Sunday, October 25, 2015

Green Bean: 1972 Citroën DS Break Wagon

The Citroen (Citroën) DS was launched in 1955, a Franco-Italian project with engineering by André Lefèbvre and styling by Flaminio Bertoni.  You've probably spotted an old neglected DS (or ID) sitting forlornly at the side of the road like a beached whale -- her oleopneumatic suspension having lost the good fight.  But not today.  This one looks ready to put a smile on the face of any Francophile.  Find this 1972 Citroën DS Break Wagon offered for $14,000 in La Jolla, CA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.


Citroen managed to dupe buyers sell an astonishing 1.5 million examples of the D-series (DS and ID) around the world, but don't expect to fall over these things like they are VW Beetles.  Quite the opposite, the DS/ID have almost become extinct, in part because of the complex oleopneumatic (oil-air) suspension that uses pressurized nitrogen spheres at each corner and a 175 bar oil pump.  The suspension system is controlled with a magical set of valves that allow a huge amount of suspension travel and variable spring/damping rates depending on road conditions and body movement -- when in tune, the DS will gobble up miles of road like few other cars designed in the 1950s. 


The Estate (Break? Wagon?) version is one of the cooler versions, and as a plus, you get seating for 7 people.  This one is advertised as being in good running condition, suspension works great, and it "looks great even with the older paint."

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10 comments:

  1. The oleopneumatic suspension was almost as unpopular as the oleopneumatic brakes..... Sorry, I'll see myself out...

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  2. You know, I once knew a well-regarded civil engineer* whose garage had a DS Break and a DS Berline and he wasn't much interested in owning anything else. And it wasn't like he did his own wrenching; he'd actually found a reliable, reasonably-priced mechanic to maintain them for him! Of course, that was a very long time ago now.

    * yeah, I know, 'mechanical engineers design weapons, civil engineers design targets'.

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  3. Just curious: Has anyone ever come up with an alternative retro-fit for the suspension that works?

    Or are their other annoying reliability issues besides the suspension?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My guess is that all the parts are out there somewhere, they built a bunch of these. Can't vouch for the accuracy of this, but it's the kind of useless nonsense I tend to stuff in my brain:

      http://www.citroen-ca.com/DSguide.html

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. And if you want a Citroen DS but you really don't want anything Citroen about it besides the shape, there's always:

      http://www.generationhighoutput.com/1964-citroen-ds-with-custom-v8-ls1-swap/

      You always google [auto make] [auto model] LS1 just to see what happens...

      Delete
  4. What is with all of the Porsches in the background? I count a 356, early 911, later 911 (or is it a 930?), and a 928

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe this car's been a customer shuttle for a Porsche shop...

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  5. Ah the Goddess! Until you have driven one, you just don't know the many ways that a car can be different. The on-road dynamics are truly astounding. Not just the comfort, but the ride control. No bouncy-bouncy here. The wheels just stay in contact the the road, no matter what the road might be doing at the time. And the braking blows your mind, because there is no forward pitch, as on virtually any normal car. It is almost like the entire car squats squarely into the road the harder you brake. Ya just gotta try one!

    The fact that the DS systems have been around since 1955, and enjoy a solid base of enthusiast support means that you can buy any part you might need. Once they are sorted out, they actually are quite reliable. Rust and neglect are the enemy of any classic car, but just more so with these.

    Oh, and I would look for a sedan, but that is just my personal preference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You forgot 'you get to pretend you're Charles De Gaulle'.

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