GS Citroen with rust
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default GS Citroen with rust

    I am new to this forum and new in having a vintage car. I bought a 1974 Citroen GS which has quite a lot of rust which I should attend to in the near future. I live in Sydney. Any recommendations in where I might go for quotes to take out the rust? Many thanks in advance.

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    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anglofrog View Post
    I am new to this forum and new in having a vintage car. I bought a 1974 Citroen GS which has quite a lot of rust which I should attend to in the near future. I live in Sydney. Any recommendations in where I might go for quotes to take out the rust? Many thanks in advance.
    Hi, and welcome to the Dark Side! There are also a couple of members you want to talk to here. Sparkey and Qmusic come to mind immediately. You can PM them, or hopefully they'll show up here.

    I envy you. I want another GS.
    The measure of your character isn't what you do when people are watching- it's what you do when they aren't watching.

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    Tadpole
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    Thank you. I'll see if they respond, if not I'll message them if you don't think they will mind. I have owned Peugeots but never Citroens. My excitement got the better of me when I saw the car and the rust didn't seem so extensive when I bought it!!

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Sadly, I have given up on my GS. The cost of of professionally repairing the rust is beyond any possible value of the car.
    Think Global - Ride on Spheres

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    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anglofrog View Post
    Thank you. I'll see if they respond, if not I'll message them if you don't think they will mind. I have owned Peugeots but never Citroens. My excitement got the better of me when I saw the car and the rust didn't seem so extensive when I bought it!!
    No, I shouldn't think they will mind. Fortunately for you, in terms of complication a GS isn't much more than a 504/5.

    Two parts suppliers that I know of is Chevronic Centrre in England, and Franzosischer Klassiker in Germany. Both are good sources to start with.

    Gerry's point is quite valid- it depends on how much you are willing to spend. It's going to be a labor of love.
    The measure of your character isn't what you do when people are watching- it's what you do when they aren't watching.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hotrodelectric View Post
    No, I shouldn't think they will mind. Fortunately for you, in terms of complication a GS isn't much more than a 504/5.

    Two parts suppliers that I know of is Chevronic Centrre in England, and Franzosischer Klassiker in Germany. Both are good sources to start with.

    Gerry's point is quite valid- it depends on how much you are willing to spend. It's going to be a labor of love.
    This is true.

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    GSs are worthless. I've tried selling good straight non-rusty going examples here in the past with zero interest shown.

    I would suggest if the rust is not structural, live with it and take necessary measures to prevent it going any further (keep the car out of the elements for starters).

    Mechanically there's not much to go wrong with them, so just enjoy it for what it is, as it is.

    Some here have poured massive amounts into restoration efforts probably knowing full well, unlike D's and 2CVs, they won't get their money back.

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    1000+ Posts Bruce H's Avatar
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    I hate to say it but I second Graham's opinion - don't contemplate that a GS is worth any sort of expensive repairs.
    Only pay to fix it if you can afford to lose money or you're prepared to keep it forever, for most Citroen enthusiasts can't see past the DS or the 2CV and won't pay anything for a GS, and they're on or past the tipping point of there being enough left worldwide to justify much in the way of a continued parts supply like that for the DS and 2CV.
    I've just spent a few weekends cutting up what was originally to be a " project" GS, and there's at least one more in my backyard that will be going to scrap as well, whereas if it was a DS or 2CV in the same condition it would be classed a worthwhile repairer that would sell for at least $4000.
    Bruce H

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    Contact for the Australian Citroen GS GSA and Birotor Register http://australiancitroengsgsaandbiro...com/index.html

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    Tadpole
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    Thank you. I suspected as much.....

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    Thank you. I will do just that. I will enjoy the car and just stabilise the existing rust. Could you confirm you get this email as I'm not sure I'm replying correctly to people. Thank you.

