How much is a BX worth?
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! tlampre's Avatar
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    Icon5 How much is a BX worth?

    Got up early this morning to do some work on the car before it got too hot. I was welcomed by a pool of green liquid under the front. At first I thought it was coolant but soon realised it was LHM. It looks like I've sprung a small leak in one of the hoses coming from the reservoir. When I push the front down it feels spongey and rises back up. It would feel firm and stay down before, so I suspect air has got into the lines as well.

    While I was poking around a young lad rode up on his bike. Seems he fell off his bike out the front the day before and lost $5. He was trying to retrace his steps to look for it. He watched me as I started up and the car rose to normal height.

    "Wow! That was amazing! How does it do that?"
    "It's hydraulic, the suspension pumps up when the engine is going."
    "I've never seen a car like this before!"
    "They are French, a little bit unusual."
    "Did you go to France to buy it?" (Gotta love kids!)
    "No, they sell them here in Australia."
    "Gee, just looking at it, it must be worth 20 grand or something?"
    ("You got 20 grand? I'll sell it to you - oh - hang on, you just lost your only $5")
    "Er,no, it's 20 years old. I paid about two and a half for it."
    "Really? I don't know much about cars."

    No kidding! At least it took the pain out of seeing the puddle of LHM on the ground.

    Seriously, I got gazumped on my $200 parts car. Thought the deal was all sewn up but got an email just before I was about to deposit the money saying he had an offer of $300 from a guy in Newcastle.

    So, back to square one.

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    I've had a look on the used auto web sites to see what's going. There's an '86 16TRS selling privately for $950 as well as what looks like a clean TZi for about $3999 at a dealer in Dandenong. And a few others as well at prices in between. Many are here in Vic but there is another in Adelaide for $2k that is also a possibility.

    I could look at the 16TRS as a parts car, maybe get it for a fair bit less than $950, or start to think about trading up. A TZi should be a much nicer car although I kind of like the quirky dash of the earlier models. I don't expect trouble free motoring from anything, but before I put more money into my current beast I think it might be a good idea to review my options.

    Having had an 'official' valuation of my current wheels at $20,000 I'd be interested to hear what sort of car I could expect to get around the $3k-$4k mark.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  2. #2
    Member dom19's Avatar
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    Trevor, about 3 months ago there was an 89 BX19TRS,for sale in Albury. 88000klm one owner,manual, air, in excellent condition. The guy had it for sale for ages for $5000. I think the reason it was for sale for so long is because it was in the country. I was looking for a new car at the time & there were quite a few BX's coming up for sale. They ranged from $500 for either a rusty wreck or good car with blown trans, up to the example above. If its a parts car you are looking for it seems you have the choice of either a high kilometre (250K klm plus) (look out for the posts contradicting this as "high") or a 150K klm car with blown auto trans.Certainly either is available out there for around the $500 to $750 mark. Happy hunting.
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  3. #3
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    It's more a case of deciding what you want before you start looking.
    If you want a parts car, then you're limited to a Trs because few parts from any other model will fit a Trs. I have a friend with 2 X Trs drivers and one parts car but everything from mudguards to sway bars to tail lights and even the dash and air/con controls are different on the Trs to our 16V, TZi and Tri, so if you ned a parts car, you need a Trs - end of story.
    For the price you quote, there would be a variety of suitable cars. A 16V as a daily driver/commuter/around town car I keep insisting is totally unsuitable unless you travel 20+ klms each way to work daily. I keep telling people this, they keep arguing and they then keep complaining about "reliability" issues and air/con that struggles in town during summer. As a fun car or long distance tourer, unreal car but it's a case of horses for courses.
    A good Trs IMHO is the model that really does have some hidden "magic" in its ride and handling. A good performer for what it is (1.6 litre) annoying brittle plastics but overall the most comfortable of all the BXs and possibly the cheapest to keep on the road.
    I won't comment on 200+ klms being "big mileage" seeing as most are 20 years old and accepted annual mileage is 20K klms so anything around 500K klms in my opinion is getting high. Rust? almost non existent which is why there's still so many on the road worldwide. However, if the coolant hasn't been changed regularly, the early Trs has a habit of chewing holes in blocks which can be an expensive fix in some cases.
    Other options are the TZi and Tri 122 both of which have an engine prone to chewing oil so accept that as a fact of life rather than a fault and it seems more prevalent in low mileage cars.
    There are a few "GT" models around with the 1.9 carby engine and they go almost as hard as a 16V (as does the TZi and 122) and can be bought fairly cheaply and look the part.
    Any thoughts on an auto should be looked at warily and service records checked carefully prior to purchase. If the correct fluid has been used throughout its life, they seem to go forever but anything with D3 in it should be looked upon with suspicion. A better bet would be one where the fluid has never been changed and is running on the original factory fluid. If a car has a supposedly u/s auto in it and the price is right, as was recently found by a couple of other owners, a full fluid change and a filter clean inside the gearbox can often be enough to get things going again as the filters get full of fragments of clutch and brake material if run in D3 which tends to grind them out. No guarantee, but worth a gamble.


