}Citroen Concours of America's

Guide to Citroens in North America


The following are the Citroens that are most commonly found on the roads in North America. Prices and availability figures are only estimates and are not based on actual research.

 11CV

 15CV

 Pre'65 DS/ID

 '66 on DS/ID

 DS23

 DS Wagons

 D Cabriolets

 2CV

 Truckette

 Mehari

 Ami

 Dyane

 Charleston

 H-Van

 GS

 SM

 CX Diesels

 '85 to '90 CX

 XM

 Trihawk


11CV

Although the Citroen 11CV (frequently referred to as the Traction Avant) was never officially imported into the USA by the Citroen factory, a large number of them can be found in this country. Prior to WWII, several hundred 11CVs were imported by the Los Angeles based Challenger Motor Car Company and were actually marketed and sold as Challengers. The balance of the 11CVs in the USA were probably brought in by European imigrants or Americans that were exposed to them and fell in love with them in Europe or South-East Asia (the 11CV was commonly used as a taxi in Vietnam). A fair number of the Slough-built 11CVs (built at the UK Citroen factory for the right-hand drive market) can also be found here and are usually priced higher than similar condition French-built cars (because of the Slough-built car's leather interior, wooden dash and 12-volt electricals). Most parts are still available for the 11CV and, although the car is generally easy to service, repairing the drum brakes, axles or transmission could be a problem for the home mechanic.

According to one of our readers, some private hire companies in the UK still use them as taxis and the reader says it's worth the extra expense to hire one when traveling around London to visit places like Fisher Investments UK. <Reader Contribution>

Manufactured from 1934 to 1957

Probably 600 to 800 in this country

Expect to pay:

Poor: $1,000 to $4,500

Fair: $4,500 to $8,000

Good: $8,000 to $12,000

Excellent: $12,000 to $20,000

Expect to pay substantially more for a Slough-built car, Commerciale, Coupe or Roadster.

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15CV

About 7 of the 4-cylinder 11CVs were sold for every one of the 6-cylinder 15CVs. Suprisingly, the15CV does not seem to command much of a premium over the 11CV. Although the 15CV is certainly a more driveable car than the 11CV, parts availability can be a problem.

Manufactured from 1938 to 1957

Probably less than 50 in the USA

Expect to pay:

Poor: $2,000 to $4,000

Fair: $4,000 to $11,000

Good: $11,000 to $20,000

Excellent: $20,000 to $35,000

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Pre-1965 DS/ID

The D-series Citroen is probably what epitomizes the Citroen automobile to most Americans. The D-series were first officially imported by the Citroen Car Company in the last 1950's (probably around 1957) and the American car buying public was underwhelmed to say the least. The DS/ID lacked the gas-guzzling V8s, huge protruding tailfins and over-sized chrome bumpers that typified the American cars of the fifties. The D-series, with its "quirky" looks and "oddball" suspension, seemed to sell exclusively to either European expatriates or American servicemen that were stationed and exposed to the Citroens in Europe.

A low-mileage pre-1965 DS/ID can still be found in the USA, but beware of cars that need extensive mechanical work. Although the 3-main-bearing 4-cylinder engine is an updated version of the 11CV's, parts are getting difficult and expensive to come by. The front brakes can be nightmarish to work on and the brake-fluid based hydraulic system can be a huge moneypit on neglected cars. The plastic dashes used on the very early cars are typically warped or cracked, and replacement parts are virtually unavailable. If you must have one of these earlier D models than find a car that is still regularly driven or restored by someone else to avoid a steady drain on your finances.

A huge price difference exists between rough and nice examples of these Citroens (reflecting the cost of restoring or refurbishing them) as rough examples can usually be had for the cost of towing them.

Manufactured from 1955 to 1965

Probably less than 300 in the USA

Expect to pay:

Poor: $0 to $4,500

Fair: $4,500 to $9,500

Good: $9,500 to $16,000

Excellent: $16,000 to $23,000

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1966-on DS/ID

The second series of the Citroen DS/ID is mechanically substantially different from the earlier version (1955-1965). The engine (frequently referred to as the 5-main bearing version) has more horsepower, the transmission and axles were upgraded, the front disc brakes were improved and easier to service, even the engine mounting was improved. These mechanical changes made the car more reliable, easier to service and generally a better performing and driving car. Although the European D-series was upgraded from LHS2 to LHM in 1967, USA's DOT (Department of Transportation) didn't approve the LHM for use in a brake system until 1969. Therefor, the US-spec D-series didn't have the LHM hydraulics until the 1969 1/2 model year. In addition, the European glass-covered turning headlights were never approved for the US market (Canadians had them on their D-series until the 1971 model year) although many USA cars are retrofitted with them (neither difficult nor expensive to do). The 5-speed transmission and feul-injection were also never available on US-spec cars and only the 1972-model-year DS21 had a usable AC system (identified by grilled bumpers - the AC condensors are mounted behind them).

