Hurrah! It’s that time of the year again, show season. Unfortunately, after the pre-show season preparation to get to a local meet, I finally got the virus. So the nice easy local show that was meant to be the year’s first outing was missed. This meant the season’s first show would be the X-Rally, hosted by the Citroen Car Club near Milton Keynes.
Bath time for the BX.
As with every year, the first thing to do on the BX after its MOT is bath time. It’s been a long time since the last wash, probably sometime around the Late Brake Show in November. With the problems with the wheel bearings, the BX hasn’t seen many filthy winter roads, but the dirt is showing.
Once again, I’m using the Autoglym Polar Wash system with the Karcher K4 pressure washer. Despite using this product range for over a year now, I’m still impressed with how good the result is with a minimum of effort. There is even enough time for a brew while waiting for the Polar Blast snow to clear off the worst of the grime.
During the Polar Wash part of the process, the whole body gets a light agitation with a wash mitten thingy. Then once the entire car is washed down, the Polar Seal gets sprayed on top. The result isn’t the most fantastic wash the vehicle has ever had, and it is desperately in need of a good hand polish. But for now, the BX is (mostly) red and shiny.
The engine bay isn’t looking too bad. Mostly very clean (for me). That’s probably not surprising, given how well I washed the engine bay before the Retro Works 2021 show. Yeah, the time when I flooded the spark plug holes and stopped the engine from starting!
Setting off to the X-Rally show.
The Citroen Car Club is quite good at laying on a rally. However, this type of event shouldn’t be confused with a typical car show. A rally is very much grass routes organised. This is a laid-back gathering of owners rather than some big fancy affair with attractions. Pretty much out for a drive, all to the same place. There is also usually a bit of food available, especially cake!
Not surprisingly, with so much internet-based communication, you usually know who is turning up before you get there. And that often means the event turns into a bit of a swap meet. For me, this rally is no exception, and I load up with car parts before I set off. In this case, a dashboard from a Reliant Something-or-other for UPnDOWN YouTube creator Kitch. So much of the appeal of these rally events is getting to meet up with people often for the first time in a long while. Kitch is no exception. I’ve even bought a car from him since we last had a proper catch-up!
The drive to the show
The journey to Little Horwood is about to be the longest drive I’ve done in the BX in a very long time. An estimated 140 miles each way is a little daunting, especially as I need to be down and back in a day. The last long drive I had in the BX was down to the CCC National Rally, just 110 miles. And with a failing wheel bearing and cooling system, the journey back wasn’t too enjoyable.
This journey, however, was quick, smooth and very enjoyable. The weather wasn’t much off freezing, so there was no risk of the engine overheating. Getting the cooling fans fixed also gave me some confidence to push the car. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there wasn’t too much traffic, given the snowy weather.
And the BX performed faultlessly. There is no overheating, engine coolant temperature is controlled, fans are running, and the temperature gauge works. However, I think I might have to start believing the coolant gauge again! The only negative of the journey was the fuel price, £173.9ppl for Shell V-Power!
Arriving at the X-Rally
There’s no need to sugarcoat it. The rally was quiet on Saturday. Maybe twenty cars in total, seven of which were the BX model. There was quite a lot of talk about the turnout, but I don’t see it as a problem. This is the first show in a while without any health restrictions. On the other hand, the weather was mostly predicted to be snow, and the fuel prices are scary.
With all these restrictions for so many people, I didn’t expect a huge turnout. I don’t think I’m ready for a big turnout! Last year, I found it hard to catch up with everyone I wanted to at the National Rally. Partly because my ability to hold a conversation is diminished, and partly because there were so many people I hadn’t seen for a long time.
This quiet rally gave me time to have a nice long relaxed natter with just a few people, with no pressure to try and get caught up with everyone. I really enjoyed it. Seeing some of the regular faces and having a natter about nothing in particular, has wholly improved my mood. After a hard few weeks at work, this rally was just what I needed!
One of the limitations of a Citroen rally is that I’m not really that bothered about Citroens. The more modern cars are just a bit bland and curved. The older cars definitely have better curves. But while they look good, I’m not too interested in them. Once you’ve seen one Citroen, you’ve seen them all. For me, the rally is about the people, not the cars. Unless it’s a busy weekend rally, and you start stripping cars down to repair them.
Hopefully, the club scene will pick up over the year. Once more cars are released from winter slumber, fuel prices drop, and owners start to enjoy their retro, modern and classic cars. There are some good shows lined up for this year. I’m looking forward to getting out, especially as it’s the 40th anniversary of the BX this year.
The return journey from the X-Rally
To give a bit of variety, I take the M1/A50 on the way back home. While I know the route, I haven’t travelled it for a very long time. So a route that’s a little less familiar makes a nice change, although it is a little bland. The BX eats up the miles, even if it’s running at close to 4000rpm and making a right din. Something that I do notice is just how filthy the roads are. How much salt do you need in March!!
Nearly 300 miles later, I’m back home. This is the first time I’ve been to the X-Rally at Little Horwood, and I’ve definitely enjoyed myself. I understand the concerned discussion about attendance, but I’m sure car shows will pick up as the year goes on. I am certainly looking forward to getting out and about. And, of course, I need to get miles under the belt before the next MOT. I’ve set myself a target of 2000 miles this year, and I don’t do that in any other cars!
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