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    Anglofrog, I'm one of those nutters who likes to have a go at doing everything himself. About 25 years ago, I bought an early "bay window" Kombi....the first model after the split screen Kombi. That was back in the days when even split screen Kombis were worthless. I bought the bay window Kombi for $900 and spent $600 getting the rust cut out. Even after the rust was cut out, it was still a bucket'o'bolts, lol, and still had rust that hadn't been attended to.
    With this experience in mind, and other cars in my fleet suffering the dreaded tinworm, I bought a secondhand Mig welder. These days, brand new mig welders can be had for less than what I paid for my secondhand unit in the early 90's. It's not as hard to do as you might think, especially if you take your time. Don't set a time limit, and just do one repair at a time. If you make a bit of a mess of it, don't worry! You'll get better as time goes by. I used to tell people "hey, I'm not that flash with a welder but gees I'm good with a grinder!!"
    It really isn't rocket science....you can use an old car panel to cut up into pieces that you can weld in place once rust is cut out. I bought a sheet of 1mm sheet steel YEARS ago, and every time I do a rust repair I use a little bit more of it. The first rust repairs I ever did were on my 1959 Hillman Minx. I used the bonnet off an old Valiant to make patches to weld in and when I was done I treated the repairs with a 50/50 mix of diesel and fisholene. That was 1992, and the rust has never come back.
    Do you know anybody with a mig welder in their shed? Maybe they could give you a quick lesson so that you get the basic idea of how to do it.......honestly, it's not too hard!! And you'll absolutely stoked to be able to say you did it yourself. It's a skill that you'll have for the rest of your life. You can buy welding helmets that automatically darken......I recently bought one from Bunnings that is powered by the flash of the weld!! You leave it out in the sun for an hour or so to put a bit of power into it before you use it, and then the welding flash keeps it charged while you use it. It makes things SO EASY!! And you'll be able to post a thread in the resto section for us all to admire!
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    I was going to suggest buying a MIG.
    If you do, don't use gasless on panelwork. It is worth the extra for gas.

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    Absolutely! Gasless is terrible.....gas is the only way to go!:-)

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    It's good to see a number of posts basically advising against any repairs or expenditure. After all, society ranks us all by conspicuity of wealth - to indulge in hobbies or passions without reason, and worse, without return, marks the practitioner as a target for both pity and scorn; they are at the least a fool and quite possibly an imbecile.
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    It's good to see a number of posts basically advising against any repairs or expenditure. After all, society ranks us all by conspicuity of wealth - to indulge in hobbies or passions without reason, and worse, without return, marks the practitioner as a target for both pity and scorn; they are at the least a fool and quite possibly an imbecile.
    Addo, so spot on. I'll bet the same critics even drink beer, wine or spirits and never think that there is no financial gain or return on that expenditure. Personally, I can't think of anything worse than paying $$$ for a round of golf.

    AnglofrogGo and enjoy your dream I could not even pronounce Citroen when I bought my D let alone spell Citroen. I've had/and having 23 years of delight. Latest being 60th Anniversary run.

    Cheers. Kevin
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    1000+ Posts Bruce H's Avatar
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    I wasn't advising against "any" repairs - just paying for "any sort of expensive repairs". DIY if you can by all means, but if you can't I haven't heard of anyone getting quality professional painting done on a few panels, never mind some added welding, for less than the current market value of a good registered GS. Again, unlike the supplies for the DS and the 2CV, there's very little in the way of rust repair panels pre-fabricated for the GS - Chevronics in the UK is the main and in many cases sole supplier of these panels and previously when I spoke to them various panels were out of stock, possibly going to be re-manufactured if there was enough demand (but how many people are repairing GSs?). I can count on less than two whole hands those I've heard of in Australia in the last five years, and in Queensland last time I did the stats there were near 10 times as many DSs registered as GSs, and more privately imported 2CVs registered in Qld than GSs. I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but I don't think there are that many GSs left out there - the Dutch club people I spoke to this year and the UK people I spoke to a couple of years ago talk in the dozens or at most hundreds of remaining vehicles and most the ones they run are immaculate low kilometre examples, any other examples just having gone to scrap. Even in Europe owners talk of delays in getting GS parts. Very few people still seem to have any of the new Spanish panels that were available at one stage, though I did see a handful of NOS GS panels at Citromobile this year.

