Gazette Drouot logo print
Lot n° 89

1971 Citroën M 35

Subscribe to find out the result
Estimate : Subscribers only

1971 Citroën M 35 CHASSIS 00EA 0438 Rare in this condition Exhibited at Epoqu auto for the Citroen centenary Full history known 2nd hand To be registered as a collector's car The Citroën M35 is a prototype developed by the French manufacturer in 1969, on an Ami 8 base by the coachbuilder Heuliez, with the two rear doors removed and equipped with an oleo-pneumatic suspension chassis and a bi-rotor engine. They were painted in a metallic grey colour with the words "Prototype Citroën M35" followed by their respective numbers on the front wings. Less than 500 were made and fewer than forty are known to date. At the end of the 1960s, Citroën, in search of innovations, became interested in the Wankel rotary engine. A collaboration began with NSU, whose first contract, known as the "Comoto" contract, allowed the use of Wankel engines. In 1969, NSU, which had gone bankrupt, was taken over by Volkswagen and the French manufacturer was therefore forced to continue the Wankel adventure alone. The public relations director Jacques Wolgensinger had the idea of producing a small series of experimental vehicles and entrusting them to customers. The aim was to have a panel of people in regions with different climates and terrain. The consumers thus became official Citroën testers and were responsible for passing on their experiences to the Design Office in order to test and improve this technology. Sold for 14,120 francs, customers were given a two-year full engine warranty. The experiment was a failure and Citroën tried to buy back most of these cars once the experiment was over. The car we are presenting today has a clear story. Dr Marion, a loyal customer of the Chevron brand, was selected to test the prototype. After more than 40,000 km, he approached his Citroën dealer because the engine was getting hot. Mr Blanc had two choices: he could call the parent company to transform the M35 into a Caesar or he could buy it and keep it to repair the engine. Fortunately, he chose the second option. But repairing a rotary engine is no easy task, and he gave up. It was not until many years later that his grandson undertook to restart the car (with the help of an NSU specialist), with success, to allow his grandfather to drive it a few times. The car still has its original registration. It is in exceptional condition and is ready for the road. Amongst other things, it has new stainless steel exhaust, new trochoidal stator, new segmentation, new water pump, new suspension spheres and new hydraulic pump. This car is a marker of an era of prolific automotive technical innovation, during which a manufacturer entrusted its customers with prototypes, not sure if this is possible today! A set of documentation will be supplied with the car, including a parts book.

Auction's title
Auction's date
Auction location