Jacky Ickx to be celebrated at Brussels Interclassics with his ‘81 Citroën CX 2400 GTI “Paris Dakar”

Jacky Ickx has his 75th birthday this year, and the organisers of the Brussels Interclassics decided to celebrate him on the sixth edition of their show, which will be held on the weekend of 19, 20 and 21 November.

15 cars will be shown on the event, representing the milestones of Jacky’s career. On the central display, a Citroën CX 2400 GTI will also be seen, a perfect replica of the CX he drove on the 1981 Paris Dakar, together with his co-pilot, the French actor Jean Claude Brasseur.

The Citroën CX in Paris Dakar livery was remarkably close to standard, and therefore making a replica was quite feasable…

For the third edition of Paris Dakar, Citroën had entered 4 cars, one in white, driven by Jacky Ickx. The other teams were well trained, Jacky had only seen some film reels of the event prior to the race, and he commented later “Jean Claude and I were total novices to the event, we could have won this race, as the car proved very competitive indeed”.

Nevertheless, Jacky and his team mate led the race, only to abandon in the last stage due to an accident.

The impressive CX 2400 GTI is to be admired in hall 5, stand 5.307. The car is put on the show by CQS Classics, based in Tienen.

We just let you enjoy the photos here, and let you admire how sleek, powerful and efficient these rally Citroëns were in their heydays.

For Citroën enthusiasts, your servant can tell you here Citroëns have always been quite exceptional cars for me, I always cherished the moments I sat behind the wheel of them. I just love their comfort, their unerring stability, even in the worst of weather and road conditions.

Jacky Ickx and his faithful team mate, French actor Jean-Claude Brasseur

My first encounter with the marque of the “double chevron” was behind the one spoked “volant” of a DS 23 Pallas injection electronique, although as a passenger, my memories were even earlier. My aunt in Holland had bought in 1955 a white DS 19, and I sat as a king on the deep blue rear seat, totally smitten by the futuristic design both inside and out, the beautiful and cleanly styled dashboard, the hydraulic commands, the unique comfort and roadholding. My aunt liked to drive with zest, and on the straight but still rather narrow roads, speeds well above 120 km/h were often seen. It felt perfectly normal in this DS. Indeed, the goddess of the road it was called, and deservedly so.

But also the CX left us with indelible memories. I remember driving the CX 2400 GTI – indeed, exactly that model – to the Birmingham motor show. What a delightful Gran Turismo experience it was.

We can tell you here that more Citroën news is to follow: we drove the range of electric Citroëns, amongst others the Berlingo and C4 near Paris, and also tested a diesel powered version of the C4 with the 8 speed automatic, which proved very impressive indeed, showing all the good Citroën qualities.

Stay tuned!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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