The Citroën DS was a groundbreaking car when it was first released in 1955, and remained groundbreaking for most of its life. The French manufacturer was already known for pushing the envelope with car design, features and functionality, but the DS, when it debuted, left the automotive world somewhat in shock.
The DS was the first mass-produced car with hydro-pneumatic and self-levelling suspension (still a feature restricted to luxury marques today). It was one of the first cars to offer disc brakes as standard and do so successfully at scale, and from 1967 onwards, was the first car to feature directional headlights. In addition to this, the space-age Citroën also offered customers luxuries such as power steering, independent suspension, and a semi-automatic gearbox.
From an exterior perspective the Citroën was, and still is, a truly unusual and intriguing car to behold. People may be divided on whether they like the aesthetics of the car, but they certainly can’t disagree that the styling was unique, revolutionary, and remains eye-catching to this day. So striking is its appearance it was named the most beautiful car of all time by Classic & Sports Car magazine after a poll of 20 world-renowned car designers, including Giorgetto Giugiaro, Ian Callum, and Leonardo Fioravanti.
Not only is Issam’s car stunning, his photography and videography of the car are too. It doesn’t take long to twig the fact that Issam does this professionally. This DS looks truly beautiful in its champagne colour scheme. The car is also highly original and in incredible condition for its age. We were delighted when Issam agreed to telling us a bit more about this stylish French icon!
Citroën DS 23 Pallas (1972)
- Issam had always been fascinated by cars (especially old french cars) since he was little. Despite owning modern cars most of his life, in 2020 he decided to take the plunge into classic car ownership!
- He wanted a French classic that was beautiful and interesting, but with plenty of parts still available – the classic DS fitted the bill perfectly.
- Issam says of driving the car – "The first thing that you experience in a Citroën DS is how relaxing it is. With the hydro-pneumatic suspension the car floats over the streets. It’s an experience unlike any other car I’ve owned and driven."
Interview with the owner
- When did you first purchase the car?I bought it in 2020.
- What made you buy a Citroën DS?I have been fascinated by cars, especially old french cars since I was little. Over the years I have owned many modern cars, but last year I decided to buy a classic car. I wanted it to be iconic, unique and have plenty of parts available.A few cars came to my mind, at first the Volvo Amazon. Beautiful and iconic car, but the technique wasn’t that special (for the time). Then I started to look at the first generation Volkswagen Golf Convertible. Also a very nice and iconic car, the start of a new era for Volkswagen, but the downside for me was that there were already many on the road and I wanted it to feel special.After thinking and searching the internet for almost a year I ended up at the DS. Very unique car and far ahead of it’s time back in the 50’s. It was a car that I saw plenty of times when I was young and the design really intrigued me. There are more than enough parts available and also several mechanics in The Netherlands that specialised specifically in the DS
- What's it like to drive?The first thing that you experience in a Citroën DS is how relaxing it is. The floor has a soft padding underneath, the seats are big and comfortable and most importantly; the suspension. With the hydro-pneumatic suspension the car floats over the streets. It’s an experience unlike any other car I’ve owned and driven.
- Has the car been restored / rebuilt?The car had been repainted by one of the previous owners. The original colour was green (Vert Argenté), but the current color is a sort of brown-grayish. I still haven’t found out what the exact name of the colour is.
- It looks very original, has it been modified in any way?The engine has been replaced, it used to run a 2.1 engine, but now has a more powerful 2.3 engine. The last and biggest engine that was put in the DS.
- Is the car a "keeper" or will you sell it one day?Never say never.
- Do you own any other interesting cars?Yes, my daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 LR AWD
- Ok final question – ignoring cost, and assuming you couldn’t go and sell it for profit… what’s your dream car and why?Thats a difficult question, because I have several cars I’m dreaming of. But if I had to choose it would probably be the Mercedes-Benz Gullwing or a Singer Porsche 964.