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  1. #26
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Horses for courses is spot on, I agree. And I'd agree almost completely with the rest of your post, although I do get a faint breeze from the CX vents at times, now that the seals over the rear pillar air outlets have been removed! "Faint" is the word though - .

    One great feature of the BX was truly superbly cold AC. I'll report on my rebuilt CX AC ere long. I'm told the new condenser will be more effective, although I'm thinking this means hotter air going through the adjacent radiator..... Definitely not a Perth summer car, as the whole thing has heated up after 20-30 km. Shane's "gut and insulate" approach is the only way I think, and leave it on recirculate if that flap works. Speaking as an owner, I wouldn't choose a CX for my only (and needed as an all-weather) classic car in Oz, that's for sure. Good David mentioned those SAABs, although I have a feeling that was the model with the dubious travel-length front suspension.

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  2. #27
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 120L View Post
    I'm looking for a classic which I can keep long term but use for occasional long trips. I'm looking for a car that can cruise easily at 110 without losing speed on long highway hill. Seats 4 adults comfortably and rides very nicely (like a Jaguar or 504). Also very little body roll. Basically a reliable economical comfortable quiet saloon that handles beautifully.

    If a GS can do this what is the chances of getting a good one and how about the long term parts situation?

    Regards

    Alan
    You have described every "big hydraulic" citroen ever made. They are old car though. Hot in summer, ok in winter (heaters have also been ok in old cars). Pretty much all decent french cars have plenty of bodyroll. Bodyroll is good though, it hurts no-one and you get used to it Its also very much fun for scaring the shit out of passengers ... just for the fun of it

    Try a nice CX prestige or DS .... They will not be bargain basement price.... I suggest spending money and buying something decent that you can enjoy.

    Oh ... to not loose speed on hills, I suggest travelling at a minimum of 80mph ( indicated ). Even a wheezy ID19 will go up the pentlands at close to the speed limit if you hit them at 80mph

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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  3. #28
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Oh I should add. If power is the important part to you ( as well as less bodyroll ). I urge you NOT to drive a CX GTi Turbo. They are only 168hp ... You certainly probably wouldn't be impressed with one

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  4. #29
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    Hi Guys,

    I think we've left out the SM here, Citroen's ultimate car of their day. Now that all the engine problems have been solved, or are at least solvable, it does tick most of the boxes.......The AC works and works well, the steering is probably the best rack and pinion unit ever fitted to a motor car, the ride is excellent and the body roll minimum for Citroen at the time.

    The burble from the engine is enough to give you goose bumps, and the shape has turned out to be like the DS, timeless.

    Prior to the end of production SM's were at give-away prices, today there up there with the DS.

    Ok, on the down side, a boot to carry the spare, and onboard luggage, isn't quite what you call versatile, and the back seat passengers need a few stiff drinks before they embark, as the more legless the better (ROFLOL). According to our ADR's the backs seat can accomodate 3 adults, so they must have been very small people back in the Seventies?.

    But if you want the thrill of looking over a long bonnet like the traction, the SM takes it all to a new level.

    We have a C4 VTS with 180 HP, about the same as the SM, and a five speed gearbox, and also much lighter than the former, but it's like comparing chalk a cheese.

    I read once, in an edition of American Road and Track Magazine, where they compared the Cadillac Eldorado coupe to the SM, the final words were: After driving the SM, you would never be satisfied with any other car in the world.

    I guess when it came to building true "Classics" Citroen lead the world?

    WTF has happened to Citroen of late, I guess falls at the feet of PSA?

    Best Regards,

    Greg
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    Oh I should add. If power is the important part to you ( as well as less bodyroll ). I urge you NOT to drive a CX GTi Turbo. They are only 168hp ... You certainly probably wouldn't be impressed with one

    Well, even a 406 on their list !!!!!!!

  6. #31
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    Hi Guys,

    I think we've left out the SM here, Citroen's ultimate car of their day. Now that all the engine problems have been solved, or are at least solvable, it does tick most of the boxes.......The AC works and works well, the steering is probably the best rack and pinion unit ever fitted to a motor car, the ride is excellent and the body roll minimum for Citroen at the time.

    The burble from the engine is enough to give you goose bumps, and the shape has turned out to be like the DS, timeless.

    Prior to the end of production SM's were at give-away prices, today there up there with the DS.

    Ok, on the down side, a boot to carry the spare, and onboard luggage, isn't quite what you call versatile, and the back seat passengers need a few stiff drinks before they embark, as the more legless the better (ROFLOL). According to our ADR's the backs seat can accomodate 3 adults, so they must have been very small people back in the Seventies?.

