Citroën CX 50-Year Anniversary Celebration at 2024 Citroëns @ Carlisle

By Peter Kristensen and Paul Anderson….

Every year, Paul Anderson of Brad Nauss Automotive organizes the Citroëns at Carlisle gathering, embedded within the Carlisle Import and Performance Show that this year took place May 10-11, 2024.

Citroënistes from the East Coast gather for tech talks, kicking tires, and catching up with good friends over meals and drinks. This year was no different, except that the participants in their preparations probably spent more time watching the weather forecast… While most had to drive to the event in pouring rain, the day of the main event was partly sunny to the relief and enjoyment of everyone.

It does not get any better: driving on the Interstate 270 in a series 1 CX GTi with “boule” ashtray while appreciating the beautiful lines of the CX, here a 1981 CX Pallas Diesel.

Citroën CX 50-Year Anniversary Celebration

This year’s Citroëns @ Carlisle had a special focus on the 50-year anniversary of the CX. We were able to gather 10 Citroën CXs, compared to one or two CXs in past years.

We had three tech talks. Paul Robinson presented the evolution of the CX, which had been a difficult project for Citroën, as it had to meet the expectations from the successful DS launched 20 years earlier. With the CX, Citroën introduced innovation with a chassis design, continued the hydropneumatics suspension from the DS, a speed-varying power steering (DIRAVI), and fixed-brake calipers. Peter Kristensen presented the elegance of the CX valued by all from presidents and executives to families and utility use. He spoke of its durability documented by the 1.3 million km CX of Hein Gysen in Los Angeles and the impressive historic Dakar rally achievements, which Kess and Jabobine Kamp reproduced in the 2022 and 2023 Dakar Classic. Henry presented his daring project of installing a CX Turbo engine in a DS, which is no small feat given the modifications needed as the CX engine rotates the opposite direction of the DS engine, has a shorter crank shaft affecting the positioning of the flywheel.

There was no shortage of attention to the line-up of the 10 CXs. The journalist Dragy from DM Car Reviews approached Roland and his 1982 CX GTi and was offered a test drive. To no surprise by a CX-owner, Dragy was overly impressed with the agility, comfort, and performance of the Citroën CX. Watch the video of Dragy’s test drive of Roland’s CX GTi on the DM Car Reviews.

Journalist Dragy from DM Car Reviews and Roland Sostelo and his 1982 CX GTi.

To conclude the day, a CX Quiz entertained the 50 participants at the gala dinner, which you can test your knowledge with here.

If you’re interested in more about the CX watch the Petites Observations Automobiles episode about the CX that aired in connection with the 50-year anniversary. For more resources in North America about the CX, go to the CX Workshop website and engage in the CX-L Listserv, both managed by Paul Robinson.

Not to miss for those in Europe in September, the Jubilé CX expecting 250 CXs that will take place September 13-15 at the Domaine de Montigny-le-Gannelon, in Eure-et-Loire, France.

Carlisle Import Show 50-Year Anniversary

2024 also marks the 50-year anniversary of the Carlisle Import Show. Among the speakers was Brad Nauss and Anna May, which have worked tirelessly to establish Brad Nauss Automotive, now owned by Paul Anderson. During the ceremony, Brad Nauss spoke about the history of Citroëns at Carlisle for which so many special events have been organized, including special exhibits of Citroëns in connection with the Citroën 100-year Anniversary in 2019.

As a fun tribute to Brad’s achievements, a recreation of a 1987 photo of Brad and Anna with their 1950 Citroën 11BL was made, 37 years later.

Special recognition of Dave Burnham

Paul Anderson discovered a myriad of interesting items while going through the inventory when he took over the Brad Nauss Automotive business. One of them was a stack of blank certificates of appreciation. This was a perfect chance to recognize Dave Burnham for his invaluable service to the Citroën community in North America. His Dave Burnham Citroën shop is now managed by Jonathan Choquette’s Trinity Restorations.

The 2CV, as iconic as ever, can be made better!

Ben Boyle gave a seminar of the modification he has done to his Citroën 1986 2CV6 Club. The changes have improved performance, reliability, safety, and serviceability. For example, he is using a larger oil filter for greater capacity, relocated the wiring harness, and installed upgraded exhaust clamps. He addressed rust concerns by having the chassis galvanized and treated the car with Krown. In the seminar, Ben explained the merger of Mehari Club Cassis, France, with Burton, Netherlands, together providing an important source of knowledge, in addition to the North American-based French Parts Service West (a.k.a. 2CV Source) in Seattle. The most bold innovation Ben has applied to his car that he has owned for 20 years is a cruise control for 2CVs available from FranceTec, Germany.

A coincidental encounter with a grandfather’s DS

While on the show field, Henry received a call from Karl Nelson: “Hi Henry, are you here with my grandfather’s DS?” Long story short: Ken Nelson is a well-known member of the Citroën community in Michigan who owns several DS’s, including a cabriolet. He also owns many Panhards. When his father passed away, he towed the DS from Michigan to DC, and gave it to his son, Karl, another French car enthusiast who owns a few Peugeots. The car sat in his driveway for many years, and by the time Henry came to know about it after he had met Karl (at Katie’s Cars and Coffee in Great Falls, VA) the engine was seized, it was missing a few parts, and was partly dismantled. The many years outside had taken a toll on the interior and the body. Henry bought the car for parts, but after inspecting the chassis, he found it was sound and decided to save the car. As the engine did not spin, he replaced it, fixed the hydraulics and electrics, and added missing body and mechanical parts. It is now a reliable and dependable DS. Karl saw the car in Carlisle for the first time since he sold it to Henry, and he was thrilled to see his grandfather’s car now restored and back on the road.

Spectacular gathering of Citroëns

Again, this year there was a spectacular collection of Citroëns at Carlisle. Jeanne Bosch won “Best of Show” with her 1969 Ami 6. The winners of “People’s Choice Award” of registered Citroëns were:

  • Best early D Series (single headlight): Lauri Virkunen

  • Best late D Series (double headlight): Boaz Green

  • Best 2CV Sedan: Jorge Tavares

  • Best Series A Truckette: Manny Baeriros

  • Best Ami: Jeanne Bosch

  • Best Dyane: Ben Boyle

  • Best Series 1 CX (1974-85): Peter Kristensen

  • Best Series 2 CX (1986-91): Dan McCarville

  • Best SM: Paul Robinson

  • Best XM: Roland Sotello

  • Best GS/GSA: none present

  • Best Traction Avant 11cv: Brad Nauss

  • Best Traction Avant 15cv: Carl Erb
Jeanne Bosch’s 1969 Ami 6 – Best of Show at the 2024 Citroën at Carlisle.

That was another great gathering at Citroëns at Carlisle!

Paul Robinson, Henry, Ben Boyle, and Roland Sostello contributed to this story.


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