    "Quite a lot of rust" in a GS is highly unlikely to be limited to easy-to-access / easy to repair panels, unless it's solely the result of some earlier poor repair to panel or paintwork. I take it you've now had a very close look at how much rust there is in this car, that you've checked the front floors in and out, the sills (which may well look rustier inside than out, which means the skins inside the sill are probably worse still), the inner box sections of the front under tray, the lower sides of your boot/ inner wheel arches, the corners inside the plenum chamber (best seen by removing the vent cover over the wiper motor), the roof at the top of the a pillars, and along the sides above the gutter, as well as the easier bolt on panels? Europeans also talk of the box section under the back seat rusting out, but I've yet to see this on too many Aus cars.

    I've enjoyed my GS pictured in my avatar for over 32 years now. I've also recently spent around half the agreed insurance value of the vehicle importing new parts to replace the rear arm bearings and paying to have them fitted (because I always try to use new mechanical parts as I don't plan on ever selling this car). I'd be interested to hear how many other Citroen owners of older models have to spend this proportion of their vehicle's worth to have their rear suspension bearings done. If my GS gets caught in a hail storm like two other cars of mine did last year and is written off I wouldn't recoup the last 10000ks maintenance cost. In my opinion, DS and 2CV owners not currently running a GS don't have much of a clue when it comes to the reality of contemporary GS ownership, enthusiastic hobbyists or not.
    Last edited by Bruce H; 7th November 2015 at 12:32 AM.
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    Like the GS, my 1959 Hillman Minx was worth virtually nothing when I bought it all those years ago. It's still worth virtually nothing to this day!! And there's definitely a validity to the argument against spending more than a car's market value on repairs, but when it comes to anything old and interesting, I always say that there are alot worse things that a bloke could blow his money on than an old car.
    The bottoms of the front guards on my Hillman had the usual ominous bubbling when I bought it. And, as usual, it always turns out to be uglier when you strip the paint off. The guards on the Hillman are welded on, not bolted. And, as I cut the rusty bits out of the guard skin, I found that the inner guard was also rusted, as well as the bottom of the door pillar behind that. Three layers of rusted metal. I guess I could have just repaired the outer skin and ignored the rest but hey, I thought the inner parts would be good welding practice at the very least, so I started cutting out bits of the aforementioned Valiant bonnet to fit. I carefully shaped every piece to fit the holes exactly........no lap welds, only butt welds. Talk about OCD, but hey it cost me bugger all other than my time and a bit of electricity once I had the welder so I went for it. I'm still proud of the job I did, even to this day. I think I spent something like 8 weekends (yes EIGHT, lol!!!) cutting rust out and shaping bits of Valiant bonnet to fit. I probably should have bolted a Valiant badge to it after I finished. Every door had the corners rusted out of it, some worse than others, and the door frames themselves were rusted behind the skins in places too. Some door frame repairs were made up of around 10 little pieces of Valaint bonnet ground and cut to fit to get the complex curves required. Yeah, it was a crazy thing to do, I know, but hey I AM "carnut" after all. The good bit was that I needed virtually no plastic filler by the time I was done. Like I said, I'm damned good with a grinder.
    I just love the idea of having a go at it myself, which is why I'm so incredibly inspired by the work of Graham on his Fregate.
    Anglofrog, I hope you stay with the forum and I also hope that you read some of the restoration threads.......they really are a great source of inspiration, and I think they prove that if you're willing to have a crack at things yourself, you actually can keep an old car on the road for alot less than you might otherwise think.
    The great thing about this forum is the immense wealth of knowledge that people are happy to share, and the encouragement that you will find will keep you going whenever you hit a speedbump.
    I'm sure I'm not the only one who would be interested to know how you get on with your GS....they really are a fabulous little car to drive, and you'll always be sure to stand out from the crowd when you're driving it. Also, we'd love to see photos.......LEEERV photos!!

