1973 Citroën DS 23 Pallas
- 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.”
Please note that contrary to the printed catalogue the hydraulic system was serviced by Grand Central Citroën, not SM World.