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My father had an ID19 with a four speed manual column shift and no jack. It would sing to us in top. To change a tire, you raised it all the way and then lowered with a stand under the suspension with the wheel to be changed, Single spoke steering wheel was just odd and styling was well you could always tell one in a crowd. Imagine the cdA was very low.

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Single spoke steering wheel was designed offset so as not to break ribs in the event of a very serious head-on wreck, and the opposite portion of the rim would "give" slightly to cushion the blow while hopefully keeping your head away from the windshield - also among the earliest providers of 3-point seat belts, both front and rear. The self-leveling, self-jacking feature was fantastic, and I demonstrated driving the car on 3 wheels, and on only the 2 front wheels when using an equalizer hitch and trailer.

Far too many other safety items to go into here and now, but coefficient of drag was lower than the new Porsche 911, and rear wheel track was 8 inches less than front.

Absolutely the world's most comfortable driving car, and could run at great speed with 4 blown tires -

reference "DAY OF THE JACKAL", the story of how Charles DeGaulle escaped an assassination attempt.

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I grew up in a small rural farming town in Indiana, with little to no foreign car exposure in the 70’s and 80’s.  However there was a young guy in town who had what I would guess was an early 70’s DS. I have never forgotten it, nothing else looked anything like it.  I will always have a soft spot for them. 

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Interesting cars , however I have never owned one.  Any I have encountered seemed complex and unfortunately quite rusty.  SM's look great but even more complex  { and rusty around here }. 

Big fan of the Renault 4 cyl engines and transaxles but only because of their use in my Lotus Europa. Parts are very expensive, as most parts are aimed at Renault Alpine and Gordini owners.

A group with far deeper pockets than you typical Europa owner. Still a remarkably  light,  high performance  sports car powerplant.

 

Greg

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27 minutes ago, John Bloom said:

I grew up in a small rural farming town in Indiana, with little to no foreign car exposure in the 70’s and 80’s.  However there was a young guy in town who had what I would guess was an early 70’s DS. I have never forgotten it, nothing else looked anything like it.  I will always have a soft spot for them. 

 

Hi John,

 

From August 1970 through December 1971 we lived on St Joe Road on the north end of Fort Wayne, Indiana, opposite Shoaf Park, and daily drove first my blue 1967 Citroen DS-21, and then after it was wrecked at a major intersection. Heading out to teach night class at Purdue-Indiana University Fort Wayne Campus, driving west one evening where Saint Joe Center Road crosses N Clinton St and becomes E Washington Center Road, a fellow in a new full size Mercury coming east at me, turned directly into my lane causing a head-on collision. He was injured quite seriously as I recall, and his car suffered major damage (total loss, I believe). Shaken up a bit but essentially uninjured, I was able to catch a ride to school, and able to teach my class that evening, thankful to have survived a very serious wreck, knowing that my wife was pregnant with our first child (our own little Hoosier, of course).

 

My Citroen sustained what was considered major damage  by his insurance company. The entire front of the car was demolished. Citroen is essentially built a total roll-cage with all body panels hung onto it. Being mid-engine and front wheel drive, the engine/transaxle configuration moved back underneath the body structure. Both front and rear are designed to gradually and proportionally absorb impact, leaving the passenger compartment sound and solid. Even the spare tire is mounted at an angle ahead of the radiator above the leading edge of the transaxle. The front Disk brakes are mounted inboard on the front half-shafts, and are, I believe, 18 inch diameter with fresh air ducts directly to the disk. In 1955, Tom Mc Cahill noted that, while most "Michigan Mugwumps" in his parlance, would not stop even once from their maximum speed without brake fade, he ran a 1955 DS-19 to max speed and panic-stopped repeatedly (maybe 20 times), never able to induce brake fade. My blue DS-21 was towed to a friend, Carl Drake, in Madison, Wisconsin, where he bought it and rebuilt it properly. I called my friend and Citroen dealer Jack Looney in New Orleans where I had bought mine, and learned that he had taken in a trade-in - another 1967 DS-21. This one was a Metallic gray Belgian model, a Pallas with full leather interior, European rear lighting, and Citromatic transmission. I was at first apprehensive since my other one was 4-on-the-tree and absolutely didn't want a slush-box. He quickly reassured me. Citromatic is the exact same 4-speed tranny internally, but hydraulically actuated. The central hydraulic system, powered by a 1100 psi pump which also operates to self leveling suspension, automatic jacking, power steering, and power brakes. There is a brake reserve built-in. In case of loss of hydraulic pressure, the braking system retains enough pressure for approximately 20 panic stops. The tranny reacts to a control lever at the driver's fingertip which is reachable from the steering wheel. The driver simply moves the lever from 1st gear to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, downshifting to any desired gear - even into synchronized 1st as needed. The hydraulic system disengages, and reengages the same clutch disk found in manual tranny cars, and also moves the shifting forks as needed - and there are adjusting screws which allow you to set the speed of clutch engagement and the speed of the shifting fork movement, so you can be anywhere from a comfy cruiser to an Alpine Rallye Driver with the turn of a screwdriver !!

