Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 93

Thread: Citroen DS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Rozenburg, Holland
    Posts
    27,315

    Citroen DS

    Citroen DS

    When launched at the Paris Autoshow in 1955 the DS caused a stir with the general public that probably never been repeated by any new car launched after the World War II.

    Both technically and appearance wise the car was so out of the ordinary that a comparison with existing cars was simply not possible. I remember my Grandfather (at that time driving a Horch 830) calling the car disgustingly ugly. The public thought otherwise and on the first day of the Paris show, firm orders for 12000 cars were taken.

    The technical basis of the car was a hydraulic system, that operated the suspension, the brakes, the power steering and the semi automatic gearbox. The suspension was based on combination of putting oil and gas in spheres, each sphere dealing with one wheel. All wheels were linked to trailing arms. This resulted in an unrivalled ride comfort, and one of the benefits of the system was the automatic self leveling capability. Even a flat tyre was compensated for by the suspension and the car would not be influenced. (I once had a puncture of the left front wheel of a BX, and I heard the car clipping something on the road, but only kilometers later I found the ride noise a bit strange and then found that the tyre was completely flat. It had no notable impact on the roadholding).

    The brakes were power assisted as well and braking took place via a little knob on the floor, rather than through a conventional pedal. Power steering came standard as well as a four speed semi-autobox (effectively an automatic clutch). The hydraulics turned out to be the weak point of the car, because the special oil used had a tendency to make the oil-lines corrode from inside. This was effectively solved when a new type of oil was developed (the Green LHM oil, replacing the Red variant), but it had not been beneficial for the reputation of the car

    The package was wrapped up in a body shape that completely matched the avant-garde of the technicalities. Air resistance was revolutionary low, and well known are the pictures of cars put vertically on the back of the car to show the completely clean underside. Interior space (the wheel base was 3.10 metres) was unrivalled too, and one of my professors at University in the early seventies said he drove one, because he could keep his hat on. There were no door window frames, and the glass would sit against the rubbers on the body. In terms of windnoise, this was not the best solution.

    The only let down was the engine, that was taken over from the Traction Avant and was basically a prewar design. Citroen made a number of test engines in different configurations, such as a flat six, a V6 and even a V8, but ultimately it was decided to keep the proven 4 pot. All during its 20 year life the basic engine design did not change, although more powerful version became available.

    The roadholding was phenomenal, but one of the risks was that drivers simply felt that the car could not leave the road. This caused some nasty accidents. The car was a serious contender in Rallye events, winning the Monte Carlo in 1966, and almost winning the London Sydney Marathon in 1968, when the leading Bianchi driven car was hit by a police car about 20 km before the finish, at a time when the competition phase was already over.

    Over the years a plethora of different versions appeared, all maintaining the main principles though. The outwardly most significant change came when the headlights were incorporated into one unit, and the high beams were turning with the steering.

    A separate chapter should be written on the various Cabriolet versions that appeared, mostly designed by Chapron, and built by him and also by the factory itself. Of these only 1365 examples were made, but many sedans have been “reconstructed”.

    There were also break versions. (93000 made) The cheaper version ID19 was launched in 1957. It had less hydraulic gadgets and a manual four speed box. Luxury versions (Pallas) became popular too, and the final version the DS23 Injection could reach 190 kph. It had the 2175 variant of venerable 4 cylinder engine, which even lived on in the CX that was launched in 1974.

    The DS remained in production until 1975, and almost 1.5 million cars of all versions were produced. It is one of the most popular modern classics and it recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in style with a large parade on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

    Shown here is a DS23 Pallas IE, semi automatic, at the Retromobile show in Paris in 2005.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting, but it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously." Douglas Adams

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    nr Edinburgh, Whisky-soaked Scotland
    Posts
    27,778
    You forgot to mentino one of the NEATEST ideas Citroen brought to the drivability of a car.
    The suspension was not only self-levelling, but also the driver coudl select ride height. Raise it for rough roads but handling was slightly compromised, lowest for motorway cruisign reducing the drag. Fantastic. AND great fun to play with it while sitting beside someone at traffic lights

    Downside when parking. Once settled it was possible not to be able to open a door because of the kerb

    and what about steerable lights ??

    and the funky one-spoke steering wheel ? no comments ?? Persoanlly I always reckoned it just sat there TELLING you it was going to stab you in the head in the event of an accident
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Rozenburg, Holland
    Posts
    27,315
    Quote Originally Posted by Matra et Alpine
    You forgot to mentino one of the NEATEST ideas Citroen brought to the drivability of a car.
    The suspension was not only self-levelling, but also the driver coudl select ride height. Raise it for rough roads but handling was slightly compromised, lowest for motorway cruisign reducing the drag. Fantastic. AND great fun to play with it while sitting beside someone at traffic lights

    Downside when parking. Once settled it was possible not to be able to open a door because of the kerb

    and what about steerable lights ??

    and the funky one-spoke steering wheel ? no comments ?? Persoanlly I always reckoned it just sat there TELLING you it was going to stab you in the head in the event of an accident
    Steerable lights are mentioned

    You do however overestimate the ride height feature. There is only one position were you can safely drive, there are two higher positions, one which allows you to drive slowly and the reduces the ride comfort significantly, and one top position where you cannot ride at all. It is called the workshop position.
    The low position is to were the car sinks to after being parked for a while, or you can adjust to that manually if you want. The manual to all my cars stated very clearly that you are not to drive at all in either the lowest or the highest position. So if you tried the low position on the motorway, you did something rather stupid. Modern computer controlled versions of the suspension system in the C5 will lower the ride height of the car a little, but computers were not available in the DS-age.

