanol-free fuel.
Currently, the car is listed with a "Buy It Now" price of $9,500.00. Is it worth that? Well, it is very unique in the USA, Looks to be in good shape, and it ought to be a blast to drive, but...
The CarCynic's personal yardstick is the cost of one in Europe, plus the cost of actually buying it (i.e. travel, hotels, etc.) and the cost of importation (shipping, duty, and other customs fees). There is simply no point in paying someone thousands over the actual cost just for the convenience of having it already here in the US. The CarCynic recently walked away from a 1986 BX GT because it was over the above costs of obtaining a GTi (a "real" GTi, in this case) in Europe, and having Citroen-Andre (or somebody) deliver it to my driveway.
The fact that it is a Spanish/Portuguese built car instead of a "true" French model, and the lack of authenticity from having the wrong badging (and possibly and entirely different rear hatch), may also depress the value.
Please note that While it is not the CarCynic's intention to influence the eBay sale price of this car one way or the other, the CarCynic should be considered to be a prospective buyer of the vehicle listed in the referenced active auction. The CarCynic has no other ties to the seller.