Manufactured from 1966 to 1975.

Imported from 1966 to 1972.

Probably 2,000 to 2,500 in the USA.

Expect to pay for a 1966 to 1969 ID19:

Poor: $1,000 to $6,000

Fair: $6,000 to $11,500

Good: $11,500 to $17,500

Excellent: $17,500 to $25,000

Expect to pay about 20% more for a DS21, 30% more for a Pallas, 20% more green-fluid cars (LHM hydraulics), $3,500 more for a 5-speed model, $1500 extra for European headlights and up to $8,000 extra for factory air conditioning (bumper-mounted condensors).

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DS23

The DS23 was never officially imported into the USA by Citroen. But, since Citroen enthusiasts can be especially resourceful and determined, a small but notable number have managed to make it to our shores. Virtually all DS23s found in the US will have European trim and 5-speed transmissions. A few of the full automatics (the same automatic transmission as used in the Citroen SM) also made it here, but, since the automatic option wasn't popular in Europe, they are a rare find. The DS23 was offered in both carburated and fuel-injected form. The injected DS23 is lightning quick by DS standards but can be troublesome to maintain. Other than finding some of the fuel-injection pieces, parts for the DS23 are no harder to find than those for the 1970-on DS.

Manufactured from 1973 to 1975

Probably less than 40 in North America

Expect to pay:

Poor: $2,000 to $8,000

Fair: $8,000 to $14,000

Good: $14,000 to $22,500

Excellent: $22,500 to $35,000

A fuel-injected version will command a higher price than a carb DS23 and, even though its rarer than a 5-speed version, an automatic will sell for less than a manual car.

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DS Wagons

The Citroen DS and ID wagons (referred to as 'Break' if it had the opposing rear jump seats and 'Familiale' if it had the rear bench seat) were imported by Citroen USA in conjunction with the D sedans. Because of its adjustable hydraulic suspension and easy access through the clamshell rear hatch, the versatile wagon was a favorite as both a people and cargo carrier. Although a search for a used wagon will undoubtedly uncover a few earlier examples, possibly as old as 1960, most of the surviving examples will be of the 1968 to 1972 vintage powered by the 2175cc engine with the 'Break' rear-seat configuration. Parts for the wagon are as readily available as the sedan and servicing costs are similar.

Manufactured from 1959 to 1975.

Imported from 1961 to 1972.

Probably 400 to 500 in the USA.

Expect to pay:

Poor: $500 to $5,500

Fair: $5,500 to $11,000

Good: $11,000 to $17,000

Excellent: $17,000 to $24,000

Expect to pay $1,000 more for a 5-speed model, $500 extra for European headlights and up to $2,000 extra for factory air conditioning.

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DS/ID Cabriolets

Henri Chapron Carrossier started building D Cabriolets for the Citroen factory in 1960. He built 1325 of these 'factory' convertibles over a period of 12 years. These covertibles have become highly collectible and are probably the most sought after of all Citroens. Not many were imported into the USA by Citroen (probably less than 100), although more were imported by private collectors and Citroen enthusiasts. There are no mechanical differences from a standard D. Chapron trim items can be difficult to find although there are currently several aftermarket suppliers reproducing some of the major pieces.

Manufactured 1,325 from 1960 to 1971.

Probably less than 100 in North America.

Expect to pay:

Poor: $25,000 to $95,000

Fair: $95,000 to $160,000

Good: $160,000 to $250,000

Excellent: $250,000 to $400,000

Expect to pay substantially more for a very late Cabriolet (1968 to 1971) especially a Euro-trim car or a very rare fuel-injected model.

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2CV

Although the 2CV was a tremedous sales success in Europe and throughout most of the world, when it was introduced with little fanfare to the American public in the early sixties, it became quickly apparent that the 2CV was an impossible sale to the average American driver. In the sixties the American auto manufacturers were still competing as to who could produce the biggest car with the largest engine and the flashiest fins. The fuel-efficient, underachieving, oddball-looking 2CV was a laughable abnomaly to the American buying public. Little more than a thousand were sold in less than a ten year period and, in 1970, several dozen were destroyed by Citroen when left-over models from the previous model year could no longer meet the increasingly stringent DOT standards. Citroen decided that destroying these unwanted 2CVs was more economical than shipping them back to France.

