CitroŽn Production in Slovenia

Tomos (located in Koper port at slovenian coast near italian Trieste) and later Cimos (as Tomos' CitroŽn making facility was renamed in 1973) never PRODUCED cars. They were imported incomplete and then finished in Slovenia (and poorly primed causing premature rust). This usually includes electrics such as alternators, starters, lights and small details like insignia etc. In some cases also engine assembly. We know that by the sound of the engine - Croatian assembled 2CV engine, for instance, is known for leaking, but once you fix that, you have the best engine. Slovenian engines are stubborn travelers, but also very loud rattles. Also some special cars were produced, most popular the CX and C-25 ambulances as well as the tough C-25 Police vans and armoured cars. Also GS got some "design" attention.

GSX

Until recently it has been believed that GS with round lights were made only in Slovenia, but recently some of them were spotted in Madagascar - Jure comments that GS with round lights were made in Indonesia; such cars were also made in western Europe under name GS Export meant for out of Europe exports. He saw such cars two years ago in Zimbabve - fairly near to Madagascar. Vrhunc Miha - the secretary of Codelli Classic and Sports Car Club - has told me the round lights were used in Slovenia because SATURNUS company making car lights in Slovenia had a vast stock of round lights used on some other cars and also Ladas!

The lights seem like Dyane; we tried that but no fit. But it would be theoretically possible to fit a Dyane in there with some modifications.

The car was called GSX, being the first Slovenian CitroŽn to have "X" mark as "Sports". Actually it was basically a stripped down version of an ordinary GS. Side protection has been taken off and replaced with two black stripes making look the cars as "canaries" (CitroŽn Yellow). Inside, everything was usually brown. And usually 1300 ccm engine was used (but I've seen only GSX 1.2 models). A rare version was orange, "Sports" were only the looks, performance was the same as other models.

Round lights are not a rule since we've seen all sorts of setups with round lights, even Pallas look-alike in white or standard beige. But the "real" GSX sportscar was yellow with black stripes, black painted bumpers, brown interior, stripped of all chrome except two inch wheelcovers that actually covered only the hole in the middle of the wheel. Some newer versions were seen with black star-shaped wheelcovers, which again covered only the middle and the bolts.

Also, some spoilers appeared, rear spoiler was bolted on the boot lid and rear window bears plastic shading cover. But as far as we know that was not on the production cars but poliester accessories have been made separately by a private company.

PALLAS

Actually nothing terribly new, featuring a sunroof, always blue interior and often fog lights built in front lights. The slovenian-made cars were almost always painted in white colour.

GSAs were never produced/assembled in Slovenia, always imported complete. They are very rare now. We've asked one of our renowned mechanics (Novak) why they have disappeared. His answer was short: "They've simply rusted away!".

But in Slovenia there are still lots of older type GSs on the road, mostly made around 1980 (but recently - July,2000 - they're becoming rare because the majority has been scraped). Their main problem is rust at the bottom of the doors and awful fuel consumption (around 10 litres/100 km at its best on the highway), that lead to a nickname "Pijandura" (pee-yan-doo-rah), which is a derrogative expression for "The Drunk".

There was also a model GSX-5 with a 5-speed gearbox but looked like ordinary GS, not the sports GSX. 5-speed gearbox is ballanced beautifully as the third speed is shorter and combined with 4th. 5th allows relaxed cruising at high speeds. No effect on fuel consumption though, which made this car so unpopular everybody wants to get rid of it - Jure comments that his and his brother's GSs use less than 8 litres/100 km of fuel - in the summer the fuel consumption was around 7 litres/100km on the highway cruising at 120-130 km/h. They both indeed have installed 5-speed gearboxes in their cars.

Price on the street is less than 50.000 SIT, which is around 500 DEM for a very good 'un. Some optimists put prices as high as 1000 DEM, but for that price it has to be in a showroom condition (a few people selling restored cars for 500 DEM and can't get rid of them). GS is three to four times cheaper than 2CV which is gaining in value. This goes only for older 2CV's , while Charlestons "loose weight" as overpriced and of poor quality. In Slovenia it still goes "the older the better" and you get more fun and less rust out of a 1965 rattle than a 1987 Charlie.

While Slovenia was a socialist country, an old car was just an old car (but holding its overprice until early 90's, when things changed). Today things are different. Old cars are getting considered as souvenirs from the easy and slow old days, you get stopped on the street, congratulated, even our not-so-long-ago-enemies, the police, when they stop you, if they have a spare minute, like to chat about your oldie. Of course - this is the way to show off - every redneck arsehole can buy a GTi, but it takes class to drive class. And today cruising is IN, racing is OUT.

Ya cruuuise down da street, a soft BRAP BRAP BRAP from the exhaust at 700 rpm, da Metal Lady all shiny, polished, they look at you, stare at you, drop their shopping bags, hit each other, fall off their bikes, and you hear aaahs and ooohs and lookatthatcars' and woooows and you lean back, as the jerk in a Golf GTi behind you feels ashamed, embarassed, thinking "whatz ee got dat muh ain't", yeah I gotta CitroŽn matey, I'm a-cruisin' an' you're just another sucker in another Golf. Makesh ya feel proud, duzn' it?

Written by Egist ZagoriŤnik (Easy Mucy Ė ďThe CatĒ); edited by Matthias, adding some remarks.


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