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528 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Addiction is a terrible thing isn't it? Some people are addicted to smoking, others to alcohol. Hell, some are even addicted to collecting stamps!

My own personal 'vice'? Rare early Citroen Saxo VTS, as you may of read here before..:tumbleweed:

I tend to think of myself as a fairly laid back, simple chap, with one thing required to keep me ticking along happily.

A retro car on the road. :driver:

One that looks good & handles well, but above all else allows me to jump in, put my late 1990's/early 2000 dance tunes on and "reset myself" with a 30 minute drive if life is ever getting too much. It's nice to be in that little bubble and be 17 again. :thumb:

For one reason or another(winter, blown headgaskets, failed emissions :rolleyes:) I don't have that joy/release at present. I also have a second child due in June:doublesho. So the ability to be able to pop out for the odd drive to chill will definitely be a godsend!

We also need a second car in the household for myself to get to work easier. This means that any car needs to be able to survive the harsh winters and not leak like a sieve.(Saxo VTS sunroofs are hilariously bad at keeping water out).

So then... for this Mk1 VTS addict, it just had to be another in a cool colour. :D There are however, a few issues with that.

1) UK market MK1 VTS never came without a sunroof..
2) I couldn't bring myself to use a genuine mk1 VTS as a winter daily..
3) They are so rare now, they just aren't out there to buy!
4) VTS aren't the most economical car to run for short distance commuting

If only Citroen had made a Mk1 VTS but with a smaller engine and no sunroof. Hmmmmm ;)

528 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So what I really needed to do, was find a non-sunroof early Saxo shell and build my own ideal daily! A Saxo that even to my extreme nerdiness, could be mistaken for a genuine VTS, but with no sunroof and a 1.1 engine.

The search for a shell was on but with one BIG issue(no not the homeless magazine!)


They only made one model of Saxo without a sunroof! This was the most basic model available, the Saxo 'X'.

No sunroof, no power steering, no central locking etc. Very basic and due to that, an already rare model was now 23 years later almost but extinct.:rolleyes: However, after a few months of searching, I struck lucky with a perfect candidate that had been off the road since 2014.

as bought by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

This was ideal!

Cool colour(seriously rare in white!)
Tidy exterior bodywork
Mid 1997 build meaning its the early "pre-facelift" Mk1.

They only built pre-facelift Mk1 VTS from January 1997 to October 1997, so they are not only the most retro looking of the Saxo VTS, but they are also the rarest. There are so many little details on these early ones that it may make a few of the parts harder to find...

So it's time to start the ball rolling as I've only got until June to get this car built and on the road(To add extra pressure, my first daughter arrived 11 weeks early..:doublesho)

My plans are to strip the car to a bare shell, repair any corrosion, convert the whole car to VTS specification but retain the (detailed and serviced) 1.1 engine.

Expect very regular updates :)

8,620 Posts
Subscribed!! I’ve a Y plate Saxo Forte. It’s a dustbin, but reliable as hell. Doesn’t move for weeks on end, and still starts first time, every time.

Watching this one with interest!

528 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
1st week progress

It's been a busy week at work but by staying later than normal, I've managed to make initial progress. My old man also joined me for the week and managed to get the car completely stripped off all none required parts. Cheers Dad.:thumb:

engine, gearbox, wiring loom etc removed

88241726_203334434237713_906664052837580800_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

88246872_671966013345452_2864891435818156032_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

Doors stripped bare of all the old manual window regulators, speakers etc..(ready for a good clean also!)

89295753_1080911035613190_4283955815896842240_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

I've managed to make a start on dealing with the corrosion in the shell. First of all was the rear drivers side inner arch. Common rot for these..

Only a quick job due to timescales rather than my usual OCD level of finish!

88987144_1083926281960279_8557690163679985664_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

88331292_671597240309930_2414598332837003264_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

88261189_228848304966187_1589399334179307520_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

88281201_825365974646079_7170145560744165376_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

89037224_514986615879195_2314587309225279488_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

88265947_671075870303904_2399116053771714560_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

88344387_1108109592863824_4539014600548417536_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

89028064_135437634518743_5527750174127947776_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

89253355_3384191908264280_7734015165447798784_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

88241902_881678608935556_5275829756439298048_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

With that section repaired it's now on to this area at the front of the same arch. Common issue with these as mud gets trapped behind the fuel filler neck. Cleaned up, chopped out and Hydrate 80 applied ready to weld the next repair in. :thumb:

88241867_205431387227900_5282990244310810624_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

88270169_231706018003390_6618669170072485888_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

Lastly for the body side of things this week, I've made a start on converting the exterior of the shell to VTS specification. Each side of the shell on the VTS has 4 sections of bodykit. This being a lower door panel, a rear arch trim, a front arch trim and the sideskirt.

For this side I already had a rear arch and a front arch in my spares stash, so these have been prep'd and put into primer. I plan on getting the whole "kit" into primer and trial fitted before I do the top coats all together(with the bumpers) at the end, in hope for better weather and less chance of scratching nice paint whilst building the car!

All masked up..

