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Homepage. This page: A Pallas-spec DS complete with Parisian number plate, and another UK-registered DS.

1. Citroen DS Pallas.

I was pleased to get this Citroen DS press photograph in with a bunch I bought recently, as there aren't too many post-war French cars on the site as yet. This first photograph, a press shot, shows a DS trimmed to Pallas specification, according to the blurb on the back of the picture.
Citroen DS
The brief note glued to the back says .. "This photograph shows the Pallas exterior finish available on either the DS 21 - 2175cc engine or the DS 19 - 1985cc engine."
I'm taking a guess at early 1960s with this picture, later DS Citroens would have their headlamps enclosed behind clear covers, the lamps steering in line with the front steering angle as corners were taken.
In those days the French produced some seriously distinctive motorcars - witness not just the DS and ID ranges from Citroen, but also the quirky 2CV and Dyane models, and the slightly weird looking Ami 8 saloon and estate cars. Peugeot were more conventional, with cars such as the 403 and Farina-penned 404s leaving their factory gates. Renault took the fight to Citroen in the small-car market with their R4, a car that sold in large numbers but are seen rarely today, especially in the UK, despite these small cars being made into the 1980s.

The DS was first put up for sale in 1955, lasting for a total of twenty years in the Citroen catalogue, undergoing numerous detail revisions over this time. In addition to the four door saloon, there was also an enormous Safari estate car, and the limited production convertible by French coachbuilder Chapron, called the 'Decapotable'. The styling was like nothing else in the 1950s, being highly futuristic with attention being paid to its aerodynamic properties. Its party trick was the ability to raise and lower the ride height from the driver's seat, thanks to its hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension.
The first 'DS' cars were known as the DS19, with a less-complex and cheaper version being introduced later, known as the ID19. The 'Safari' estate was introduced in 1958, known in France as the ID Break. Later cars, badged as the DS21 and DS23, would have headlamps fitted behind clear covers, with the beam direction depending on the angle of the steered wheels.

2. An early example of the Slough-built DS.

This next scene was captured on film abroad, with other French cars such as a 2CV and a Renault Dauphine also in evidence. The photo shows a British-registered Series 1 DS (single headlamp model) negotiating the paved road, its roof rack well loaded with luggage. Note the windmills in the background. The registration 630 KPP dates the car to post- November 1959, and being a UK car was probably assembled at Citroen's plant in Slough.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Citroen DS car photo

3. A Citroen DS and more in Strasbourg.

This roadside photograph could have comfortably been placed onto one of several pages in this section of the site, such is the mix of cars on display. A spot of sleuthing on my part identified the location for the following scene as outside the "Gare de Strasbourg", or in other words - Strasbourg's railway station. I would date the photo to the mid-1960s, the presence of two "fintail" Mercedes-Benzes (the W110/111/112 series) puts the date as post-1959, while the presence of a Ford Taunus would also point to mid-1960s. The car parked in the immediate foreground is an example of Peugeot's Pininfarina-penned 404 saloon. Perhaps the cars were all taxis, their drivers waiting for their next fare?
The two clocks on the station building time the photograph to just after 09.30am. Work is being undertaken to the glazed arches on the front of the building, the nearest has a platform in front of it with a gent busily working away at something, while the furthest has another chap balanced mid-way up a tall ladder, either cleaning the glass or painting the surrounds, while his co-worker studies progress from the foot of the ladder.
Happily, this building remains in use although from the standing position of whoever took this photo, it would be tricky now to make out the details of its architecture given that the frontage is now enveloped in a huge, curving, metal & glass framework. The road outside, on which cars are parked in the scene below, has been completely re-modelled as part of the station's expansion of services, with lifts and stairways taking travellers to sub-terrainian facilities, where cars parked outside the station once sat.
Citroen DS at Strasbourg railway station
Interest in the DS has not dimmed despite the last cars being built over 30 years ago, model-specialists will happily sell you a ready-to-run DS if you desire this car, and sites such as eBay are often packed with DS cars and parts, should you need them. You can also advertise Cit spares for sale, or wanted, on the oldclassiccar Citroen parts noticeboard. The fore-runner to the ID and DS, the Traction Avant, can be found on this page.
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