 

 

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13 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

Hope you got to see the special display at the Mullin Collection, best overall display I'd ever seen. Bob 

 

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Mullin - and Peter Mullin was our guide. 
I'm in awe of the red Delahaye at the center of the exhibit, and the entire museum is amazing.

Of course the Schlumpf Collection is amazing.

We also got to visit the building next door which houses restoration projects, as well storage for units not currently on display.

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Edited by Marty Roth
Add photos of Delaware from Mullin Museum, and additional comment (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Marty Roth said:

 

Citroen is essentially built a total roll-cage with all body panels hung onto it. Being mid-engine and front wheel drive, the engine/transaxle configuration moved back underneath the body structure. Both front and rear are designed to gradually and proportionally absorb impact, leaving the passenger compartment sound and solid. Even the spare tire is mounted at an angle ahead of the radiator above the leading edge of the transaxle. The front Disk brakes are mounted inboard on the front half-shafts, and are, I believe, 18 inch diameter with fresh air ducts directly to the disk. In 1955, Tom Mc Cahill noted that, while most "Michigan Mugwumps" in his parlance, would not stop even once from their maximum speed without brake fade, he ran a 1955 DS-19 to max speed and panic-stopped repeatedly (maybe 20 times), never able to induce brake fade. 

Although Citroen never advertised safety as extensively as Volvo did in North America, they were just as safe or safer.  

 

To this day, I cannot fathom why CItroen North America never bothered to certify their product for the 1974 bumper and emission regulations as did the other European manufacturers.   The new-for-1970 GS series would have probably sold well in North America.

 

Craig

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4 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

Although Citroen never advertised safety as extensively as Volvo did in North America, they were just as safe or safer.  

 

To this day, I cannot fathom why CItroen North America never bothered to certify their product for the 1974 bumper and emission regulations as did the other European manufacturers.   The new-for-1970 GS series would have probably sold well in North America.

 

Craig

 

Hi Craig,
 

The issue for Citroen, while being able to meet emission standards was explained to me of satisfying the bumper height regulations. Since the relative height was hydro-pneumatically controlled, over time, the cars would gradually lose pressure and the car would slowly sink. While I cannot absolutely confirm this as the cause, it seems valid. Another item was that of crash standards related to the 5 mph bumper requirement since the entire front and rear of Citroen was designed to absorb and crumple in a graduated manner, sacrificing the vehicle while protecting occupants - as noted in my above post per the wreck of my first 1967 DS-21. 

 

I've since owned and driven cross-country six (6) other DS-21s, an SM (Series Maserati 4 Overhead Cam V-6 sport 4-passenger), a 2-CV, Ami-6, and (but just local - not cross-country) a Mehari, featuring a Cycolac body - the same material then used for NFL football helmets.

 

Another safety feature which once may have saved my life -

leaving a gas station on Parham Road and Three-Chopt Road in Henrico County , west of Richmond, Virginia, the hood I forgot to properly close the hood. As I accelerated to maybe 45 mph, the hood flew open and wrapped over the roof. Since the hood's rear edge, matching the extreme wind-cheating curve of the windshield allowed full forward vision, I didn't know exactly what had happened. The windshield was not damaged. The fiberglass roof temporarily crushed downward, and then popped back in place. The compression caused all four side tempered windows to shatter into tiny pieces with no sharp edges, and were blown back into the car, making me thing I had entered a snowstorm. I pulled over, looked at the damage, and drove the few blocks home. Replacing the hood and windows  was a quick and easy job since a friend had a parts car with the hood and glass. In just about any other car, my vision would have been totally obscured, the windshield would likely have been ruined, and  the roof severely damaged, and could have resulted in hurting me and others.

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Back in the 1970s and '80s my younger brother was keen on Citroens. He began with a Slough-built Light 15, bought from an enthusiast. I can't recall how long he owned it but he decided to 'upgrade' and bought an ID19 sedan and then an ID19 Safari. With that car he made trip to the other end of the country with several passengers and camera gear. At some point on the trip the car blew a tyre but the suspension compensated for it and he didn't notice until some time later.

 

The next one he bought was a very early - 1955-56 - DS19. I drove this car a few times. It had the Citromatic transmission mentioned earlier. For me that was not too hard to get used to. It was the 'button' brake pedal that took time to get the hang of - the car would stand on its nose if you stomped on it. The problem with this early car was that any time it gave trouble the part was replaced with something from a later model as Citroen apparently had made frequent changes, especially to the hydraulic system in the early years. When he came to sell it - before going to work overseas - he tried to give it to a major local museum because he knew how significant the car was but they weren't interested. I am not sure what happened to it but if it survived it would probably be worth quite a lot.

 

As I understand it one big Achilles heel of the D series Citroens is that they retained the pre World War 2-designed engine right through to the end. It was a fairly primitive old thing, quite obsolete by the 1960s.

 

He drove a number of Citroens overseas, including using an AX to travel around France researching locations for a TV series. For the shooting of the programme Citroen provided a couple of big Safaris and a smaller model.  The last Citroen my brother owned was a BX GTi in the UK which he considered bringing back to NZ with him about 20 years ago but when he did the maths the exercise proved to be too marginal. It was the beginning of the bulk second hand imports era - NZ's car market had been very restricted up to that point, a long story - and people in NZ were learning that cars actually depreciated rapidly when the market was satisfied.

 

Unfortunately I don't have any photos of any of his Citroens.

 

Here in NZ Citroens have been available since the beginning of production in the early 1920s, although their market share was always very small - maybe 1-3%. There are very few of the earlier rear drive models surviving but there are several early 'Traction Avante' models. including a small number of convertibles. The 1930 roadster in the attached photo was at a show up north last year. The shot with the two red cars - both Slough-built - shows the difference between the pre and post war models - mainly wheels and hood vents. The closer one is from 1952 and the other from 1938. The grey car is another 1938 model at the same picnic event as the two red ones. Note the Pilote wheels, and I also note that the pre war cars have different wipers to the post war ones.

 

The 1967 in the photo which lives locally retains similar styling to my brother's early car, even though it is from more than ten years later. The exception is that this car has left hand drive, having been imported from Italy only a few years ago. Look closely and you can see the unusually-placed gear shift lever. 

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Citroen Shannon 0219 (2).jpg

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I always thought the big sedans were neat looking cars. My oldest brother lived in Belgium for awhile and had one, pardon my ignorance on these cars but I think it was a 'pallas' or something like that. I know he loved that car.

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We had a family friend that was the head of a computer data processing center in Ireland. He was allowed a certain amount for a lease car each year. He loved the big Citroen in the late 60’s early 70’s. The car was almost double his monthly allowance. Being the head guy he put a new (ghost) salesman on his employee list and he used that ghost salesman car allowance plus his own and drove the big Citron. All worked out fine until the head guy from the USA came over and was upset that the ghost salesman hadn’t sold anything the whole year. Our friend was such a good salesman himself he convinced the president his car was a good status symbol for the company. He got a new one every two years. 
 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
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57 minutes ago, TAKerry said:

I always thought the big sedans were neat looking cars. My oldest brother lived in Belgium for awhile and had one, pardon my ignorance on these cars but I think it was a 'pallas' or something like that. I know he loved that car.

Pallas was the luxury version of them.

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Marty Roth, Well, I guess you got an answer to your question! Seems a fair number of people are interested in talking about the cars. I don't have anything good to add myself, however, am enjoying reading other people's thoughts and remembrances of these cars! 

I do often like looking at pictures of their cars of the 1920s.

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I know little to nothing about these cars other than to say I like them and would love to drive one someday.  

As a high school student my family bought a '74 Peugeot 504, gas engine with the automatic.  It was slow as molasses but certainly had the most comfortable seats I have ever sat in. I look forward to learning more as this thread progresses.  

Thanks for starting the discussion Marty!

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16 hours ago, Marty Roth said:

 

Another item was that of crash standards related to the 5 mph bumper requirement since the entire front and rear of Citroen was designed to absorb and crumple in a graduated manner, sacrificing the vehicle while protecting occupants - as noted in my above post per the wreck of my first 1967 DS-21. 