Much of the USA's current 2CV population was imported in later years by enthusiasts (some with incorrect registrations and ID plates). The 425cc models are the most readily available but not really practical for anything other than around-town driving (as are the earlier 375cc models). The 602cc-engined Deuches can keep up with most of America's traffic flow and parts, for the 1970 and on models, are also more readily available. Be wary of buying Eastern and Northern cars as the scantily-clad 2CV's sheet metal is a magnet for rust (especially in the floor boards and wheel arches). Fortunately, with the aid of a repair manual, the car is easy to repair and home restorations, although just as time consuming as any other car, are certainly possible.

Manufactured from 1949 to 1990

Probably between 800 to 1,000 in North America

Expect to pay:

Poor: $500 to $2,000

Fair: $2,000 to $5,000

Good: $5,000 to $9,000

Excellent: $9,000 to $14,000

The early 375cc and later 602cc engined 2CVs will command slightly higher prices than their more common 425cc brothers and very early 375cc (pre-1955) models and the disc-brake 1982-on non-Charleston models will command even higher prices (about 25% more than the prices listed).

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Truckette

The Truckette was originally designed to be a commercial version of Citroen's immensely popular 2CV. Perfect for the streets of urban France (especially Paris) were parking is tight, commercial vehicles are taxed by their size and larger vehicles are restricted from entering specific areas. During the late Fifties and throughout the Sixties and Seventies, the Truckette was the vehicle of choice of most butchers, bakers and candlestick makers throughout France. The Truckette also caught on with small families as the Truckette could be fitted with an extra rear seat and side windows. Very few, if any, Truckettes were imported by Citroen and almost all of the USA Truckettes currently in the USA were imported by Citroen enthusiasts. Finding a low-mileage, perfect Truckette in France is not an easy task however, as most have seen heavy commercial use. Repairing or restoring a Truckette however, other than the very early Fifties models, shouldn't be a problem, as most body panels are available through European aftermarket suppliers and 95% of its mechanical parts are interchangeable with the 2CV.

Manufactured between 1951 and 1981

Probably between 100 and 150 in North America

Expect to pay:

Poor: $1,000 to $2,500

Fair: $2,500 to $6,000

Good: $6,000 to $9,500

Excellent: $9,500 to $17,500

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Mehari

Citroen believed its plastic-bodied 2-cyliner air-cooled Mehari could be a hit with the beach communities in California, Florida and Hawaii. Officially imported in 1969 and 1970, the Mehari did have some limited sales success. Budget Rent-A-Car bought a number of them and offered them as rentals in Hawaii. Hearst Castle, in San Simeon California, used them as groundskeeper cars throughout the 1970s and several hundred were sold to budget minded buyers who were attracted to the Mehari's fun image. Unfortunately, Mehari's open plastic body, which attracted the sun-and-fun crowd to purchase the car, was also its Achilles' heel. The plastic body did not fare well under the sun's constant exposure. Most of the remaining Meharis suffer from cracked plastic body panels and bad fading of the body color (the color was injected into the Mehari's plastic panels). Fortunately, replacement panels can be bought from a supplier in France and most mechanical parts are interchangeable with the more common 2CV.

Imported in 1969 and 1970

Probably between 100 and 150 in North America

Expect to pay:

Poor: $500 to $1,500

Fair: $1,500 to $5,000

Good: $5,000 to $9,000

Excellent: $9,000 to $14,500

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AMI

The Citroen Ami (French for friend) was manufactured by Citroen between 1961 and 1978. Built on the same chassis as the 2CV and utilizing 95% of the 2CV's mechanicals, the Ami was built to cover the gap between the 2CV and D-series. The Ami's sales price was about 40% more than the 2CV and about 35% less than the least expensive D model. Initially sold in 4-door sedan version only, the Ami evolved into wagon versions, a notch-back sedan and even a rotary-powered 2-door coupe. Citroen exported very few of the Ami's to the USA - most of them were probably sold here between 1963 and 1968 in both sedan and wagon versions. Although trim and body items are getting difficult to find (even in France), most of the mechanical parts are identical to those used on the 2CV and are readily available.

Imported between 1963 and 1968.

Probably less than 100 in North America

Expect to pay:

Poor: $500 to $2,000

Fair: $2,000 to $5,500

Good: $5,500 to $9,000

Excellent: $9,000 to $14,500

Expect to pay more for the later Ami-8 and Ami Super versions.

