Monday, October 15, 2007

Our love affair with the Citroen 'Safari' - continued

Our third Safari stayed with us for nine years, I am happy to say, and went with us all over the UK, on holiday to France, and later for a three-year posting to Belgium. But eventually, in 1982, it too had to be retired, too worn out even to drive away. My husband assists sadly at its loading onto the flatbed truck, knowing that he is not likely to be driving a Safari again.

He was right - his next buy was a Citroen GSA Special, and it might even have been a new one. It was not unlike the Safari, and as far as I remember it had the hydraulic suspension which had made the Safaris such fun to watch, at switch-on and stwitch-off, as they rose up or sank down upon their haunches. But the GSA did not have the highly unusual and distinctive front end - (which incidentally made the Safari too big for me to handle comfortably!) And although it was an estate, I don't think it was an eight-seater; but by that time the older boys were leaving home and we no longer travelled en famille.

I don't remember the fate of the GSA, or what came after that, but I had my own car by then anyway - (that is a Simca in the background of the picture above). But I am sure Michael went on driving Citroens, and in 2001 he bought his last one, a Xara. It was quite a small car compared with his first love, and it did not have the hydraulic break system which made the Safaris such an attraction for children, (but which was also the cause of our near disaster on the Motorway in 1969). He drove the Xara until the last few months of his life in 2006, faithful to Citroen until the end.

Michael was a man who liked to be different - which sometimes meant awkward, but more often just unusual or original. This was a personal taste I shared with him readily, and the Citroen Safari Break suited us perfectly in that respect. It was rare to see another on the road in this country, and we all felt pleasingly remarkable during those years when the Safari was our car of choice.


Katerina ante portas said...

Hallo, Judith,greetings from Athens Greece!
I'm impressed, you keep two difeerent blogs!

m said...

I don't think we have this kind of car here in the US. Or maybe it has a different name.