    Alan S
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  4. #4
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    There is a place in Sydney (oldtimer centre) that is selling a BX for $6990 I think.
    Is this too much money?

  5. #5
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    The answer to this one is easy ... A BX is worth exactly what you can get someone to pay for it (much like any other car). My cars are worth very little, however worth is irrelivent as I don't intend to sell them.

    If there's no-one out there at the time that wants to buy a BX it's value is ... nothing ... it's unsalable.

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  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! tlampre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    The answer to this one is easy ... A BX is worth exactly what you can get someone to pay for it (much like any other car). My cars are worth very little, however worth is irrelivent as I don't intend to sell them.

    If there's no-one out there at the time that wants to buy a BX it's value is ... nothing ... it's unsalable.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Well, yes, this marketing 101. But in the practical sense as a buyer, not a seller, there is sensible and not so sensible when it comes to making offers etc.

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger! tlampre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielsydney
    There is a place in Sydney (oldtimer centre) that is selling a BX for $6990 I think.
    Is this too much money?
    Yes, far too much - I don't have that kind of money and I'd need it to be pristine even if I did. Which is doubtful for a 20 year old car. Speaking hypothetically, I'd rather buy for $4000 and spend $3000 on repairs and know what I'm driving, if you get my drift.

  8. #8
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlampre
    Yes, far too much - I don't have that kind of money and I'd need it to be pristine even if I did. Which is doubtful for a 20 year old car. Speaking hypothetically, I'd rather buy for $4000 and spend $3000 on repairs and know what I'm driving, if you get my drift.
    Believe it or not, there are some mint BXs around.
    I organised one for a friend of the family a couple of years back for around $7500 which a xar dealer in Sydney described (off the record) as possibly capable of pulling $10,000; it had 80K klms on it and our TZi had 90 when we got it.
    The Trs spoken about earlier was apparently owned by a retired Cit specialist and was in showroom condition.
    From my own point of view I buy on overall condition and price is irrelevent if the car is good enough and I apply this both ways; I'd pay $6000 for a good car but would be reluctant to buy one for $3000 with the potential of having to spend another $3000 on it in case the 3 turned into a 5 and at the end of the day if the car has been neglected, abused or had dodgy service to it will still end up as an old car sales mate of mine would say "once a pile of junk, always a heap of $hit" and you still end up with a dodgy $3000 bucket of bolts, however, a car for say $1000 that was basically solid and needed another $2000 spending on it to make it mint would be a different proposition.


    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  9. #9
    Fellow Frogger! tlampre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    It's more a case of deciding what you want before you start looking.
    Hence the question...

    If you want a parts car, then you're limited to a Trs because few parts from any other model will fit a Trs. I have a friend with 2 X Trs drivers and one parts car but everything from mudguards to sway bars to tail lights and even the dash and air/con controls are different on the Trs to our 16V, TZi and Tri, so if you ned a parts car, you need a Trs - end of story.
    Good to know, thanks.

    A good Trs IMHO is the model that really does have some hidden "magic" in its ride and handling. A good performer for what it is (1.6 litre) annoying brittle plastics but overall the most comfortable of all the BXs and possibly the cheapest to keep on the road.
    This is comforting, I made the right choice by chance. As is probably obvious by now my 'thing' is long distance touring. For all the squeaks and rattles around town my little TRS settles nicely at 100kmh and feels like it could go forever.