    But if you want the thrill of looking over a long bonnet like the traction, the SM takes it all to a new level.

    We have a C4 VTS with 180 HP, about the same as the SM, and a five speed gearbox, and also much lighter than the former, but it's like comparing chalk a cheese.

    I read once, in an edition of American Road and Track Magazine, where they compared the Cadillac Eldorado coupe to the SM, the final words were: After driving the SM, you would never be satisfied with any other car in the world.

    I guess when it came to building true "Classics" Citroen lead the world?

    WTF has happened to Citroen of late, I guess falls at the feet of PSA?

    Best Regards,

    Greg
    I forget SM's. They have always been so rare and exotic in Australia. A fuel injected 3litre with manual gearbox and proper european headlights would be most peoples "ultimate citroen".... no doubt at all.

    The back seat wouldn't worry me. If I was driving something like the SM I wouldn't really want passengers in the car telling me how it shoudl be driven ( ie: "SLOW DOWN" all the time ).

    I had a drive of Roger Brundles SM a few years ago. Its simply staggering. His car is a museum piece (literally). So low milage his back window kept getting coated with plastisisers that had started evaporating out of the interior now the car was out of a museum. I used to think the CX steering was the best steering you could get ......................... Until I drove that SM!

    seeya
    Shane L.
    PS: Actually I think it would be even worse to own than a CX turbo... How could you ever travel at "just" the speed limit in one ?
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  7. #32
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    Have you had a look at the older alfa saloons? Berlina 2000 from 72-76 would do as you ask. Pretty rare now but if you are patient then one could come along. The Giulia supers are also great cars, and the few about have often been upgraded with a 2 litre engine even though the original 1.6 is still a fine donk. They do have an emphasis on sportiness with a great 5 speed box, gutsy twin cam, twin carb engine and handle very nicely and have pretty good comfort also. The only problem is none had AC or power steering, but at least they don't cook you like citroens. After the berlina you got the alfetta, 74-84 which was also a good car though the later ones got weighed down with mod cons. Lots to recommend them though. I do like my SM though and three to choose from at the moment on carsales.
    cheers Tony

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by deesse View Post
    Have you had a look at the older alfa saloons? Berlina 2000 from 72-76 would do as you ask. Pretty rare now but if you are patient then one could come along. The Giulia supers are also great cars, and the few about have often been upgraded with a 2 litre engine even though the original 1.6 is still a fine donk. They do have an emphasis on sportiness with a great 5 speed box, gutsy twin cam, twin carb engine and handle very nicely and have pretty good comfort also. The only problem is none had AC or power steering, but at least they don't cook you like citroens. After the berlina you got the alfetta, 74-84 which was also a good car though the later ones got weighed down with mod cons. Lots to recommend them though. I do like my SM though and three to choose from at the moment on carsales.
    cheers Tony
    wouldn't they be the "other end" of the car spectrum to big limo type barges like Citroens. They are small, fun, noisy ... setup for driving quickly as opposed to loafing along in comfort I wonder if there is any left, gee's they rusted, even into the 80's and 90's. I used to work with a guy that had a later Alfa, when he lifted the bootlid you could hear all the rust rattle from one end of it to the other ( and that was a car that "looked" rust free ).

    I'm guessing, you just need to find someone that knows them to check them for you first (a bit like finding someone to check a DS for rust for you).

    seeya
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    Quote Originally Posted by 120L View Post
    I'm looking for a classic which I can keep long term but use for occasional long trips. I'm looking for a car that can cruise easily at 110 without losing speed on long highway hill. Seats 4 adults comfortably and rides very nicely (like a Jaguar or 504). Also very little body roll. Basically a reliable economical comfortable quiet saloon that handles beautifully.

    If a GS can do this what is the chances of getting a good one and how about the long term parts situation?

    Regards

    Alan
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    Quote Originally Posted by OnSafari View Post
    An Austin 1800 is your friend.
    Wonderful saloons and under-rated/forgotten. Can you actually keep the suspension going though? I thought the units were unavailable?

    A couple turned up at a country machinery day near Perth last year. If you really want rear seat passengers they are almost as good as it gets.
    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    Wonderful saloons and under-rated/forgotten. Can you actually keep the suspension going though? I thought the units were unavailable?

    A couple turned up at a country machinery day near Perth last year. If you really want rear seat passengers they are almost as good as it gets.
    I hold a stock of spare displacers, NOS ones are around. You can rehose the dis[placers at Pirtek / Enzed etc easily. Hvaing said all this I have not had a displacer fail. They are pretty robust. The UK are investigating remanufacturing / refurbishing displacers as well.

    So if you want a strong, roomy, well handling car, the 1800 offers this! Also, easy to mod the engine with twin SU's etc, its just a B series unit at the emd of the day. Interestly the MGB boys like to steal Mk11 1800 heads as they have larger valves than a stock MGB unit.
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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by OnSafari View Post
    I hold a stock of spare displacers, NOS ones are around. You can rehose the dis[placers at Pirtek / Enzed etc easily. Hvaing said all this I have not had a displacer fail. They are pretty robust. The UK are investigating remanufacturing / refurbishing displacers as well.

    So if you want a strong, roomy, well handling car, the 1800 offers this! Also, easy to mod the engine with twin SU's etc, its just a B series unit at the emd of the day. Interestly the MGB boys like to steal Mk11 1800 heads as they have larger valves than a stock MGB unit.
    I'm sure they are nice ..... But they sure aren't a GS ... next to nothing in its size even remotely compares to a GS
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    Horses for courses is spot on, I agree. And I'd agree almost completely with the rest of your post, although I do get a faint breeze from the CX vents at times, now that the seals over the rear pillar air outlets have been removed! "Faint" is the word though - .

    One great feature of the BX was truly superbly cold AC. I'll report on my rebuilt CX AC ere long. I'm told the new condenser will be more effective, although I'm thinking this means hotter air going through the adjacent radiator..... Definitely not a Perth summer car, as the whole thing has heated up after 20-30 km. Shane's "gut and insulate" approach is the only way I think, and leave it on recirculate if that flap works. Speaking as an owner, I wouldn't choose a CX for my only (and needed as an all-weather) classic car in Oz, that's for sure. Good David mentioned those SAABs, although I have a feeling that was the model with the dubious travel-length front suspension.
    Woo Hoo - the air is FREEZING cold and on high fan I can feel the breeze from the air vents (well, just....). The rear unit is blowing a reasonable stream of cold air too. All good for a CX!! New compressor, new receiver/drier and modern condenser. I know Shane, all I should do now is strip it internally and insulate properly! It's a good idea but not my highest priority.
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  14. #39
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    Dear Alan,

    What an exciting prospect for you. An advantage of the 504 is that it is still quite possible to get a tidy, well maintained one at a relatively low price. The four speed TI is my favourite as it is 'spritely' with it's injected engine. 'Citroens tug at my heartstrings' is worth paying heed to, however. Given you let that slip, you might save time by going straight to the source. Once these are in your blood, well...And the finest grand tourer of them all....(I don't think I have to say, do I?)Find somebody to give you a drive in a well sorted D. I'm guessing that will be that, if budget allows. The other thing was that each of your requirements should (I'm sure you're aware) be preceded with 'on a good day...' because any of these cars 30+are only as good as their condition and maintenance.

    Good luck and we look forward to hearing how you go.

    Tim

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    Find the best series 2 Renault 20 TS (or TX!) you can. You wouldn't be disappointed. Magnificent tourer, beautiful cord cloth interior, great engine and gear box ( also used in some later 505's and the odd imported CX). The actual young brother of the 16TS.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trading Estate View Post
    Find the best series 2 Renault 20 TS (or TX!) you can. You wouldn't be disappointed. Magnificent tourer, beautiful cord cloth interior, great engine and gear box ( also used in some later 505's and the odd imported CX). The actual young brother of the 16TS.
    ...and so many spare parts available!

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  17. #42
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    Woo Hoo - the air is FREEZING cold and on high fan I can feel the breeze from the air vents (well, just....). The rear unit is blowing a reasonable stream of cold air too. All good for a CX!! New compressor, new receiver/drier and modern condenser. I know Shane, all I should do now is strip it internally and insulate properly! It's a good idea but not my highest priority.
    the windscreen is the biggest deal.. wait until it gets driven in the sun .... or sits in the suns for a few hours and you have to drive it
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trading Estate View Post
    Find the best series 2 Renault 20 TS (or TX!) you can. You wouldn't be disappointed. Magnificent tourer, beautiful cord cloth interior, great engine and gear box ( also used in some later 505's and the odd imported CX). The actual young brother of the 16TS.
    there just "a car" after driving a CX or DS for any length of time .... A nice car though (we had a 16 for years when I was a kid).
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    I have owned a 1995 Xantia VSX for 10 years. Bought with 100K on the clock, now at 200K. Just completed a sphere replacement. Bought 8 "comfort" spheres new from France for $600 delivered to my home. How many cars can you replace the springs and shock absorbers for such a price? The ride is really very good. Being skinny with a bony bum, I need a comfortable riding car. The most popular car in Australia is the Toyota Hilux, suited for heavy passengers with big cushioned bums. The Xantia is a great touring car and being automatic, it is great around town.

