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1979 article from le Double Chevron 55 about the CX Prestige Haute Protection



On 22 August 1962, at 8.20 p.m., Avenue de la Libťration at Clamart, South West Of Paris, the DS of the Presidency of the Republic, carrying General de Gaulle, his wife and his son-in-law, was coming at 60 m.p.h. when it was caught under cross-fire from Bastien Thiry’s OAS Commando. The front left and rear right tyres were punctured. The DS did not go one inch off course. The chauffeur, Marzoux (standing in for the faithful Paul Fontenil, then on leave), accelerated. The DS retained all its road-holding qualities, and was soon out of the danger area. The Head of State had just been saved by the cool-headedness of his chauffeur, and by the qualities of the CitroŽn hydropneumatic suspension.

General de Gaulle always refused armour plating on his car. Since then, times have changed. Attempted assassination, which used to be exceptional, has become an almost everyday occurrence and a risk others beside heads of states have to face: anyone in the public eye, whether politician, diplomat or business man. In such a context, the dream of the protection afforded by an armour-plated CitroŽn  retaining the intrinsic qualities of the standard CX became more than just a dream. It could be done. It was done.

Look at the CX above and below: nothing, except perhaps a slight thickening of the window surrounds, can distinguish it from the standard cars. And yet it is a very special model: the armour-plated "Top Protection” CX. Better still: in spite of the 980 lbs protective material it carries (540 lbs opaque, 440 lbs translucent), it retains road-handling qualities and performance figures comparable to those of the standard CX Prestige, thanks among other things to its hydropneumatic suspension (which keeps the car at a constant height), to its braking and to its assisted steering. This is quite exceptional in a car of such a category.

Produced and marketed by CitroŽn with the assistance of armour-plating specialists, the Top Protection CX has not only a passenger compartment completely lined with either special chromium-molybdenum-vanadium steel and several layers of aramide fibres, or with reinforced special sandwich-glass windows of great thickness, which allow it to be transformed into a completely hermetic cell (unforceable owing to electric door locks controlled from inside); but the petrol tank and the vital mechanical parts are also protected. Moreover the axles and wheels, the brakes, the suspension and various other parts are specially reinforced to cope with the added weight, and also because it is important to have perfect confidence in their reliability in case of attack.

Thus fitted, the Top Protection CX retains almost exactly the outside appearance, road-holding capacity, braking and performance figures of a standard production CX Prestige, as well as the same interior refinements, further enhanced by the adoption of super air-conditioning and an improved air-circulation system in the passenger compartment.



© 1979 le Double Chevron/2013 CitroŽnŽt Thanks to JL