1970 Citroen DS

Proto

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1970
  • Car type 
    Custom
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Restoration project
  • Interior colour 
    Red
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Orange
  • Gearbox 
    Manual
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

- Unique prototype
- Outstanding in many ways
- Truly a part of automotive history

Since the end of the 19th century, France has been a nation of cars, a land of inventors, designers and ingenious craftsmen who one day dreamt up a hare-brained scheme which didn’t always meet with the success they hoped for. Along the way, in barns and old garages, there are still incredible discoveries to be made, as with this unique prototype, built from the front ends of two Citroën ID 19s, welded together back to back!
Back in 1971, this prototype made its first appearance at the hillclimb slalom at Montigny-le-Roi. Behind the wheel were Christian Derest and Raymond Girardin, who were responsible for building this crazy machine. Although it was light and powerful, the prototype proved tricky to handle, as it was fitted with front tyres which weren’t really adequate, in Derest’s own words. He therefore decided to fit tyres from the SM, which improved its roadholding.
To bring this project to fruition, several parties joined forces, led by Christian Derest. At the time the workshop manager of the Perin garage at Langres in the Haute-Marne ‘département’, it was Derest who came up with the idea for a car to take part in hillclimbs. For the bodywork, he teamed up with Jacky Boulangier, who ran a bodyshop in Prauthoy: he spent a total of 415 hours producing the panels including the front wings, doors and the rear wing, which was formed from aluminium. The whole body is well finished, with an impressive number of parts taken from other cars. To give just a few examples: the front bonnet comes from a DS, re-cut at the top and bottom, the radiator grille is from an Ami 8, the side indicators from a Citroën HY van, the windscreen from a GS and the rear lights from a Simca 1300. The car’s mechanical components are just as amazing. The engine, taken straight from a DS, turns the wrong way! Which is in fact quite logical, as it is still mounted in the same position inside the front-end unit, which itself has been turned over. The entire engine, transmission, steering and braking systems therefore had to be redesigned. Two dual-throat Solex 40 carburettors are connected to the inlet manifold, the ignition comes from an Austin, the starter motor from a DS and the gearset from an HY … The hydraulic suspension still works and the height can be adjusted at the front and rear.
To take to the track again, the car will need an extensive restoration, which is reflected in our attractive price estimate, but the engine turns over and the car will be delivered with a stock of spare parts. The car is a work of art, a part of French automotive history, which like any other piece of art deserves to return to the limelight it occupied when it first appeared in 1971.