    If you ever get one, the first thing to do is force the brake pedal up so that you can extract the "silly" spring that was introduced to make the superior brakes feel like every other manufacturers inferior brakes, by giving the Xantia a spongier brake feel. Cut a similar length of metal conduit and put it in its place. This will give you the finest brakes imaginable. In most cases, the foot slips to the left, off the accelerator and caresses the brake which is lower than the accelerator. A slight squeeze and the brakes are operating. In the time it took you to do that, most other people on the road are still lifting their foot before finding the brake pedal (always higher than the accelerator) and then doing a leg extension to operate an ancient master cylinder to slave cylinder routine. The brakes are the single reason why I don't want to lose the Xantia.

    If you want a car to crash in and survive, the CX is the car. Forget filling a car with balloons. Instead engineer a car that has a serious collapsible passive system of shock absorption that has a controlled collapse commensurate with the force being applied. Remember, the balloons expand to maximum size regardless of the problem. People get injured with airbags in minor accidents and not necessarily protected by them in severe accidents. But, hey, they are cheap and if the quality is dubious, the salesman will convince you that more is better.

    As a last wrap for the Xantia, for a car over 20 years old, it is still a nice looking car. The short hatchback rear gives it a great side profile and the hatch is very handy. Remember the kids that were in kindergarten scribbling away when the Xantia shape was designed, have grown up to be little more than adult scribblers and some of their designs are out there on our roads, visually polluting our environment.

    John

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    the windscreen is the biggest deal.. wait until it gets driven in the sun .... or sits in the suns for a few hours and you have to drive it
    So right. They aren't the best of Oz-summer cars.... You should see my tailor-made sunscreen. I NEVER park it in the sun - perhaps the key advice provided by the previous owner!

    Back to the athermic windscreen matter isn't it! This is the wrong post for this discussion so I might raise it separately and newly!
    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    Hi Guys,

    It's all horses for courses.......Everything has it's positives and negatives?

    For your info, there were the same amount of CX25 GTI's imported as were Pallas's. The reason the GTI's were imported was, as I've stated many times before, was the Citroen built small runs of GTIs for Saudi Arabia, and the Australian spec CX was very similar in some respects, so we got the second shipment of CX2500's as GTI's.

    The 2500, is really the only CX worth considering, but a bit like the original oil level gauge, the CX AC doesn't work, air flow from the front vents is non existent, no matter what you do it, so it's not a summer car, so it's no better than a GS or really a DS.

    BX's were a great car in their day, and was Citroen first attempt to build a low maintenance car, but their day has finished as well?

    There is a lot to be said for a nice D Special...............And while their not cheap any more, if you look after it, it will be worth more than what you paid for it when it comes time to sell.

    Best regards,

    Greg
    In around October 2016, I realised that I had to pursued my a dream and get a Citroen D. I had kept my options open to try and find a car that was reliable and good looking but most importantly something that was loved. Since May 2017, I have been a very fortunate custodian of a DSpecial. I have driven her approximately 6000 kilometres since my first journey. It has been a much loved member of my family and friends. Every time I look at her I am so happy with my decision.

    All I can say is that my DSpecial has been fantastic in all conditions. And has allowed me to live my dream.

    If it is a dream car then go for it. I would be highly recommending a DSpecial. But there are other fantastic cars that can do 90-95% that you have outlined. Just go for the dream.

    Regards Syd
    JohnW, Bruce H and Trading Estate like this.
    1974 Citroen D Special (Blanc Meije)
    1989 Citroen 2CV 6 Dolly (Plum & Custard)

    Previously owned Frenchies -
    1976 Citroen GS 1220
    1997 Peugeot 306 XSi
    1995 Citroen XM Series II V6 (Vert Vega)

  22. #47
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    I had a GS 1220 convertisseur and it was lots of fun when it worked, but it was quite an unreliable car. And that was in the 1980s.

    I'd love to own one again, but it would have to be a second car, for fun only.

    Later I had a Renault 18 wagon which I really liked but it met an early end after a rollover.

