Citroën shocked audiences at the 1955 Paris Salon where the DS19 was introduced. Thousands of examples were ordered on the first day as people flocked to its very advanced streamlined body that contrasted sharply with the automotive landscape of the postwar period.
The DS also symbolized a radical change in technology. It was designed by André Lefèbvre, designer and driver of the Voisin Laboratoire and Flaminio Bertoni, who had been planning a successor to the Traction Avant since 1938. Front-wheel drive provided a very roomy interior, while the hydropneumatic suspension system provided comfort levels worthy of the greatest luxury brands of the time. The DS placed fifth on “100 Coolest Cars” listing in 2004.
Chassis 16390 was bought new on April 29, 1957, by Jean Roussillat, a grocer in the Saône-et-Loire region of France. The second owner had the car repainted and the headliner and fabric repaired, but all other cosmetics were left in excellent original condition. The current owner purchased the car in 2013, and today, the car shows under 45,000 km, which is consistent with the exceptional condition of this DS. As an early model, it is especially sought after today, as these have now become very rare. Finding an early production DS in such fine condition is particularly remarkable.