    The big practical advantage of the variable hight came when you had to change a tyre, just put the car in highest position, put the jack underneath, let it sink again and up comes the wheel.
    "I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting, but it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously." Douglas Adams

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    nr Edinburgh, Whisky-soaked Scotland
    Posts
    27,778
    Quote Originally Posted by henk4
    Steerable lights are mentioned
    oops sorry
    You do however overestimate the ride height feature. There is only one position were you can safely drive, there are two higher positions, one which allows you to drive slowly and the reduces the ride comfort significantly, and one top position where you cannot ride at all. It is called the workshop position.
    The low position is to were the car sinks to after being parked for a while, or you can adjust to that manually if you want. The manual to all my cars stated very clearly that you are not to drive at all in either the lowest or the highest position. So if you tried the low position on the motorway, you did something rather stupid.
    oops
    I never read the manuals for anything !!!!
    The big practical advantage of the variable hight came when you had to change a tyre, just put the car in highest position, put the jack underneath, let it sink again and up comes the wheel.
    A previous owner of an older version also said you ahd to be careful where you parked. He once said (!) he had parked in field at race, couldn't start car on his return and couldn't tow it easily as it had settled down onto the rough ground and had bottomed. Graphic description given of pulling it through a field and leaving a flat furrow behind Good story but I had my suspicions

    To return ... were ALL DS inboard disks on the front ? Having to remove the inlet manifold to replace the pads being an interesting service requrement
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Rozenburg, Holland
    Posts
    27,315
    Quote Originally Posted by Matra et Alpine
    oops sorry

    oops
    I never read the manuals for anything !!!!

    A previous owner of an older version also said you ahd to be careful where you parked. He once said (!) he had parked in field at race, couldn't start car on his return and couldn't tow it easily as it had settled down onto the rough ground and had bottomed. Graphic description given of pulling it through a field and leaving a flat furrow behind Good story but I had my suspicions

    To return ... were ALL DS inboard disks on the front ? Having to remove the inlet manifold to replace the pads being an interesting service requrement
    The service activities underneath the bonnet were not the most preferred in any workshop....You had to work through the mess. The engine was hidden somewhere underneath the dash...
    Body panels however were simply bolted on so there was some compensation there.
    "I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting, but it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously." Douglas Adams

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Rozenburg, Holland
    Posts
    27,315
    there was the story of the commander of the fire brigade in the town I grew up, who also bought one. Being always in a hurry at a fire alarm, he could never wait until the car had reached its ride height after starting the engine (the car needs to be pumped up). He ruined the suspension and bought another car...
    "I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting, but it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously." Douglas Adams

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    4,031
    Nice reminisces guys of a truly fan-tastic car

    As a kid, my earliest memories of the Goddess is of what mischevious fun it was to 'sabotage' them while parked - a gentle lift of the rear bumper to release some obscure valve and their hydro suspension would gradually sink, settling the underbody down onto the bitumen, leaving the poor Citroen effectively beached at the curb while we watched as the driver was forced to wait stationary until it pumped back up & regained normal altitude

    Later on, one of my teachers gave me my first-ever Citroen ride in his enormous Break and my entire automotive outlook was revolutionised. Such comfort! So much space! Why was this French oddity so infinitely superior to ride in than my Dad's crude Falcon station wagon? What a weird dashboard .. and why was everybody looking at us?
    Last edited by nota; 11-09-2005 at 09:09 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    6,536
    I want one. Maybe in a few years when I can afford to maintain one I'll go looking...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Romania Bucharest
    Posts
    1,026
    one of my favorite car ever . for sure a top 10 .
    There is no terrible way of winning
    there is just winning

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    France
    Posts
    1,772
    DS 19 or DS21?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Eindhoven, The Netherlands
    Posts
    7,827
    In the newer versions it it also great for raising the height, and then taking speed bumps at full speed

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Porto - Portugal
    Posts
    5,595
    1 and 2 : 1st and 2nd generation DS
    3 and 4: two DS breaks (notice the detail of the two number plates)
    5: a Break with an unusual seat displacement: 2nd and 3rd rows of seats face each other.
    6: An ID break. Easy to distinguish from the DS from the smaller hubcaps.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Money can't buy you friends, but you do get a better class of enemy.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Porto - Portugal
    Posts
    5,595
    5 and 6
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by McReis; 11-15-2005 at 09:56 AM.
    Money can't buy you friends, but you do get a better class of enemy.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    France
    Posts
    1,772
    is the first one a DS 19?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Porto - Portugal
    Posts
    5,595
    Yes it is.
    Money can't buy you friends, but you do get a better class of enemy.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Loeb and Gronholm plan their own Citroen wrc team.
    By Cotterik in forum Racing forums
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-06-2005, 09:15 AM
  2. Citroen C4 - Alive With Technology
    By Rockefella in forum Miscellaneous
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 07-05-2005, 01:09 PM
  3. Citroen C6 !
    By drakkie in forum Multimedia
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 02-14-2005, 10:23 AM
  4. Citroen offer Meeke a test
    By Mustang in forum Racing forums
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-29-2005, 03:47 AM
  5. 2005 Citroen C4
    By McLareN in forum Multimedia
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-03-2004, 12:02 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •