As we celebrate 60 years of the DS it seems that a number of automotive journalists are discovering its virtues. The latest is the Wall Street Journal’s Dan Neil, who proclaims in his article for the publication on May 1, 2015 that: “The Citroën DS is technically unsurpassed, completely inimitable, has a great back story and is the most beautiful car of all time.”
Dan traveled recently to the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville for his Citroën experience. He was so impressed that he actually made this claim driving their 1959 ID 19 (formerly owned and restored by Denis Foley in West Virginia). The ID has the hydropneumatic DS suspension but is a simplified from the DS’s Citromatic gearbox and power steering in that it has a manual 4 speed shifter, manual steering and regular brake pedal in place of the DS’s “bulb” on the floor. The ID also has a more utilitarian interior. Still, that didn’t stop Dan from expounding upon the model’s outstanding virtues and timeless design.
You can read his full article here:
Yet another article that adds credence to our claim for DS and the ID. We have been saying for some time that these Citroëns, even the sedans, are beginning to be very sought after classic cars!
I think he accurately described the car, except I thought the D-series body design was first conceived after WWII, not before, when the company’s first effort to replace the Traction bombed out at its first showing and its design was abandoned.
What really rung my memory bell was the photo showing the early ID dashboard. My first Citroen and a 1960 station wagon my wife and I drive until 1972 had that design, which was totally different from that in the early DS. It had no gauges or warning lights for engine temperature or oil pressure. The standard heater, with an input behind the radiator fan instead of a blower motor, was useless when the outside temperature was below freezing. I added a blower from a junked Chevrolet under the hood pulling air from the left fender which made a major improvement.
The writer didn’t mention that the early D-models had the muffler up in the nose just behind the front bumper, resulting in what may have been the longest tail pipes of any vehicle on the roads. His comment about the steering may be due to the early IDs not having power steering. Those cars had a larger steering wheel and a different turns ratio in the linkage.