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1990 GT 3dr - the mega miler!

Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:37 pm

Probably pointless advertising cars on a dead forum, but thought I'd stick this on here just on the offchance. Listing is copied from the C&C listing:

Here's an example of what is probably a record-breaking AX GT! If you're put off by high milers, you're better off leaving now - your sort have no place reading this listing!

For those who've stayed, this is a chance to grab what is probably the highest mileage Citroen AX GT in the UK, and probably one of the highest mileage AX GT's in the world! I've never seen one with more than the 247,000 miles this remarkable little car has covered. A car like this deserves a war & peace-style listing description, so you're genuinely interested please take the time to read this beginning to end.

I acquired this car in March last year, having seen it advertised on the AX Owners Club forum. I already had a white G-reg AX GT which I intended to restore to near-concours condition, but despite the lower miles of that car, it was less original and was very rusty. This car was offered up free of charge by the only owner it has ever had, but there was one issue - it was living in the south of France! The owners were British, and had bought the car brand new at a dealership in Bristol in 1990 (the car comes with the original bill of sale!), but had then moved to the south of France in the mid-90's. They loved the AX so much, they took it with them, and it spent much of its early years running all around Europe, including regular trips back to the UK to see their family. Amazingly, since 2006, it's only covered around 10,000 miles - practically ALL the big miles were carried out in the first 15 years of its life!
I decided it was worth shelling out the money to have it transported back, though at the time I had no idea of the mileage it covered, or the story behind it. When it arrived, it was very dirty and clearly well-used, but by the same token it was clear it had been looked after. It ran sweetly enough, and the shell was in remarkably rust-less condition (because it's been out of the weather and the UK's salty winter roads). That's rare for an AX these days! I couldn't believe the mileage when I saw it, but immediately that made it so much more interesting to me, as probably the single greatest aspect of classic cars (& modern classics like this AX) are the stories behind them. This car has definitely lived more of a live than most other AXs!

It wasn't a perfect car, of course, but due to the originality of it, the history and the fact it was structurally in much better condition than most GTs you'll find over here (due to the fact it was living in a much warmer climate) I decided I would make one great AX GT out of two, and that the lower mileage car would be the donor. That's how highly I rated this one.

Here's a quick video I made of it out and about:

I began a project blog thread on Pistonheads (which I will attempt to include a link to here: ... &t=1579795 so you can read up on everything it had done). There are LOTS of pictures on there, and it's a timeline of everything I've done, warts & all. I had to put the car through an MoT quite quickly in order to register it in the UK, so the MoT you can see on any MoT-history app or website is practically how it arrived. Nearly all the work I've carried out was done post-MoT. The MoT is due next week, and it's going in on Tuesday. It will be sold with a year's MoT.
Once the car was registered, I set about spending a small fortune replacing many, many parts. It's been an ongoing project which I've loved, as I've been able to tinker with it while using it. It's one of those cars where you take the time to change something, and the car actually feels better as a result. So often you put in lots of work, only to discover whatever it was you changed hasn't actually made it drive any differently! With this car, I've been keen to keep it looking, feeling and sound original. I've owned plenty of these cars over the years, and ruined all of them with dodgy mods. This time, I wanted it as it was from the factory, with the only deviations being minor things like the Powerflex bushes on the suspension, and the braided hoses on the brakes. Things like these tighten the car up slightly, without being at the expense of original feel or refinement (Ha! Refinement in an AX....)

So what work has been carried out?


