Spotted in the wild: Citroën CX

Pristine Citroën CX [Photo: James Wolfcale]

Finding this Citroën CX in a gravel lot was like finding Kiera Knightley in a dive bar.

I spotted this pristine CX near Balboa Park in San Diego parked in an unassuming gravel lot in which government maintenance vehicles are stored. A strange setting for sure, but it looked anything but neglected. The paint was flawless, and the interior looked like it had never seen a human backside.

Citroën built a federalized version of the CX, but it was never officially sold in US due to some bad timing. It was introduced in 1974, which happened to be same year the NHTSA arbitrarily banned height-adjustable suspension (a decision that’s since been reversed). However, import laws were far more lax than they are these days, so a handful made their way into the country.

This one wears the Back to the Future/L.A. Law-style license plate from the mid to late 1980s, which suggests it’s been with the same owner since that time.

Admittedly, a brown gravel parking lot doesn’t make the best backdrop for a brown car, but hopefully its excellent condition shines through. I also included a bonus image, shot not 100 yards away that hilariously exemplifies the diversity of California car culture.