The Citroën AX is a car close to my heart. Some years ago, one of my closest friends had a maroon 1.0 “Debut” model that he affectionately called “Kev”. Being a group of kids who loved cars, with access to decent roads, cheap petrol and far too much time on our hands, we looked for any excuse to drive. Rattling about the back roads, stopping for cigarette breaks at the most random of places. I spent a great deal of time in the passenger seats of the little AX and the car features in some of my fondest and funniest memories. Watching sunrises over the local hills after a night of rescuing drunken friends from nightclubs. Being stranded in the countryside after the exhaust fell off at 1am (and driving back with the thing hopelessly down on power but sounding like a Chieftain tank), “maxing out” on a downhill section of main road, with various warning lights appearing in unison on the dash. Having a “sumo wrestle” with another friend’s beloved Vauxhall Corsa. I could write a book.
It was therefore a no brainer to add the recently released Norev 1/64 to my collection, straight from the Citroën Boutique. Fellow Lamley brother @willdiecast has already given the car a spot in the limelight in his collection update, but it’s definitely worth a closer look….
The Citroën AX was launched at the 1986 Paris Motor Show, arriving in the UK market in August 1987. A replacement for the Axel, LNA and Visa models, the AX was designed with economy in mind. The body had a drag coefficient of 0.31 and extensive use of plastic in non load bearing areas and reducing the thickness of the steel bodyshell gave an incredibly low kerb weight of 640kg. Subsequently the AX was one of the most economical vehicles in its class, indeed a diesel version achieved a 100mpg return on a journey from Dover to Barcelona, earning a place in the Guinesss Book of Records. The light weight also resulted in lively handling and the performance versions of the AX were praised by the contemporary motoring press and are still highly sought after. Production of all variants ended in 1998 with nearly 2.5 million sold.
Norev’s version caused a bit of a rush when it appeared on the Citroën online shop. New stocks quickly sold out. But after a few days wait (and a hassle with postage) I managed to get hold of one.
And I’m pleased to say it was worth it. It’s a great little diecast, very well proportioned and I’d say very close if not actual 1/64.
It’s lacking some small details like rear badges and the rear tail lights are a little flat, but overall I’m really impressed. The single mirror, the black plastic bumpers and the little 3 spoke wheels are nicely replicated. The headlights and indicators are done in clear plastic, and the paint is pretty damn good. It rides on plastic tyres but rolls well. And like the full size version it’s got charm by the tonne. For a €5 model it’s a steal and will no doubt be very popular on the continent.
At present I can only find these for sale through the Citroen Lifestyle website, as part of the “Origins” series, but I am sure it will be in the Norev mainline soon and available through other outlets. It’s been a long time since Kev went to the scrapyard, but now the memories aren’t quite so distant.
It’s got me thinking readers, has your first car been replicated in diecast? Give me a shout, I’d love to hear your stories!
(Find Norev 1/64 on Ebay)