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    1000+ Posts Bruce H's Avatar
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    I agree with what you say, CarNut, about the pleasure to be gained.
    The difference is that some of those new to the Citroen marque don't recognise that the way things are going there are a 3 contemporaneous 70's Citroen models that Australians will pay more than the price of a new car for, and there's the GS which currently often doesn't sell, or sells to someone who doesn't manage to get the car back on the road. Specialist parts suppliers are consequently focusing on continuing to support models that are selling. I'm struggling to think of any 60's or 70's model Hillman ( and we're not talking cars with exceptional histories ) that's going to have that much of a price differential or current sales volume with your own well loved example.
    Last edited by Bruce H; 7th November 2015 at 01:11 AM.
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    Contact for the Australian Citroen GS GSA and Birotor Register http://australiancitroengsgsaandbiro...com/index.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce H View Post
    Specialist parts suppliers are consequently focusing on continuing to support models that are selling.
    ^ this

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anglofrog View Post
    Thank you. I will do just that. I will enjoy the car and just stabilise the existing rust. Could you confirm you get this email as I'm not sure I'm replying correctly to people. Thank you.
    Restore if you want to and enjoy the process, don't let it be a chore. You will need a fair bit of enthusiasm though. If you need encouragement any time I'm sure you'll get it here, just ask.

    If it's a car you love it doesn't matter how much time or money you put into it because you'll never want to sell it anyway.

    Don't be fooled into thinking they are not appreciated, they are by many, including Europe.

    GS Citroen with rust-image.jpegGS Citroen with rust-image.jpegGS Citroen with rust-image.jpeg
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    Cheers Andrew

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    They are appreciated, but few are willing to take on the commitment of ownership it seems.

    Don't be under any illusions, OP. At this point in time, in Australia at least, they have no resale.
    Last edited by graham66; 8th November 2015 at 12:05 AM.

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    Hello Angiofrog,

    Pragmatism around re-sale is of passing interest and worthy of consideration, but it is hardly the main point for an enthusiast of the model I would think. Fashion is an enemy of conservation and preservation, where only 'cool stuff' is rated. Well, uncool is the real cool. You have have discovered the delights of the sweet GS which is unquestionably a magical and rewarding car. If we always practiced financial pragmatism without celebrating beauty, design innovation and technical brilliance we would be lost. Just because Monaros are hold their value doesn't mean they should be our classic of choice! The benefits of a buyers market in relation to the GS is that good examples, parts / panels etc can be affordably obtained. Absorb yourself and let the punters catch up - if you love it just love it and sod the rest. I can well remember my first ID 19 and being told a number of times (even by supposed citroen enthusiasts) that they weren't worth anything and not to bother. How wrong we can be. Go for it, be a champion for your wonderful GS! There are lots here and in the clubs that will support you with economical DIY restoration. Lamoor's restoration thread looks great.

    I do understand the frustration of owners who have piled money into their cars and experienced antipathy in the market. All citroens I think have been affected by this, and GS/CX bearing the brunt at present I suppose. Loving and using the cars for the reality of what they are is the best solution to this I believe. Hey and 203s / 404s / 504s / Renault 16TS / list goes on...the Ausssie market has insanely evaporated but it's the enthusiasts that can save them! Anyway, why aren't Tractions worth a squillion in recognition of their incredible heritage!? And how come people like buttercup and roger w are not now millionaires on the basis of owning among the most interesting and rare cars in the world!? We just have to hold the faith that's our job.

    Tim
    Last edited by Middlemoon.1; 8th November 2015 at 10:23 PM.
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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Middlemoon.1
    ...economical DYI restoration
    Do Yourself In?

    If I had spent what I've spent on my "grenouilles" on the higher-value collectibles in my fleet (eg, my International trucklet or Falcon hardtop), I'd be nominally better off, but the pleasure likely wouldn't be there. I really believe in enjoyment of the journey.

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    Fellow Frogger! Fingers's Avatar
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    Very, very, very few vehicle restorations would end up cash positive.

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    One restores a car for Love not Profit!
    Cheers Gerry

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