Mercedes Benz was also one of the first cars to have 'crumple zones' incorporated in their body construction.  And like everyone else, also had to conform to the U.S. bumper regulations.  I do know Citroen was in financial difficulty in 1973/4, having bought Maserati right when the first Energy Crisis hit, and rather than making any attempts to spend money and conform, they basically gave up on the North American market.  They were not the only ones in the same financial predicament; even Volkswagen lost money in 1974.  But much smaller volume manufacturers had no issues conforming with the bumper regulations, including Ferrari and Lamborghini, not to mention, Citroen's at home competitors, Peugeot and Renault, never had issues certifying their cars for North America.

 

Craig

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The first I ever encountered a Citroen was about 1961-'62 when I was nine.  It had been traded in at our local small-town Ford dealership, probably an ID Series.  It sat among the conservative, square Fords like a spaceship from Mars.  Being a car-crazed youth, I had to have a look, all the features and details so unlike anything I had ever seen.   It sat low on its suspension but the lower body rust was already evident.  Norm Tunningley, the dealer, didn't have much to say about it other than it was "an oddball".  Guesses are he took it in trade simply to make a deal but did not want to, had given the owner a low trade-in which they still happily accepted.  Almost sixty years ago, parts and service were non-existent in rural small-towns for foreign cars like a Citroen.

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My wife spent a semester studying in France and fondly remembers seeing seeing the 2CV models. Being a Hippy at the time they were her group's model of choice. Anything more would be extravagant.

 

Not even a Frenchman would let any of them in their car.

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I worked at Vancouver's original Citroen dealership in the late 60's.  I grew to love those cars, whether it was a 2CV, Ami6, an ID or a DS.  They all were/are incredible drivers cars. I particularly liked the Citromatic drive and the brake button,  mostly because they were things not seen on virtually any other car, although the Saxomat clutch used on some other European makes was similar to the Citromatic set up.

 

What was different with Citromatic drive was the four speed shift pattern which was like this:

 

In neutral the shift lever stuck straight up out of the dash directly in front of the driver.   To start the car, turn the key on and push the shift lever all the way to the left to engage the starter.  For first gear, from neutral, push the shift lever away from you and step on the gas.  No clutch pedal to worry about.  For second gear, pull the shift lever towards you through neutral,  For third gear, push the shift lever to the right, DO NOT go through neutral.  For fourth gear, push the shift lever all the way down to the right, directly from third.

Over the years I have noticed that a lot of people rest their hand on the shift lever while driving their "normal" car.  Just touching the Citromatic lever will immediately disengage the clutch. 

 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, dictator27 said:

I worked at Vancouver's original Citroen dealership in the late 60's.  I grew to love those cars, whether it was a 2CV, Ami6, an ID or a DS.  They all were/are incredible drivers cars. I particularly liked the Citromatic drive and the brake button,  mostly because they were things not seen on virtually any other car, although the Saxomat clutch used on some other European makes was similar to the Citromatic set up.

 

What was different with Citromatic drive was the four speed shift pattern which was like this:

 

In neutral the shift lever stuck straight up out of the dash directly in front of the driver.   To start the car, turn the key on and push the shift lever all the way to the left to engage the starter.  For first gear, from neutral, push the shift lever away from you and step on the gas.  No clutch pedal to worry about.  For second gear, pull the shift lever towards you through neutral,  For third gear, push the shift lever to the right, DO NOT go through neutral.  For fourth gear, push the shift lever all the way down to the right, directly from third.

Over the years I have noticed that a lot of people rest their hand on the shift lever while driving their "normal" car.  Just touching the Citromatic lever will immediately disengage the clutch. 

 

 

 

Missed reverse.🙄  To find reverse engage first then push the shift lever down to the right from first gear.

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1 hour ago, dictator27 said:

I worked at Vancouver's original Citroen dealership in the late 60's.  I grew to love those cars, whether it was a 2CV, Ami6, an ID or a DS.  They all were/are incredible drivers cars. I particularly liked the Citromatic drive and the brake button,  mostly because they were things not seen on virtually any other car, although the Saxomat clutch used on some other European makes was similar to the Citromatic set up.

 

What was different with Citromatic drive was the four speed shift pattern which was like this:

 

In neutral the shift lever stuck straight up out of the dash directly in front of the driver.   To start the car, turn the key on and push the shift lever all the way to the left to engage the starter.  For first gear, from neutral, push the shift lever away from you and step on the gas.  No clutch pedal to worry about.  For second gear, pull the shift lever towards you through neutral,  For third gear, push the shift lever to the right, DO NOT go through neutral.  For fourth gear, push the shift lever all the way down to the right, directly from third.

