Which youngtimer to give as a present to your son ?

Published on Monday, January 28, 2019.
Updated on Friday, March 29, 2019.

The Youngtimer concept comes from Germany where certain car lovers had found a solution to roll cheaply and feed their passion at the same time : get cars too young to be considered collectables and too old to be just a good deal. At the beginning the Youngtimer notion meant a daily drive that gave emotion and nostalgia.  They do not enter into specific set time periods (like from 1979 to 1999) and even less set types such sporty or rare.Youngtimers were cars from our childhoods or adolescence and that affected us for diverse reasons (famille car, dream or the symbol of a specific time, memories from youths romances). Placed at the heart of our memories the Youngtimer is the car memory that we would like to pass on to our children. Here is some examples of the cars that I want to give to my son, for completely subjective reasons.

Citroën CX

Young people today still see it as a tacky and old-fashioned car, yet it has never been. To the contrary its Turbo versions ( both 1 and 2) were fantasized about at a time that speed wasn’t demonized. Even under motorized it flew over the road, with a turbo it became a fighter jet. How many of us Frenchies or others remember Citroen Chronos on our way back from a family weekend getaway in the country or from a vacation?

Drawn by Robert Opron the CX was inspired from its older sister the DS without ever copying it : to the contrary it has a very personal style and was thus one of the most modern cars of its time. Unfortunately on the motor side of things they were resigned to using a DS20 motor and DSuper instead of the intended trirotor and birotor. Even under the Peugeot cut this great Citroën never got the V6 PRV that stayed the Lions privilege. No matter, that is not the main point: the look, aerodynamics and hydraulic suspensions were enough to make it an unusual car.

People do not react equally to Citroens : some experience them like a flying carpet while others get carsick from its suspensions. My son is in the later category but I have reason to believe that once he gets behind the wheel with his newly obtained driving licence in pocket, he will appreciate how it drives and its very unusual SpeedFeel. With quotations that oscillate between 2,000 and 9,000 euros depending on the models, the CX is a real deal so why not go for it?

Peugeot 309 GTI-16

The 205 GTI now holds the attention of all slightly-out-of-it collectors and even if I have many memories in this car, it has become to expensive for such a rare car. For a small sporty car of the time why not fall back on the 309 GTI-16 that when it came out was considered as the best of all the Peugeots.

You have to forget its much less aesthetic design compared to its little sister. Though not horribly ugly, the 309 did not win the beauty prize either.  However with the GTI accessory she looks good and seems to breath sportiness (especially in Miami blue). Already the simple 309 GTI was not doing badly with its 1.9 liters of 130 horsepower from the 205 and then in this ultimate version the 1.9 became 16 valves (from the 405 Mi16) giving 30 more with a feather weight of 989 kilos.

Just before this car Peugeot had tried to add a turbo on its 309 to get a 165 horsepower sports car. After just a few copies this adventure ended to leave the place to GTI-16 which was much easier to drive and without the turbos violence. To this was added an exemplary (but very distinctly sporty) road handling and you get 1990s sports car of the year.

LVA* annonces a quotation of 4,500 euros in 2018 : the nice examples have become rare especially since the original production was very modest (only 5,895 units). In these conditions we can fear higher prices, but they are seemingly staying in a correct zone (for now).

A super sports car for a small price.

Talbot Tagora SX

Let’s go back, back in the day when Talbot still existed and when its large sudan had the most powerful PRV motor of all the French constructeurs. Back then when its square look still looked modern. This was the time when I dreamed of this unprobable car which became one of the biggest French car flops in its luxury high-end history, until the Citroen C6 came to beat this record.

With 1083 examples sold, the Tagora SX with its V6 PRV, its carburetors boasted to 165 horsepower is without a shadow of a doubt The Model to find despite its rarity. Of course do not expect a raisonnable consumable, but what a pleasure to say that at the time neither the Renault 30 nor the Peugeot 604 gave such power. Particularly well equipped it still seduces today with its very quirky profil.

Its design seems a little wobbly from the usage of Peugeot 505s rolling trains for economic reasons (giving the impression that frame is too big), but this is all a part of its charm.

The Tagora SX with a quotation at 3,600 euros (LVA* 2018) tells a piece of automobile history but for a steal.

Renault 25 V6 Turbo

At its beginnings in 1984 the Renault 25 offered in its luxury collection the V6 PRV with 12 atmospheric valves with only 144 horsepower (and then its split crankpins version of 160 horsepower) a little weak for such a car. Renault, who was the turbo specialist since its beginnings at Formula 1 and then in a series with the Renault 5 Turbos launching in 1980, decided to add muscle to its standard by boosting its V6 in its 2.5 version. When the motor gained split crankpins with the passage to turbo it also got 40 more horsepower then its original motor. It then had 184 horsepower total and was finally able to rival with some of the german cars of the time..

Renault was not going to stop there. In 1990 it came out with a new evolution of this PRV turbo with the latest generation of turbo Garrett T3. This cars peak was 205 horsepower at 236 kilometers/hour. Also available in a Baccara version, the Renault 25 V6 turbo rubbed elbows with the best in the category as much in terms of performances as in luxury.

The dynamic, nicely re-styled at its mid-life Renault 25 V6 Turbo Baccara is still a desirable car today. For starters because the “25” was the Frenchies pride with finally more than 200 horsepower in a sudan. This was also because of the fabrication quality, that has become an obsession at Renault from the beginning of the 90s onwards, which makes it so that it has maintained all of its qualities that it offered at the time. The LVA* (2018) quotation announces between 2,500 euros (for 184 hp) and 3,000 euros (for a 205 hp) in the real world we find it at more varied prices depending on the state of the vehicle and often much more for a rare Baccara.

But how not to appreciate this classy pleasure knowing that my son will also appreciate the metallic voice of “the car that speaks”.

Opel Calibra

Some people would be surprised to find an Opel in this non-exhaustive list. However it is a very interesting automobile that gave a young twist to this brand that is more famous for its traditional models (such as its large Omega et Senator sudans) then for its eccentricness.

The Calibra, launched in 1990 has a breathtaking profil, was studied with wind tunnel testing.

Everything about its line evoques air penetration giving it a very sporty allure with 4 true seats. One thing is certain, the design of this large coupé is still totally very fashionable amongst todays car circulation.

The motors choices are varied from the well-behaved 4 s Cylinders 8 valve of 115 horsepower to the fiery hot 2 liters 16 valve turbo with 204 horsepower and not to mention the generous V6 2.5 liters of 170 horsepower.

The most searched for and most interesting models are the V6 (LVA* quotation = 6,000 euros). These very performing cars are reasonably priced but have become increasingly rare with time, accidents, scrapping car premiums as well as wild tunings. Once I will have found the diamond in the ruff, my son will finally be able to roll and show off in a typical 90s offbeat coupé.

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