Seen few other motorcycles this morning. An ambulance. And the red Duck from fellow villager Hans. I could not really imagine an 2CV as an ambulance, but a DS or XM? Or a BX?
Comfort for everything
Because of their unique suspension system, these cars had fantastic driving comfort and a phenomenal road holding. And those are things that speak for the benefit of all passengers. Many XM ambulances have been made. By different builders: Baboulin, Cimos, Collet, Gifa / Heuliez, Petit, Tissier and Rouzier.
Ambulance for short customers
The most basic way to turn an XM into an ambulance is to optimally use the load floor of a break. Cimos, a Slovenian company where in Citroën was a major shareholder, it approached that way. In patients with 1 meters 90 +, the back door could not have closed. At the other end of the spectrum, Tissier from Villeneuve le Roi built six-wheeled ambulances that can be found in 'Thunderbirds are Go!' could have figured. The inside length was a tight 260 cm and for many French people the inside height of 175 cm was just standing height. Tissier made the entire superstructure from plastic. That gave the impressive ambulances a limited torsional stiffness, but bearing in mind that Number 14's adagio 'hep every disadvantage se foordeel': the handling of the three-axle became even better.
From the makers
Gifa / Heuliez hit the chest with a USP, a 'unique selling point', something for which the French at the time undoubtedly had their own marketing cry in their own language. Heuliez built the original breaks Citroën. So they could work from the bare plate, and when their work was done, the whole could be immersed in the cataphoresis plunge pool. The entire structure was thus protected against rust, and that was a boost for the residual value of the car.
Also ordinary berlines
XMs were also used for 'seated patient transport' and the transport of paramedics. Normal berlines. Those were standard cars in a white coat and equipped with six-pointed blue crosses. And that was the only maintenance with the regular taxis for which the journey to the physiotherapist was not covered by the health insurance.
After most of the XM ambulances had disappeared from the street scene, they were lost Citroën they hegemony on patient and wounded transport. The C5 ambulance was a hit in all areas except sales. The converted Jumpers and Jumpy's were clearly upgraded vans. As a result of such developments, the ambulance providers partly moved to other brands. The chance that you will end up in a Mercedes-Benz ambulance as a bad luck bird is considerable.
Retired XM ambulances are still regularly offered on French sales sites. We already saw one, a diesel with only 79.000 km on the odometer, advertised for 1000 €. Usually they are 'buried' and used for some purpose. Imagine what a sensation you can do when you drive onto the campsite with a six-wheeled Tissier. Oh yes: The regular XMs are not expensive in their home country either. But when purchasing locally, make sure that there is something of a maintenance history and that the French are quite positive in the description of the condition of their offer.
But anyway: There are quite a few former ones Citroën ambulances ended up in the Netherlands. And a large part of that has become a camper.
Tissier has a fan club, by the way, and also built 'quick orderers' based on the XM.