    Any thoughts on an auto should be looked at warily and service records checked carefully prior to purchase. If the correct fluid has been used throughout its life, they seem to go forever but anything with D3 in it should be looked upon with suspicion. A better bet would be one where the fluid has never been changed and is running on the original factory fluid. If a car has a supposedly u/s auto in it and the price is right, as was recently found by a couple of other owners, a full fluid change and a filter clean inside the gearbox can often be enough to get things going again as the filters get full of fragments of clutch and brake material if run in D3 which tends to grind them out. No guarantee, but worth a gamble.
    I reckon my auto is ok. It was smooth as silk prior to my last change. It was one of the things that attracted me when I test drove it.

    My current car is by no means a lemon. I've found with all cars that they have a string of problems just after buying. They generally see a lack of service before the owner trades them in. After all, the most common motive in getting a new car is because we are sick of spending money on the old one. So, they tend to 'settle' a bit. The owner drives carefully while they save up and look for a new one so everything kind of works. So long as you don't touch it. Then, the new owner starts to lavish a bit of TLC on it and it sets off a chain of minor breakdowns.

    For example, my LHM leak is likely due to getting the spheres regassed, the fluid renewed and a strong new belt on the pump. A rise in pressure was all it took to get an old hose to start leaking.

    I've decided to look for another TRS as a parts car. I'm booked in to FC tomorrow to get the LHM leak attended to and I bought some Transmax-M on the weekend for them to put in the gearbox. I'll see how many pennies I have left after that.

    Thanks for the advice.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! tlampre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    The Trs spoken about earlier was apparently owned by a retired Cit specialist and was in showroom condition.
    Ah, yes, the thing we all dream of. Gotta be lucky though.

    From my own point of view I buy on overall condition and price is irrelevent if the car is good enough and I apply this both ways; I'd pay $6000 for a good car but would be reluctant to buy one for $3000 with the potential of having to spend another $3000 on it in case the 3 turned into a 5 and at the end of the day if the car has been neglected, abused or had dodgy service to it will still end up as an old car sales mate of mine would say "once a pile of junk, always a heap of $hit" and you still end up with a dodgy $3000 bucket of bolts,
    Agreed, but I was a bit out of my element when buying the BX because of my lack of knowledge. I can usually spot a sh!tbox but what to look for in the hydraulics department is still a bit of a mystery.

    however, a car for say $1000 that was basically solid and needed another $2000 spending on it to make it mint would be a different proposition.
    Which is about where I am now. A $2500 car that has had just under $2K spent on it and has done to Melbourne to Adelaide and back 4 times with just one minor (avoidable) incident. A bit more money on mechanicals and I reckon it should be very reliable. Then I can start on the cosmetic aspects.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  11. #11
    Tadpole
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    Icon7 BX19TZi 1991 4 Sale

    Hi Trevor ,
    just read your posting re-BX value .Its possible I may have something of interest for you in considering your options. I have a BX19TZi 1991 model that I am reluctantly selling, its a beautiful car I love it but ultimately have to let it go because Im too tall for it-am getting back probs. Have had it for 4yrs or so its done 195k still in good nick-can provide more info if your interested. Without knowing the state of your current BX you might be interested to buy mine and use your current one as aparts car,presuming you like to work on them.Id be looking at about 3000 for mine.-for your consideration post me if your interested,cheers Bill

  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger! tlampre's Avatar
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    Hi Bill,

    thanks for the offer, I've decided to continue with my 16TRS. After reading Alans comments I doubt if I'd get many parts from my car that would go into a TZi. What clinched it though was Alans comments about the 16TRS having the most 'magic' in the BX line. That's what I'm after, plus the single spoke steering wheel and other Citroenesque oddities.

    Actually, a CX would probably suit me even more, but one of those is a bit too hard to maintain in my current circumstances. The BX isn't likely to ever be regarded as a classic due to the Peugeot bits in it, so I don't feel like I'm commiting sacrilege if I modify a few things to suit my own tastes. I reckon it's a good 'beginners' Citroen.

    With a CX, I'd feel compelled to restore it to its original glory. Which is worth the effort but not something I can do right now. Maybe one day I'll have one of each. (Or a backyard full, as some here have. A hobby, or an illness? Whatever it is, I think I've got it. )

    Regards,
    Trevor
    Last edited by tlampre; 18th January 2006 at 07:23 AM.

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