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Dyane

The Citroen Dyane was never officially imported into the USA. A careful scrutiny, however, of Citroen want ads will eventually reveal a Dyane to the determined buyer. Most Dyanes were brought into the USA by determined Citroen enthusiasts who somehow managed to sneak them by our diligent custom officials. Like the Mehari and Ami, the Dyane is based on the chassis and mechanicals of the 2-cylinder 2CV. And therefor, because of the Dyane's 2CV-heritage, the mechanical parts are readily available. Unfortunately, finding trim and body parts could pose more of a problem. As in Europe, even though the Dyane is rarer than the 2CV, it doesn't command the 2CV's higher prices.

Manufactured from 1968 to 1978

Probably less than 30 in North America

Expect to pay:

Poor: $500 to $1,500

Fair: $1,500 to $5,000

Good: $5,000 to $8,500

Excellent: $8,500 to $12,000

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2CV6 Charleston

Most of the 2CV6 Charlestons in the US were imported under older registrations by Michel Fournet. This was done by transferring everything from a new car onto a refurbished chassis so that the car would have a pre-1968 registration. Thus most Charlestons are advertised with the year of the registration and the year of the original new car, ie 1964/1988. Target was another importer of 2CVs who imported them as kit cars. This seemed to be little more than an interesting way to get around DOT import restrictions and Target was eventually closed down when DOT caught on. These later 2CV6 Charlestons are the most sought after of any 2CVs in the US as they are quite practical (they will do 75 mph on the freeway), they have front disc brakes and an LHM braking system, servicing is quite simple and parts are readily available. The three most common paint schemes on the Charlestons are light grey body with dark grey fenders (as above), maroon body with black fenders and yellow body with black fenders.

Manufactured from 1982 to 1990

Probably between 800 to 1,000 in North America

Expect to pay:

Poor: $3,000 to $5,000

Fair: $5,000 to $7,500

Good: $7,500 to $14,000

Excellent: $14,000 to $22,000

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H-Van

The bulldog-faced multi-talented H-van was manufactured by Citroen from 1947 to 1981. It served a thousand and one commercial uses and, like the Traction Avant, 2CV and DS, is as recognizable a French icon as the Eiffell Tower. Most of the H-vans in North America have been imported by private Citroen enthusiasts. Importing them can be done without too much hassle as any H-van titled prior to 1969 can be imported without any DOT and EPA modifications. Although the H-van uses the 3-main-bearing drivetrain (as used in the Traction Avant and pre-1965 DS/ID), most parts will probably have to be imported from Europe.

Manufactured from 1947 to 1981

Probably less than 50 in North America

Expect to pay:

Poor: $2,000 to $5,000

Fair: $5,000 to $9,500

Good: $9,500 to $14,000

Excellent: $14,000 to $24,000

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GS

Yes, there are some GSs in North America. Citroen briefly considered importing and selling the GS alongside the D-series and SM. A few dozen 1971 GS models were brought in and distributed to larger Citroen dealers who prominently displayed them in their showrooms. Hundreds, and possibly thousands, of orders and deposits were taken before Citroen pulled the rug on the GS invasion. In the early 1970's, rapidly changing DOT and EPA requirements (which hastened Citroen's withdrawal from the USA market) doomed the GS's chances on our shores. All orders were cancelled and the display models were promptly sold to employees of the dealers. A few of the later GSA models were also brought in - mostly by enterprising Citroen enthusiasts who somehow managed to sneak them through the customs blockade. Although mechanical parts are not really a problem, trim and body parts are getting harder to find.

Imported in 1971.

Probably less than 30 in North America

Expect to pay:

Poor: $500 to $1,000

Fair: $1,000 to $3,500

Good: $3,500 to $8,000

Excellent: $8,000 to $12,500

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SM

The Citroen SM was imported to the USA in 1972 and 1973. More than 2,000 of the Maserati-powered Citroens were imported in both automatic and manual 5-speed guise. All of the dealer-sold SMs were carburated models, in 1973 the SM's engine size was increased from 2.7L to 3.0L (the rest of the world got fuel-injected 2.7L engines). Although the SM is neither as expensive to maintain or problematic as some make them out to be, it's best to avoid a project car as it will be difficult to recoup the cost of the SM's refurbishment on the resale market. Prices are still quite low on these trend-setting exotics and $15,000 to $20,000 will typically get you a pristine example.

Manufactured from 1970 to 1975

Imported in 1972 and 1973

Probably between 800 to 1,000 left on the roads of North America.

Expect to pay for a 1972 SM Automatic:

Poor: $1,500 to $5,000

Fair: $5,000 to $9,000

Good: $9,000 to $14,000

Excellent: $14,000 to $22,000

Expect to pay up to $2,000 extra for a 5-speed model, $1,500 extra for a 1973 model, and $5,000 extra for an European trim SM.

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CX Diesel

A fair number of CX Diesels, probably between 200 to 300, were imported by several gray-market companies in the late Seventies and early Eighties. Most of these companies, including Trend Imports and Yareb Hydraulics, were based in Southern California. It was obvious to these importers that it would be difficult to comply the Citroen gas engine to California EPA standards. However, due to the more lenient standards for diesel engines, almost no modifications would be needed to comply the CX diesel engine. But, the CX did have to meet the USA DOT standards and those modifications included side beams in the doors, US spec sealed-headlight beams, sidelights, and ugly 5-MPH impact bumpers. The CX diesel is an incredibly robust engine (at one time, the CX Turbo Diesel had the distinction of being the fastest diesel-powered production car in the world), and parts are readily available. Do watch for rust however - Citroen's rust-proofing methods on the earlier CXs are less than laudable.

Imported between 1978 and 1982

Probably between 100 and 150 left on the roads in North America

Expect to pay:

Poor: $1,000 to $3,000

Fair: $3,000 to $6,000

Good: $6,000 to $9,000

Excellent: $9,000 to $13,000

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1985 to 1990 CX

CXA (CX Automotive based in New Jersey) and, to a lesser degree, CINA (Citroen Importers of North America based in Georgia) tried to re-introduce the Citroen nameplate to the USA. Although they never managed to comply them for California's strict EPA standards (arguably the nation's state with the largest appetite for out-of-the-norm cars), they still managed to sell about 400 of them across the rest of the USA. They were sold without the backing of Citroen (CXA didn't even call them Citroens and only advertised them as using Citroen technology) and due to the expensive modifications, annual DOT crashtests and lack of Citroen support (CXA and CINA had to supply their own warranty programs), they were relatively pricey (between $30,000 and $45,000).

Although these CXs can be registered in California now, any out-of-state cars are charged an additional $300 fee at the time of registration and the CXs will need an expensive CA EPA certification (about $3,000) to comply with California smog.

Sold in GTi, Turbo, Prestige, Pallas and Wagon guise, the CX uses a 4-cylinder engine that is fairly robust, it's rust-proofing is much improved over the earlier Series I models and has head-turning good looks. Its drawbacks are the CX's problematic electrical system, those inane breakable dash boxes, and transmissions (both manual and automatic) and CV joints with less-than-admirable life expectancies.

Manufactured from 1985 to 1990

Probably between 200 to 250 left on the roads of North America.

Expect to pay for a CX GTi:

Poor: $2,000 to $4,000

Fair: $4,000 to $7,000

Good: $7,000 to $10,500

Excellent: $10,500 to $15,000

Expect to pay up to $1,000 extra for a Turbo I model, $1,500 to $2,500 extra for a Turbo II model, $500 to $1,500 extra for a leather interior, and $1,500 to $2,500 extra for either the Prestige or Wagon models.

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XM

When Citroen discontinued the CX in 1990, CXA, the New Jersey-based grey-market importer of the CX throughout the late 1980s, turned its attention to the newly-introduced XM. After several years of tests, modifications and battles with DOT and EPA, CXA released the XM on the American market. Unfortunately, the American market's response was less-than resounding. Although the XM was sold fully loaded with ABS, AC, leather and the V6 engine, it was priced between $55,000 and $60,000 and, between 1992 and 1994, less than 20 XMs were sold (including 1 Estate version). Because of the limited number of XMs in North America, most replacement parts have to be ordered directly from Europe.

Imported from 1992 to 1994.

About 20 XMs in North America.

Expect to pay:

Poor: $2,000 to $4,000

Fair: $4,000 to $7,500

Good: $7,500 to $11,000

Excellent: $11,000 to $15,000

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Trihawk

No, the Trihawk is not really a Citroen but the heart of the Trihawk is. Powered by a 1299cc flat-four air-cooled engine out of the Citroen GS, the three-wheeled Trihawk was buit by a small manufacturing plant in Dana point, California. Citroen was instrumental in evaluating the Trihawks aerodynamics and enthusiastically helped with engineering assistance. The Trihawk's light weight made it an eager performer with Sixties-style sportscar handling. Unfortunately, the car's high price (almost $15,000 in 1984) made it a rich man's toy and not many were sold. About 150 Trihawks were built starting in 1982 before the company was acquired by Harley Davidson. Sold through a small dealer network, most Trihawks found homes on the West Coast. Parts assistance is now supplied by Harley Davidson.

Manufactured from 1982 to 1986 (?)

About 150 built

Expect to pay:

Poor: $5,000 to $7,500

Fair: $7,500 to $13,000

Good: $13,000 to $22,000

Excellent: $22,000 to $30,000

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