Checking out Dutch classic cars: Volvo 480ES, Citroën CX and more

As we were driving along towards Maastricht from the point where the three countries, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany meet, I did a double take from the back seat of the black turbodiesel Audi A4 in which we were riding. “Hey, a CX! And an old Skoda! Should we turn around and check them out?”
After finding a semi-suitable parking spot, we could ogle at the weirdness. Just how good could a roadside Citroën CX be?

I’m an enormous fan of the Citroën CX, and while this wasn’t the perfect specimen (that would be a silver, facelifted CX GTi with plastic bumpers), I was still all over this one. The sky blue car here is an early, Pallas-spec car with most likely a two-litre engine. The asking price according to an A4 printout on the passenger seat is/was 3,5k euros, which isn’t bad for a seemingly rust-free CX.
I tried to peek at the underbody and the usual rusty bits, but the CX appeared to have held up well. Of course, there’s not much space under a CX to do detective work.
Early interior with the bathroom scale gauges.
The Skoda next to the CX was equally nice-looking. The ’70s green paint was lustrous and the little Czechoslovakian car seems to have only done 65 000 km.
I found an ad for the Skoda, and it seems to be a 105 Estelle model from 1981. That would give you 45 horsepower from the 1050cc engine. It’s not the most substantial car in the world, but it’s definitely quirky.
The 480ES parked just close by, on the forecourt, was a nice-looking example and certainly quirky to boot. It had been partially resprayed and the plastics on the front weren’t too well aligned, but at almost 250 000 km you would expect one to have had a little bit of cosmetic work done. I believe the rear wheelarches had developed rust at some point, and gotten redone.
There are a lot of great details about the 480ES, for example the glass hatch and the horn-shaped taillights.
At another garage near Beek, we found this wonderfully beige Alfa Romeo Alfetta from 1983. Light colours suit the classic sport saloon so well.
And it’s even saddled with the two-litre twin cam engine, which should be a hoot. According to the garage, the rust free car was imported from Italy in 2007.
But the star of the forecourt was this Monte Carlo Yellow, late-edition Saab 900 Cabriolet. Leather seats, graphite-coloured wheels and impeccable condition.
[Images: Copyright 2014/2015 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]

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  1. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    They could be very good. And this time, they certainly were.

  2. Fuhrman16 Avatar

    Shame the Volvo 480 ES wasn't available in the U.S., it's a brilliant looking car.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      The 480 is the least reliable Volvo ever made, its electric issues alone are almost English in magnitude. But people who managed to sort one out are pretty happy with them, the Turbo is a quick little car. A strange feature is the appropriate square-with-diagonal-stripe Volvo grille under the bumper.

  3. Alff Avatar

    I have a thoroughly illogical desire to own an Alfa "Sports Sedan", albeit the round eye version.

  4. Batshitbox Avatar

    What's the TR6 lookin' baby blue sportster next to the SAAB? I'd mistake it for a TR6 but the grille's all wrong, what I can see of it.

    1. Marc Avatar

      I think it's an older Triumph, either a TR-3 or TR-4.

      1. Rover_1 Avatar

        The TR4 or it's six cylinder sister, the TR5, the TR3 had cut-away doors.
        The TR6 was the Michelotti restyled TR5 that ended the series before the TR7 and TR8 wedges.

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          TRific explanation!

        2. Sid Troon Avatar
          Sid Troon

          It's a TR-4. TR-4A's and TR-5's/TR-250's had a repeater light and chrome wing flash on the front of the front fenders.

  5. Sjalabais Avatar

    That's a great collection! I'm equally dis appointed at the low power output of the Škodas ever single time I read about it…hard to fathom they were considered a sporty choice once. Out of your selection, I'd probably choose the Saab, too, but that's one car that doesn't dress too well in yellow.

  6. faberferrum Avatar

    Those are some beautiful cars, in great shape!

  7. dukeisduke Avatar

    What are those two beautiful Alfas sitting in front of the Alfetta and Saab?

    1. Rover_1 Avatar

      105 series Giulia based Coupes
      A true Alfisti will be able to tell which version, the most desirable of which is possibly the GTAm with more power and lightweight bodyshell. A real 911 eater.
      <img src="; width="600">
      "Alfa Romeo GTAm of Tony Karanfilovski" by GTHO – Own work. Wikimedia Commons

  8. Rover_1 Avatar

    Like many cars the early 'chrome bumper' CXs are the purest expression of the design theme.IMHO.
    But surely the ultimate CX is the CX Turbo? With it's 'T for Turbo' alloy wheels.
    <img src=""width="620"&gt;
    And it's Grace Jones advertising.