88959877_853525371740411_4589997163727028224_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

and a couple of coats of primer

89026258_193956725232956_7867230843217903616_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

To fit the extra trim parts to a standard shell, trimming of the front and rear arches is required, along with extra mounting holes to be drilled. At the rear, ALOT has to be cut away in order to follow the new trim bodyline, and to give the chunkier VTS wheels clearance. Perfectly summed up by this photo! :doublesho

88364007_2581395028807442_6151072069057511424_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

Fortunately, the front section of the trim utilises the mounting holes from the original basic specification swage line trim, so I clipped the VTS trim in to place, before using a dab of paint on the rear clips to mark where the new holes required drilling. :thumb: Along with an arch cut 'template' off of one of my genuine VTS, the end result after a bit of drill and grinder action resulted in this...:D

89171890_548923405973625_3920530101514534912_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

89438761_144503983455156_8655104003387949056_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

Yes that is honestly how a VTS looks under the rear arches! At this point, a trial fit of the primered rear arch trim confirmed all was good.:thumb:

89330673_294154311559480_113656091761442816_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

Parts update to follow shortly...:thumb:

528 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm fortunate that due to years of hoarding, I have plenty(but not all!) of the parts I require to build this thing!

I've started to pull together some of these parts, this weeks joys being...

MK1 VTS specific dashboard and wiring loom.

88276407_219474015860640_661232372955480064_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

These were only fitted as standard to the MK1 VTS. The standard glovebox was replaced by a passenger airbag and Citroen then fitted a replacement glovebox "cubby" into the top of the dash instead. What makes these rare is the fact that even the MK2 VTS didn't have the cubby box on the top!

89086756_187225006042671_1535808476016541696_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

MK1 VTS rear doors cards

88426571_1348758795308358_4532646482603409408_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

VTS 22mm front anti-roll bar

89488622_152097049259535_1537687863510958080_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

I've also got this little beauty...:D

88346898_3628210483920706_4789400254623514624_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

A genuine Citroen rear silencer for 8 valve "VT" models(so VTR, Furio and Westcoast) These are different to a VTS silencer as the box is more basic design and also different in length to suit the 8 valve exhaust system. However, the rear tailpipe design is exactly the same so will be perfect for the VTS look but for being used in conjunction with the 1.1's 8 valve exhaust system. :thumb: Rare part that in NOS form!

89058750_215617989489541_6200358734334525440_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

MK1 VTS specific front struts.

88241921_151796619296575_241070668873990144_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

These are getting hard to find now as the VTS was the only model that came with ABS as standard. Due to that, the front struts have additional mounting points for the ABS sensors, which aren't usually present on other models.

88998912_508065643101174_233446096901242880_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

You may notice that the front springs are missing. More on that next week...

Lastly for this week, front door badges. The early "pre-facelift" cars that were only built for less than a year, all had colour coded badges. The later facelift mk1's all had dark grey badges. Due to this, its dam hard to find the colour coded ones! :wall: Even harder when there are only two known genuine white pre-facelifts known to survive...:rolleyes: Fortunately, the owner of one of these(long off the road!) white examples sent me a clear shot of the badge..

84663532_198937301297869_7062824077592887296_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

From this I could then get a pair of replicas made:thumb: Not 100% perfect, but good enough for this daily replica build :D

88246821_621372711774259_4075948964908630016_n by Daniel Whitworth, on Flickr

More next week :thumb:

1,394 Posts
Great work. I had a mk1 Saxo VTS in grey unfortunately it was way before Facebook and I can’t seem to find any photos of it. I think it was called mercury grey and it has the standard VTS wheels in grey also. I’ll have to see if I can dig out a photo for it somewhere tomorrow

528 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well time sure does fly by when you are having fun. If you look at the date of my first post on this thread, you may be aware that something "kicked off" a week or two afterwards. :rolleyes:

The good news however, is that the car is still here in my ownership..

2021-12-10_08-59-56 by Danny Whitworth, on Flickr

I'm also really happy to report, that progress has been going on behind the scenes. Annoyingly, I have lost a few photos of early work due to a mobile phone having a breakdown, but lets see what I can rustle up over the coming days to try and bring things back up to speed. :thumb:

2021-12-10_09-10-51 by Danny Whitworth, on Flickr

528 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
As per the offside, the nearside rear quarter required cutting away for the arch trim section and to give clearance for the wider track that the VTS beam provides.

2021-12-10_10-37-52 by Danny Whitworth, on Flickr

A shot of an original VTS rear arch to show just how severe(and crude!) the cut is.

2021-12-10_10-45-42 by Danny Whitworth, on Flickr

2021-12-10_10-38-20 by Danny Whitworth, on Flickr

No going back once you are at this stage! :doublesho

2021-12-10_10-40-48 by Danny Whitworth, on Flickr

Fortunately, taking things slowly and measuring multiple times yields the correct fitment.

2021-12-10_10-43-19 by Danny Whitworth, on Flickr

2021-12-10_10-41-26 by Danny Whitworth, on Flickr

next up, more crustiness....

2021-12-10_09-24-29 by Danny Whitworth, on Flickr

528 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I wont go too deep into the actual welding repairs as my threads seem to dwell on that side too much, but suffice to say, the corrosion was all cut out and then repair sections fabricated and butt welded in.

The rear arches and boot floor were then etch primered with Bilt Hamber Electrox, joints seam sealed as per original, stonechipped and then top coated in Citroen Polar white to match the exterior. The original rusty beam is loosely bolted in place for now to keep the car mobile...

2021-12-10_09-24-29 by Danny Whitworth, on Flickr

2021-12-10_11-00-54 by Danny Whitworth, on Flickr

2021-12-10_09-26-20 by Danny Whitworth, on Flickr

2021-12-10_10-58-38 by Danny Whitworth, on Flickr

2021-12-10_11-02-05 by Danny Whitworth, on Flickr

Finally inside the boot, all the repairs were blended in so that the boot area retains its original appearance.

2021-12-10_11-06-03 by Danny Whitworth, on Flickr
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