SOLD. The Citroën is a front-engine, front-wheel-drive executive car that was manufactured and marketed by the French company Citroën from 1955 to 1975 in limousine, estate and convertible body configurations across three series.
Noted for its aerodynamic, futuristic body design and innovative technology, the DS set new standards in ride quality, handling, and braking. The DS was the first mass production car equipped with disc brakes.
Italian sculptor and industrial designer Flaminio Bertoni and the French aeronautical engineer André Lefèbvre styled and engineered the car, and Paul Magès developed the hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension. Citroën sold 1,455,746 examples, including 1,330,755 manufactured at the manufacturer's Paris Quai de Javel (now Quai André-Citroën) production plant.
The DS placed third in the 1999 Car of the Century poll recognising the world's most influential auto designs and was named the most beautiful car of all time by Classic & Sports Car magazine.
After 18 years of secret development as the successor to the Traction Avant, the DS 19 was introduced on 5 October 1955 at the Paris Motor Show. In the first 15 minutes of the show, 743 orders were taken, and orders for the first day totalled 12,000. During the 10 days of the show, the DS took in 80,000 deposits; a record that stood for over 60 years.
Contemporary journalists said the DS pushed the envelope in the ride vs. handling compromise possible in a motor vehicle.
To a France still deep in reconstruction after the devastation of World War II, and also building its identity in the post-colonial world, the DS was a symbol of French ingenuity.The DS was distributed to many territories throughout the world.
Turn indicators were mounted in the upper corners of the rear window, brake lamps in rear bumper.
It also posited the nation's relevance in the Space Age, during the global race for technology of the Cold War. Structuralist philosopher Roland Barthes, in an essay about the car, said that it looked as if it had "fallen from the sky". An American advertisement summarised this selling point: "It takes a special person to drive a special car".
Because they were owned by the technologically aggressive tire manufacturer Michelin, Citroën had designed their cars around the technically superior radial tyre since 1948, and the DS was no exception.
The car featured a novel hydropneumatic suspension including an automatic leveling system and variable ground clearance, developed in-house by Paul Magès. This suspension allowed the DS to travel quickly on the poor road surfaces common in France.
In addition, the vehicle had power steering and a semi-automatic transmission (the transmission required no clutch pedal, but gears still had to be shifted by hand), though the shift lever controlled a powered hydraulic shift mechanism in place of a mechanical linkage, and a fibreglass roof which lowered the centre of gravity and so reduced weight transfer. Inboard front brakes (as well as independent suspension) reduced un-sprung weight. Different front and rear track widths reduced the unequal tyre loading, which is well known to promote understeer, typical of front-engined and front-wheel drive cars.
The DS placed third in the 1999 Car of the Century competition, and fifth on the 2005 list of "100 Coolest Cars" by Automobile Magazine. It was also named the most beautiful car of all time by Classic & Sports Car magazine after a poll of 20 world-renowned car designers, including Giorgetto Giugiaro, Ian Callum, Roy Axe, Paul Bracq, and Leonardo Fioravanti.
One of the last DS's to be manufactured (847 in 1975), this range topping DS 23 Pallas has been enjoyed by three former keepers. Originally we believe the car was bought by the owner of a paint manufacturer in the South of England and run as a company car. We don’t know of the second owner as the service history prior to our purchase was sadly lost. The last owner was Carol Holt who bought the car in April 1978 and remained a proud owner until our Director bought it as his own car in October 2010.
The car was serviced by local Citroen specialist: Woodlinkin Motors. During the service an electric fuel pump was fitted to compensate for a worn lobe in the engine. This would later be removed by the restoration company.
The current mileage shown is 16,758 but as it only a 5 digit odometer, it is very likely the actual mileage is 116,758.
Finally a decision was made in January 2016 to award full restoration works to Pallas Auto in Dartford UK. Pallas Auto are unmatched in the UK for DS restorations –it’s all they do and the compete with very few others world-wide to do so.
What was to be a two year restoration turned into three. As with many DS’s that are undergoing their first restoration, once all the panels were off the car, it became clear that extensive chassis fabrication would be needed.
The car underwent a significant mechanical and electrical overhaul, before being shipped off to Pallas Auto’s body-shop in Poland.
We were given the option of changing the exterior and interior colour – common for these cars when being restored. We took the decision for new cool grey body-work and a ‘floating’ lighter grey roof, as opposed to the original ‘delta’ blue. The interior we are informed by Pallas Auto would not have been leather. When we acquired the vehicle it had dark blue, almost black leather seating. It was cracking with age. The carpeting was a lighter blue to match the body-work of the time. With the decision to change the exterior, we opted for a ‘Tabac’ leather – rich and soft which was sourced from Canada. Pallas Auto also ordered optional leather headrests and an armrest to complete the leather-work. Matching carpet is now a luxury 80% wool blend.
Apart from essential improvements by replacing headlining etc, the only other change you would note is that the original stereo has been replaced with a retro-styled DAB with Bluetooth – well we are living in a new century don’t you know!
As you can imagine every nut and bolt has been replaced on the car. Fabrication was extensive. All the rubbers and seals renewed. Bright-work replaced. Even the fibre-glass room came from a donor car in South Africa.
The engine has been rebuilt, hydraulics revised and it has electronic ignition and a new alternator.
We invite you to review the Pallas Auto restoration invoices which total over £48,500, in addition to the original purchase price of the vehicle.
Paul at Pallas Auto is always willing to talk you through their restoration if you have any questions.
This vehicle was built as standard with the following specification:
Right hand drive (RHD)
2347cc 4 cylinder, 8 valve petrol engine (Pallas spec)
BVH 4-Speed semi-automatic gearbox
Hydropneumatic suspension (Standard DS spec)
Disc brakes (Standard DS spec)
Driver's seat with height adjustment (Pallas spec)
Noise insulation (Pallas spec)
The car has been completely restored with the following upgrades:
DAB Stereo with Bluetooth
We would invite your to pour through the Pallas Auto restoration invoices to gain a complete understanding of the preparation that has gone into this stunning vehicle.
We are happy to present this car as is, or you may wish to choose from a range of options, including:
This car is being sold with the following package:
12 months MOT (not required)
24 Months/6,000 Miles Warranty
24 Months UK AA Home Start, Road-Side Assistance & Recovery
Full tank of fuel
Free UK mainland delivery