(in no particular order, just as they come to me.....)
Front and rear dampers (Bilstein B4)
Front track control arms (fitted with Powerflex bushes and new ball joints)
Front anti-roll bar bushes (Powerflex again)
OMP lower strut brace
Front braided brake hoses (was going to do rear whenever they needed overhauling)
Front brake calipers (refurbished items, proper alloy ATE housings)
Genuine Citroen brake pads, Motaquip discs (this is the 259mm bigger brake version of the GT)
Front struts blasted and painted with POR15
Front suspension top mounts & bearings
Front seats (switched with lower mileage car as runners were broken)
Rear seats (switched with lower mileage car as they were in better condition. Also fitted rear headrests)
Headlamps taken from lower mileage car (as left-hand drive ones were fitted!)
Front spot lamps (all fully working as they should)
Sunroof fitted from lower mileage car (I also managed to source a sunroof bag to go with the car!)
Sunroof aperature cleared of surface rust and drain tubes cleared. Seal renewed for good used item.
Headlining fitted from lower mileage car (much cleaner)
Refurbished original alloy wheels in correct diamond-cut finish and two-tone powdercoat
4x brand new Dunlop Streetresponse tyres in the correct 155/65R14 size
Rear tailgate (better condition on the lower miles car
Front wing O/S/F (better condition on lower miles car)
Bonnet (worse condition on the lower miles car, but crucially it's a mk1 bonnet, and that's rare!)
Brand new genuine accessory rear mudflaps
Two brand new driveshafts
Overhauled carburettor (correct Solex Z2 twin-choke unit in perfect working order)
Rear wheel bearing (offside)
Rear exhaust silencer
Exhaust manifold & downpipe (taken from lower mileage car, shot blasted, reinforced along the weak points on the downpipe & painted)
Cambelt (less than 200 miles ago)
Valve stem seals (less than 200 miles ago)
Head gasket (head also refaced, pressure tested and cleaned - only carried out because valve seals were done - less than 200miles ago)
Clutch (less than 200 miles ago)
Clutch cable
Gearbox (because it had a non-GT gearbox fitted. The replacement has done 115k miles and is the correct code/ratios for this car - less than 200 miles ago)
Engine mounts (all of them)
Refurbished steering rack (less than 200 miles ago)
Brand new inner tie rod ball joints (less than 200 miles ago)
Front panel (taken from lower mileage car as in better condition, rusted bits treated and painted/refreshed - not a professional job, but a million times better than it was)
Welding work around inner arches behind lower panel to correct some previous poor repairs
Brand new Nissens radiator (less than 200 miles ago)
Service including oil, filter, plugs, fuel filter, air fiter etc (less than 200 miles ago)
Gearlever switched with lower mileage car, and gearlinkage system has been systematically gone through and improved. Gearchange is as good as when it was new!
Used wiper motor/wheel box (original had done its time!)
Car has been converted to run Evans Waterless coolants (PowerCool 180)
Bosch battery
Steering column from 80k mile car
Full Valeo lockset (I found one of the last brand new Valeo locksets for the AX, meaning the car has matching locks all round)
New windscreen (fitted this very morning!)
there's bound to be more!
I'm also fortunate enough to have access to a rolling road dyno, and the car was put on last year achieving around 86-87bhp (I have videos of the runs, and graphs to go with the car). I've actually found higher mileage cars that have been serviced properly to do quite well power-wise, probably due to reduced friction on the engine's internals (poorly-maintained high-mileage cars are the polar opposite!) The compression is good, and (since I changed the valve stem seals) it doesn't smoke at all. Starts on the button, revs very cleanly, drives very well. There is actually nothing that needs doing to it mechanically, and all the big stuff has been done. I bought a set of Powerflex rear axle bushes in the event the rear beam needed to come off, but so far it's been absolutely fine, so these will just come with the car.

Due to the blog I posted on Pistonheads, the car was actually selected for 'Readers Car of the Week' on their main website, which was nice. Here's a link: ... x-gt/34195

It was also featured in Classic Car Weekly's 'Value my classic' feature. Russ Smith valued it at £2250, and said it was a very difficult car to value because on one hand there was the mileage, but on the other it had provenance, it was solid and it was mechanically sweet. Considering AX GTs have been going for £4k-£5k for the really tidy ones, he valued it at £2250. I thought that was fair too.

The car also features in the current edition of Practical Classics magazine, as part of their 'high milers' feature about cars which are blwoing away preconceptions about high mileages.

It's also been used recently by Autocar magazine for an upcoming feature based more on the AX GT as a model. This hasn't been released yet.

All the dials work, all the lights work, all the equipment works (except the rear wiper) - central locking, electric windows etc. all good.