    It was replaced by a 20TS on LPG. Series 1, 4 speed manual, but one of the very last Australian build ones. Gee I loved that car. It was absolutely beautiful to drive and fitted me like a glove. It was also bullet proof. I sold it with 485000 km under its belt, still original, untouched engine, clutch and gearbox. It had a bit of rust by then, but I still only reluctantly parted with it. My partner cracked it when we were pulled over for a free roadworthy check by a copper who said the rust was "structural" and made the car unroadworthy. The rust was only in the bottoms of two RH doors and in the RH front guard, due to an earlier side-swipe damage not being rustproofed by the panel beater, so it wasn't "structural" at all.
    But the nagging started so we replaced this fabulous car with... wait for it... a 1986 Toyota Corona wagon. What an awful car! Its handling was so bad we went to several suspension specialists trying to find out why it was so wobbly on the road. "they are all like that mate" was the reply. Couldn't wait to get rid of it.

    back to the R20 - about the only time it broke down on me was on the Monash freeway, it stopped and I coasted to a halt on the centre median strip. Some imbeciles driving past in a Commodore yelled "get an Australian car." Turns out my Australian assembled French car with an American LPG system (Impco) had an Australian component - the LPG changeover switch was made in Australia by Swann. It failed. New switch and car was back in action.

    I reckon the R20 would have to rival a Pug 504 or 505 for a beautiful car to drive and own, though good examples of a 504 or 505 would be easier to find than a good R20 these days.
    Trading Estate likes this.

  23. #48
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    Just a comment on a detail point about the GS.

    Yes, the tyre size (145/80-15) is rare & there are really only two options.

    The first is the purist choice of the XZX from Michelin's Classic range. Available only from local or overseas specialist retailers (like Longstone) it has two demerits. One is that it is expensive & the other is that it is not much of a tyre in the wet.

    Nankang's C-668 tyre is also available in this size. It has the merit of being cheap but the demerit of also not being very good in the wet.

    So far, the story for the GS owner is less than delightful; at least it is if one shares my priority of wanting a tyre that will manage an emergency swerve &/or brake in the wet without adding to one's problems.

    Things improve though, if one moves away from 145/80.

    Three available sizes will fit on the GS 4.5" rim. Each involves some undergearing but each still retains enough sidewall height to cope with the positive camber adopted by the GS under cornering.

    The first size is 165/65-15. The only halfway decent wet road tyre available locally in this size is Kumho's EcoWing ES 01. Mixed test results & no marvel in the wet but a worthwhile improvement on the XZX or C-668. (Much) cheaper than an XZX & it would involve only slight undergearing of about 3%.

    The other two sizes, 145/65 & 155/60, are both Smart Car sizes & have near identical circumferences which involve undergearing by about 7.5% compared to 145/80.

    There used to be a very good wet tyre in 145/65 (Conti's EcoContact EP) but it is no longer available. What is available is another Nankang type, the AS-1. This is again no wet wonder-tyre but is notably better than the C-668 & would, I suggest, be a noticeable improvement on the XZX. It is crisper-responding than either 145/80 option.

    So, the 145/65 AS-1 would not be a bad choice if one were not to be committed to lots of high speed country cruising & thus hesitant about 7.5% undergearing. However, if one is tolerant of such undergearing, then the 155/60 option is better again.

    This is a matter of tyre type availability. 155/60 is available in Continental's EcoContact3 type, a very good wet tyre indeed, both longitudinally & laterally.

    So, I suggest that tyre availability is not as bad as it seems provided that one is open to a bit of undergearing as a result of a different size.

    Were I to own a GS (a car I've always liked) then I'd be interested enough in driving it briskly to make the choice of the 155/60 EC3 an easy one. Your priorities might vary.

    (As an aside, one shouldn't be at all concerned about fitting tubeless tyres to the rims & should emphatically not fit tubes to a tubeless tyre; longish story, given here in another thread somewhere)

    cheers! Peter
    graham66 likes this.

  24. #49
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    A small addendum to my above remarks about available tyres. There is another option: 165/60. The main candidate is Goodyear's DuraGrip. I know nothing about it but surmise that the chosen name is unpromising as an indicator of wet-grip given the contrary demands of that & longevity upon compound choice.

    cheers! Peter

  25. #50
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    ^ Peter what do you think about these. Assuming they could just squeeze inside the rear sideskirts without touching.

    https://www.tyresales.com.au/search?...pect=80&rim=15

    Citroen GS can it do this-834df639-aaf2-48c6-85cf-5c2a1d97f57e.jpg

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