Arizona

19-20 January 2017

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Lot 105

1973 Citroën DS 23 Pallas

  • Chassis no. 00FE7084
  • Engine no. 0673002635

Sold for $55,000


115 hp, 2,347 cc OHV inline four-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, hydro-pneumatic suspension, and hydraulically assisted front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 123 in.

  • Offered from a prominent American Citroën collection
  • Desirable Euro-spec model with turning headlamps and five-speed transmission
  • Very solid and enjoyable original condition; approximately 40,000 kilometers from new
  • Driven in the Parisian celebration of the 50th anniversary of the DS in 2005
  • Recent hydraulic system servicing by Grand Central Citroën


There have been few automobiles in modern history that exploded upon the scene quite like the Citroën DS did upon its debut at the 1955 Paris Motor Show. It, quite frankly, set the automotive world upon its ear with incredibly futuristic streamlined styling by Flamino Bertoni. (Yes, this most iconic of French automobiles was designed by an Italian.) Yet, the breathtaking styling of the DS was the least of its marvels. The steering wheel turned on a single spoke, providing a ready view of the dashboard instruments. The brake pedal was simply a button in the floor. The drivetrain was a remarkable combination of front-wheel drive, servo-assisted front disc brakes, hydraulically assisted steering, and fully independent hydro-pneumatic suspension with automatic ride control.

Simply put, the DS was a spaceship by the standards of its time. Yet in the first day of its exhibition at Paris alone, the factory had collected 749 orders of the car; by the end of the event, orders numbered well over 12,000; and by the time the ever-evolving DS series ended production 20 years later, 2,786,000 had been built and sold all over the world. Thus, the DS is remembered today as one of the most successful automobiles of all time, alongside such similar legends as the Ford Mustang and Volkswagen Beetle.

The “ultimate” DS 23 offered here represents the peak of the DS’s engineering and styling evolution, with the most powerful engine and best-developed chassis. Even more special, it is a European-specification model, with such desirable features as a five-speed manual transmission and headlamps that turn with the front fenders. Acquired by its current owner, a prominent Southern California collector and longtime Citroën enthusiast, in France in 2004, it received a transmission, clutch, and motor service by a French specialist the following year. Shortly thereafter it participated in the 50th Anniversary of the DS by being driven, by the owner and his wife, from Cannes to Paris, where it was used in a parade on the Champs-Élysées amidst much press coverage.

Since its return stateside, the DS 23 has had its hydraulic system serviced by Grand Central Citroën in Redlands, California. It has about 40,000 kilometers (24,000 miles) from new and retains a wonderful original interior; the body is straight, original, and in very good condition. Most importantly, the car has been titled in California, and is street-legal for American roads.

A wonderful example of the best version of an iconic DS, this car has few peers, even in the pantheon of other “Goddesses.”

Addendum

Please note that contrary to the printed catalogue the hydraulic system was serviced by Grand Central Citroën, not SM World.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

Cameron Smyth

csmyth@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Cameron Smyth joined RM Sotheby’s as a Car Specialist in 2015, working out of our corporate office and providing assistance on c... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmsothebys.com

+1 212 894 1981
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more