1974 Citroen GS

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1974
  • Chassis number 
    to be advised
  • Lot number 
    262
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

1974 Citroën GS Birotor Saloon
Registration no. Not UK registered
Chassis no. to be advised

Offered here is an example of that rarest of post-war Citroëns: the mythical Birotor. As its name suggests, the Birotor was powered by a twin-chamber version of Dr Felix Wankel's rotary engine, which had been developed initially by NSU. A joint venture, Comotor, was set up by NSU and Citroën to manufacture the Wankel engine. NSU was first to get a Wankel-powered car on sale, launching the all-new Ro80 in 1967, while Citroën adopted a more conservative approach, basing their Birotor on the existing GS.
Introduced in August 1970, the Robert Opron-designed GS was the smallest Citroën to feature the hydropneumatic suspension system pioneered on the revolutionary DS, and was powered by an air-cooled flat-four engine driving the front wheels. Featuring a streamlined four-door fastback body with truncated Kamm tail, the GS had a drag coefficient lower than that of any contemporary passenger car. Add to the mix disc brakes all round, supremely comfortable seats, responsive handling, and ride quality equalling that of a Rolls-Royce, and it is easy to understand why the GS was such an outstanding success. By far the most technologically advanced small car of its day, the GS was voted European Car of the Year for 1971.
Just about the only criticism levelled at the GS was a lack of power, but there were no such complaints about the Birotor, which was launched in October 1973 equipped with the same 1,990cc 106bhp engine as found in NSU's Ro80. Unfortunately, the Birotor cost as much as the larger DS and was less economical, while its arrival coincided with the start of the 1973 oil crisis. Sales were disappointing and the Birotor was quickly pulled from the market after 847 had been sold. Citroën then attempted to buy back and scrap them, as it did not want to support the model with spare parts. Fortunately, a few of these remarkable cars have survived in the hands of collectors.
A two-owner example, the Birotor offered here was first owned by a French Citroën dealer who kept it on display in his showroom. When he died the car passed to a friend's private collection. Finished in gold with orange/brown interior, the Birotor currently displays a total of circa 26,000 kilometres on the odometer and is described by the private vendor as in generally good/very good condition. Offered with current MoT and a V5C document, it represents a possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own one of these fascinating rotary-engined Citroëns.