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the Citroën DS – a love song

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where to begin… her sensuous curves, her chrome details, her Hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension, her iconic place in French school textbooks…

Classic and Sports Car Magazine named her the most beautiful car of all time, and it’s easy to see why.  designed in part by French aeronautical engineer André Lefèbvre and Italian sculptor and industrial designer Flaminio Bertoni, her futuristic body is the Perfect ten – a mix of angles and curves in all the right places.  add to this powerful, heady mix some serious technological innovation, including some of the first swivelling headlamps, and her hydropneumatic suspension system, giving an almost magic-carpet-like ride, and the reasons for her popularity are obvious.

produced mainly at the Citroën plant in Paris, the DS was also made in more limited numbers in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Yugoslavia, and Australia from 1955 – 1975.  at peak production, in 1970, over 103,000 were Produced.  over the years, her essential shape didn’t change much at all, although new technology was added as it was developed, and several different models were produced, including the Break (a station wagon), and among the most rare, a Cabriolet.  sadly, she never took off in the U.S. market, as, although marketed as a luxury vehicle, she didn’t have air-conditioning, an automatic transmission, nor electric windows.

such is her popularity and innate ‘Frenchness’ that she has been used repeatedly in film and television, partly to add Style, but also because of her indelible associations with both the French state and French culture.  one of her most famous movie scenes comes at the beginning of The Day of the Jackal, when a parade of DS pulls out of the Élysée Palace carrying President Charles de Gaulle, but she also makes an appearance in films and series as varied as from Back to the Future and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Mentalist.

Citroën recently reintroduced the DS model, beginning in 2010 with the DS3, but style is gone; the new range of DS are lovely cars, but sadly, the years of the shark-like style and perfect 10 features of the original are over…

(please note, none of the images used in this post are mine, but they are all fabulous… if an image is yours and you would prefer it taken down, please let me know)

This post first appeared on à La Française | Thoughts On Living Life In Fren, please read the originial post: here

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the Citroën DS – a love song


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