Over the years I have noticed that a lot of people rest their hand on the shift lever while driving their "normal" car.  Just touching the Citromatic lever will immediately disengage the clutch. 

 

 

 

 

 

Parthenon Motors ? Or was a later outfit? It's the only one I can remember , but I was only a kid in the 1960's.

 

Greg

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1 hour ago, 1912Staver said:

 

 

Parthenon Motors ? Or was a later outfit? It's the only one I can remember , but I was only a kid in the 1960's.

 

Greg

There was also a Parthenon Motors in Edmonton.  As I recall, Maurice Tims was one of the partners, and also owned the dealership in Vancouver.  They sold Citroen from 1971 through then end of North American availability, but continued to supply parts.  However, they weren't the largest or longest running Citroen dealer in Edmonton.  Pioneer Automotive sold Citroen since the 1950's, as I recall.

 

Craig 

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On 10/29/2020 at 9:40 AM, padgett said:

Prolly just me but have never cared much for 3 bolt wheels. Broke enough with more.

 

While our little 2-CV did have 3 lugs per wheel,

the later series DS models, as well as the SM had 5 lugs,

and by the way, the handle which served as a lug wrench also fit the end of the shaft which allow even the 1970s era DS to crank-start,

and that same handle also removed the single chrome bolt which attached each rear fender to the structure.

Front fenders, just like the rear ones, aligned on a pair of"finger" locators, and were attached by 3 bolts.

Removing a single bolt allowed removal of each of the doors.

For lightness, the hood and trunk lids were aluminum,

and the roof was fibreglass, attached, as I recall, by 12 bolts.

You could easily remove all eleven (11) full body panels in a matter of minutes, and still drive the car!

Edited by Marty Roth (see edit history)
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On 10/29/2020 at 10:40 AM, padgett said:

Prolly just me but have never cared much for 3 bolt wheels. Broke enough with more.

Yes, only three (3 wheel studs) ; but those thick wide washers that fit in the recess's  of the wheel, help to center the wheel on the studs.  And if I remember correctly,  the wheel nut torque wasn't really too high.

 

I took many wheels off of Renaults, same type of wheel nuts; and never found a loose nut.  The bolt-on hub caps on Renaults; kept the nuts and suds out of the weather and road salt.

 

Granted, these cars didn't have enough torque to shear the studs off anyway. OH My those were the days.  

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Bought my 2CV Van (1958) on a whim at an auction. I, of course, paid too much but isn't that what auctions are for? At any rate, after getting it running and putting brakes under it, we have had all sorts of fun with it. Yes, popping off the front fenders does make it easy to work on especially with those inboard brake drums! We too this picture in downtown Delaware, OH last summer. It is quite a conversation starter.

 

IMG_1357.thumb.jpg.0e111af697ac3b341fc41c9f772215c8.jpg

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On 10/29/2020 at 4:46 PM, dictator27 said:

Sargent Citroen, 1205 Seymour Street, Vancouver, 1960's.

 

I suspect they were history before I was old enough to take notice.  Vancouver in the 1960's must have been an interesting time to be in the car business. A small scale city serving a prosperous, resource industry based economy. I only arrived in 1966  after spending my first decade in Winterpeg.

So I was too young to appreciate much of what I saw in the 1960's - later 1970's.  I just know there were lots of small - medium sized outfits selling non - big three products. Lots of interesting auto diversity. Too bad so few survived the ups and downs of our roller coaster Provincial Economy.

 

Greg

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12 minutes ago, John_Mereness said:

Helped friends buy this 1966 back in December/January - We used the AACA Forum here to find it and it is a super nice condition little car.

 

1973183768_1966Citroen2CVrightside.thumb.jpg.8cb6dd99f0e214e7366d882b0219916e.jpg.d15c3f828c01685e17731ee9b149fe15.jpg1632882949_1966Citroen2CVleftside.thumb.jpg.28898b7e92619a374e6729c0fac90496.jpg.a0ebedc2166f0eae5ae619c6e81b60b2.jpg

 

 

 

Similar to the 1964 I owned back in the 1970s, and passed along to "trimacar"-

The '64, with the 425cc small-block opposed 2-cylinder air-cooled engine had no rear quarter windows, and the front doors were "suicide" doors, as all 4 doors were hinged at the "B" pillar  with a simple crimp, sliding down the pillar.

The hood and trunk lid were also crimped at the edge, and could be raised and then slid sideways to be removed with a single bolt

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