1970s / Citroen / French / Rust in peace

Rust in peace: Citroën Ami 8

citroen-ami-8-junkyard-11We photographed this Citroën Ami 8 station wagon (officially known as an Ami 8 Break) in the same junkyard as the Dyane we featured last week. The junkyard regularly cycles through cars and it’s rare that one sticks around for more for a few weeks, but these two Citroëns have been a permanent fixture on the far end of the lot for the last several years.

Built 1974 according to the registration number and off the road since 2009 according to the insurance slip on the windshield, the Ami 8 is much better shape than the Dyane and we don’t think it’s far-fetched to say it is salvageable if the paperwork is in order. It has numerous dings and dents (likely acquired as a result of spending several years in a junkyard) but it is mostly rust-free and every part of its interior – including the key – is accounted for and relatively well-preserved. The front fascia and the front bumper are both the trunk.

The 602cc engine and the four-speed manual transmission are both gone but Citroën flat-twin engines are a dime a dozen in the classifieds if you’re willing to pony up enough cash. The Ami’s mill is nearly identical to the one that powered the 2CV 6 but it uses several model-specific parts including a larger Solex carburetor.

Is this Ami worth saving? Well, we vote yes – it probably won’t win a concours d’elegance but it could certainly be put back on the road. Take this into consideration: Ami 8s suffer from an odd disease that likely traces its roots back to a design flaw where the sides of the roof start rusting as dirt and miscellaneous debris accumulate in the rain gutters. Once the roof panel has rusted through (generally visible above the doors), it becomes very complicated to fix and the repairs often cost more than what the car is worth. The example pictured below has been sitting under a cypress tree for ages but its rain gutters are as solid as the day the car was new.

Ami 8s are not particularly sought-after but to the right enthusiast, this seemingly unrescuable carcass represents an ideal restoration project or a gold mine in parts if the car truly needs to be destroyed for legal reasons.

We rest our case.

6 thoughts on “Rust in peace: Citroën Ami 8

  1. Pingback: Rust in peace: Citroën Dyane | Ran When Parked

  2. I say, yes save: but then I have an Ami Super so what do you expect me to say?
    And you are dead right about the rust in the roof, that’s the killer and it also spreads down the rear pillars and at the base of the windscreen

    • Wow, an Ami Super?! What year? I love those, what is it like to drive compared to a regular Ami?

      I’ve often thought of swapping both my 2CV and my GSA for a clean Super in order to downsize, but I can’t bring myself to do it. Clean Supers are hard to find and increasingly expensive, even in France.

      Bytheway, I had an Ami 8 that I had to scrap partly because of the rust issue, so I’m all too familiar with it. The final nail in its coffin was that the previous owner couldn’t find the title, but I could have gotten around that if the car was clean.

      • June 76, so very late – had is since 1984 and last restored in 2002. Its possibly the only right hand drive Super saloon on the road in England.

        I have a 1222 engine in it which makes it lively compared to the Ami 8 but it really needs a 5 speed to make the most of cruising at the UK motorway limit. You just have to remember that you arrive at bends faster than you do in an 8 therefore need to slow down as the understeer can feel like near terminal.

  3. Hi Ronan, cool pics. Where is this junkyard? A friends is searching rear wings for his AMI8 and those doesn’t look too bad. Thx Marcus

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