Some more great original aspects of it:
Lots of history, including original bill of sale. Original owners are contactable and very friendly!
Original (working) Blaupunkt radio/cassette
Original gearknob (red strip has fallen off though)
Original genuine rubber front mats
Rear head rests
Un-cut parcel shelf
Sunroof bag
Genuine rear mudflaps (NOS)
The Valeo lockset, as mentioned above
Mk1 bonnet!
Proper mk1 nearside rear lamp (white reverse lamp, not pink)

So, if it's so amazing, why am I selling it? Well, I need the space, basically. I don't want to sell it (I really don't want to sell it) and I'm not selling it for the money either. I just have too many cars, and realistically one or two of them need to make way. I know this decision will come back to haunt me, as I know finding another one as good as this one is will be nigh-on impossible without spending £10,000 in 5 years' time. However, I have too many cars, too many projects and not enough spare time. I don't want to use this every day as it's too rare for that now, so I'm hoping the right custodian will step forward to move it on to its next stage of life.

I've harped on about what's good, but what's not so good? What needs doing? Well, more than anything else, I would say the paintwork is showing its age. For me, that wasn't a big deal, as I like the history and the patina, and would feel like I was erasing some of its story if I were to have it resprayed. There's a chance the fact it would then look all white, glossy and mint would lead me to worry less about the history, but I'm not so sure. I also appreciate the fact not everyone thinks like me, and many would want it resprayed. As you can see in the pictures, it looks OK now, but the pictures are being kind to it. It's had a couple of knocks in its 27 years, but overall for the mileage I actually think it's in really good shape still! Paintwork-wise, there's some blistering on the driver's door, and quite a few touch-ups around the car (some of which were me - I'll include the touch-up stick with the car, which I had made to match). There are quite a few chips and bits around the car, but no scrapes or accident damage as such. The bodykit is complete, but the rear bumper has a small bit of damage where a previous exhaust tried to melt it! The rest of the kit is fine (front bumper is very good) but it needs some time with the Jif and a bit of patience if you want it bright and white. Personally, I wanted to drive it more than clean it!
Dent-wise, there is a minor dent on the bonnet, which is the correct mk1 bonnet. It had some small rust scabs on the outside, which I've literally just touched up for now. There is some surface rust also on the underside. My plan was to eventually have this shot-blasted and galvanised to preserve it before being repainted. The worst of the dings are on the nearside rear 1/4 panel, just between the door and the arch. A series of small dings, but noticeable in some lights.
There is some surface rust, and a very small hole around some bits of the nearside rear window (included in pics). It's still in the black area, and mostly covered by the glass and seal. Amazingly, it doesn't leak through this! In fact, the car doesn't leak at all.
Last bodywork point is the boot. There's lots of bare metal in an AX boot, and it's pretty tatty in this one. Needs a sympathetic hand and some paint. I have a spare carpet to go with it, but it basically needs doing what I did to the front end a couple of months ago. This, along with the rear window surface rust was one of the next jobs I was going to tackle before I decided to sell it.
Otherwise, I'm scraping the barrel. The rear wiper doesn't work (probably the motor). The red strip fell off the gearknob. The dashboard mounting tabs at either end have sheered off (very common on the mk1 AX, but I've secured it to stop it wobbling around, while waiting for such time that have enough time to carry out a proper fix). The heater motor squeals sometimes for a split second, but works fine. The self-tapping screw the retains the scuttle trim in the middle is missing. This is the sort of level I'm down to!

Basically, you could buy it as it is and enjoy it, or you could buy it with the intention of restoring the bodywork. If you chose to do the latter, you'd basically have a car that is mechanically spot-on, with a decent original interior and your new, fresh paintwork. A perfect AX GT, potentially.

I would strongly advise viewing this car, however. I'm not offering people to come down and start test-driving it all over the place (I've learned that the hard way) but I'm willing to show people round the car and whip them up and down the road to prove everything is as I've stated. I'm also brutally honest about things (probably too much so) so I've described the car to the best of my ability.

Price: £2450ono

'90 AX GT 3dr White
'83 BX 16TRS Red
'90 BX 16v Red
'99 Saxo VTR 16v Silver
'73 Hillman Imp - VTR power!
'89 TVR S1
'06 Ford S-Max 2.5T
'07 Peugeot 407SW
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Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2004 12:17 pm
Location: Fareham, Hants

Re: 1990 GT 3dr - the mega miler!

Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:07 pm

Deposit taken!
'90 AX GT 3dr White
'83 BX 16TRS Red
'90 BX 16v Red
'99 Saxo VTR 16v Silver
'73 Hillman Imp - VTR power!
'89 TVR S1
'06 Ford S-Max 2.5T
'07 Peugeot 407SW

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