1955 - 1975 Inspiration

It seems that the chinese were out on ideea when they created the Eliica 8-Wheeled Concept Car. One very similar vehicle we can find back in the history, almost 50 years ago: Citroen DS.


The eternally fashionable Citroen DS has been capturing imaginations from the day it was introduced in 1955. It is hard to grasp just how advanced this car appeared to a generation only just emerging from the constraints of rationing almost 50 years ago. Quite apart from its stunning shape the ’Goddess’ featured a ring-main of hydro pneumatics that worked the suspension, brakes, and power steering and even changed the gears.


This was mind-boggling stuff in the Fifties and hardly any less so in the mid Seventies when the car went out of production. In an age of stagecoach cart springs and beam axles, the DS’s hydro-pneumatic suspension was adjustable through three height positions: in the highest position Citroen boasted it was possible to drive the car on three wheels, though few owners tried to emulate this.


Limousine or rally weapon, Paris taxi or glamour-boat for euro sophisticates 30 years after its demise, the DS is the ultimate cool classic saloon that sends all the right design-conscious messages.


A car for swift, comfortable and futuristic high speed travel the DS could never be mundane and work-a-day; yet this car became as ubiquitous in France (between 1955 and 1975 almost 1.5 million were made in saloon form) as a Cortina in the UK.


Mechanically the DS was a masterful concoction of the impossibly exotic and the ruggedly humdrum; pleasingly practical features sit cheek-by-jowl with head-scratching complexity. It never really got the sophisticated engine it deserved, although the big four-cylinder was substantially up dated in 1965.


In fact Citroen updated the D constantly over the years, sometimes taking away from its idiosyncratic features in a bid to keep the design up-to-date with its competitors, but the body always featured easily removable, unstressed panels, a glass-fibre roof and stainless steel bright work. The main visual change came in 1967 when the faired-in headlights (the inner set turning with the steering) was introduced.


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