Lot 396 - 1971 Citroën DS 21 Pallas
|Odometer reading||89,000 miles|
|Estimate||£14,000 - £17,000|
After 18 years of secret development, the DS 19 was introduced on 5 October 1955 at the Paris Motor Show. In the first 15 minutes of the show, 743 orders were taken, and orders for the first day totalled to 12,000 cars. To a France still deep in reconstruction after the devastation of World War II, and also building its identity in the post-colonial world, the DS motor car was a symbol of French ingenuity. The high price tag, however, hurt generally and a cheaper model, the Citroën ID, was introduced in 1957. The DS was the first mass production car with front power disc brakes. It also featured hydro pneumatic suspension including an automatic leveling system, variable ground clearance, power steering, semi-automatic transmission and a fibreglass roof which reduced weight. It also sported inboard front brakes as well as independent suspension. Different front and rear track widths and tyre sizes reduced the understeer, typical of front-engined and front-wheel drive cars. As with all French cars, the DS design was affected by the tax horsepower system, which effectively mandated very small engines, unlike its predecessor the Citroen Traction Avant, there was no top-of-range model with a powerful six cylinder engine. Despite the rather leisurely acceleration afforded by its four-cylinder engine, the DS was successful in motorsports like rallying; where sustained speeds on poor surfaces are paramount, and went on to win the Monte Carlo Rally in 1959 and controversially in 1966, after the disqualification of the BMC Mini-Cooper team. The Citroen DS placed fifth on Automobile Magazine's '100 Coolest Cars' listing in 2005. It was also named the most beautiful car of all time by Classic & Sports Car magazine after a poll of 20 world-renowned car designers.
Chauffeurs tales are something of a myth or a rumour and in this instance a delightful tale accompanies this French piece of eccentric motoring, having been originally commissioned by the French Government to be the official car for the French ambassador to London in the 1970's we are informed. The tale explains that this DS Pallas was supposedly the hiding place of a jewel bought in secret for the Ambassador to London's English Mistress at the time, and that this jewel is rumoured to have been lost and possibly still somewhere in the car, perhaps however there is a very happy previous chauffeur that found this fabled jewel as the current vendor professes to pending a little time looking...just to be sure.
Still boasting an original FO embassy number plates this DS is in very good order having been used sparingly over the past 20 years during the summer months only, an original right hand drive Pallas which has been cared for and enjoyed by loving enthusiasts since its initial duties, this motor car has been treated as part of the family by the current owners. It has been wrapped up warm and garaged for much of its recent life protecting it from all weather conditions. Having had a recent service and new MoT test certificate which is valid until April 2015 this DS would be a pleasure to drive and with its colourful history a great conversation piece, truly a piece or French motoring history.
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Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.