Those large French floating objects like only Citroën can come up with, who does not know them? Johan Oldenhage specializes in their final exercise, the Citroën C6.
The exterior of the Citroën C6 as it was introduced in 2005 differs only on detail with the Lignage study Citroën shows for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show in 1999. Problems developing the final product mean a five year gap between the demise of its predecessor the XM and the final version of the C6. However the Lignage looks like a finished product, underneath it still is just an ordinary XM. The Citroën management doubting the fact they can really sell the vehicle isn’t helping either. When in 2005 the all new big Citroën finally appears in the price lists, buyers get to choose from a single petrol engine and two possible diesel versions. The 2.9 liter V6 petrol engine lacks the torque to swiftly move the heavy C6 around. The 2.2 liter four cilinder diesel does that better and is the preferred car for those who want to shift gear manually. In the end it is the six cilinder diesel engine in 2.7 and later 3.0 liter version that fits best to the concept of graciously floating about.
As a child Johan Oldenhage is submersed in a cauldron of Citroën-magic potion. His father sells car at the local Citroën dealership and goes on to owning his own dealership in the late seventies. The stretched Prestige version of the Citroën CX offers ample space between front and rear seats, enough for little Johan to play around and get hooked to the comfortable ride of the hydropneumatically suspended Citroëns. When Johan finishes school in 1996 he joins his father in the workshop, taking over the business in 2011. In 2014 Garage Johan Oldenhage moves to a more modern and accommodating building elsewhere in Nieuw Vennep. When driving your Citroën in to Johan’s modern workshop, you immediately get the impression of craftsmanship. Leaving the car in the workshop and moving on through the glass doors into the showroom is like entering the living room of a true enthousiast. This is where the Dutch Citroën C5 club donated their guest table, where customers regularly leave all sorts of pastries on that table to show their appreciation and gratitude for Johan’s service. Garage Johan Oldenhage winning prize after prize for customer satisfaction will not come as a surprise. It must be the unique combination of modern craftsmanship and the old fashioned welcome by this passionate Citroën enthousiast.
Aboard the C6 you’re surrounded by everything you could wish for. Seats that combine French comfort with German firmness, the finest leather, nice wood, a head up display, good sound and most of all ample space and silence. Al that luxury is connected to the road through Citroëns hydractive suspension, that calculates and regulates the suspension characteristics in nano-seconds, varying from very comfy to straigh out sporty. Despite all these qualities, sales of the C6 never reach target, not by far. In December 2012 Citroën pulls the plug on the C6, leaving it at a meager 23.000 or so produced cars. Not every mechanic dares to take on the complexe C6. Being an enthousiast of the model himself, Johan Oldenhage has specialized in Citroëns last real flagship. He is the first to experiment with flushing the automatic gearbox. In contrast with the usual draining of the box, this method does take out all of the used oil and debris. Floating around in their C6, people tend to forget that every whack you don’t feel inside the car is being absorbed by the underpinnings. This causes substantial wear to the ball joints. This is where the Citroën handbook suggests to replace the entire suspension arm, where as Johan has developed a method to simply replace the joint itself. The list with clever repairs is endless and has led to C6 owners finding their way to Nieuw Vennep from all over Europe. Rightly so, we might add.