$1,800 Goddess: 1969 Citroen DS21 Parts Car

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This great looking “parts car” is a 1969 Citroen DS21 and it’s in Clear Spring, Maryland. It’s on Craigslist for what seems like a very reasonable price of $1,800 or offer! If anyone has a DS that they’re restoring, this car will probably be a great help for not much money. Thanks to Jonathan W for tracking down this great find!

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This car looks far, far too good to me to just be a parts car, does anyone else see potential here? It’s being sold without a title so maybe that’s why? Or, maybe it’s so heavily rusted out underneath that it’s not salvageable. I could be way off base here but it seems like every view of this car has $1,800+ worth of parts on it. It’s being sold by a repair shop for the owner who is overseas. DS is pronounced Déesse” in France and it means goddess. I can’t tell if this car has the swiveling inner headlight, and shouldn’t there be glass covers over these headlights?

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The body on this car looks great, straight, and fit for a potentate. Well, you can see a wrinkled RF door in this photo, but other than that this car looks laser straight to me, and I don’t even see surface rust anywhere but on the rims. The Citroen DS was made for two decades starting in 1955 and it’s a love-it-or-hate-it car with almost everyone. Guess which camp I’m in? Citroen had a model called the “ID” from 1957-1969 which shared a body with the DS but was a more inexpensive car with a cheaper interior, no power steering, a bit less power, and manual transmission, among other things. It was meant to fill a void left by the loss of a more affordable vehicle, with the DS being 65% more expensive than the Traction Avant which it replaced. At the time, France was still recovering from WWII and cheaper transportation was needed by many people.

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Even the interior on this car looks great to me, at least as far as being mostly complete and it looks like most of it could be cleaned up and reused. I could only dream about having a “parts car” this unbelievably complete and preserved if I were restoring a DS! Sure, the seats are pretty rough, but those could be reupholstered, it’s not like the material is Dragon vinyl from a ’53 Kaiser Manhattan or some intricate, embossed, woven brocade-like fabric from a ’64 Isuzu Bellel.

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This is a 2.1L 132.7 cubic-inch inline-four, hence the DS21 moniker. Even the engine compartment looks better than most that I’ve seen in ads. I couldn’t imagine tearing into this one and trying to figure out what it needs, but I guess that’s what the seller (the shop) is for, or what they were for. Have any of you ever owned or driven a Citroen DS? What do you think of the price on this one, it seems like there are more than $1,800 in parts here to me.

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Comments

  1. leiniedude

    Sorry, nothing to do with the featured vehicle. I just wanted to say I like the new look on the homepage. I really like how the BF exclusives are shown now. Keep up the great work! Take care, Mike.

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    • Jesse Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Thanks for the feedback Mike!

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  2. Howard A Member

    Always had kind of an infatuation with “the fish”. They are just so freakin’ weird. I love it. That 1 spoke steering wheel creeps me out too. IDK, I’m sure these were great cars, French build great cars, just not sure if I’d want to tackle something like this. The suspension, the drive system, just don’t know much about it, and you talk about calling NAPA ( like the DAF), good luck. Repowering it would no doubt be a night mare. If you could find original parts ( and someone who knows about these) it would be a great car again. I heard, when working properly, the ride is fantastic. Cool find, as usual.

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  3. Stephen

    A current picture taken in Maryland with snow on the ground? This one has been sitting awhile with no takers, already too many questions.

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  4. Steven C

    It does not have the swiveling headlights, and did not have headlight covers, it is an american spec model and they couldn’t sell them here with either one of those cool things.

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  5. Rocko

    No one really likes french cars, not even the french!

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    • Jesse Jesse Mortensen Staff

      You may not like them Rocko, but there are actually a ton of people who do.

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      • Rocko

        I like them, i think this one is way cool with its spaceage suspension, i even own 87 Renault GTA ragtop. I am not as fortunate as you, i only know 2 people that like them, the rest just don’t. Moi, je l’ais ais toujours aimé. Ça fais plus que quinze ans que j’ai la mienne.

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    • Dolphin Dolphin Staff

      Rocko, check the prices that people are paying for Facel Vegas and Alpine Renaults. That says that some people like some French cars a lot.

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      • Arno D

        Talking about Alpine, here’s a link to a sale that is schedule for next week.
        http://www.osenat.fr/html/index.jsp?id=79376&lng=en&npp=10000
        That guy, a former pilot, has collected Alpines and some other cars & motorcycles. In fact more than some, there are 120 cars…
        He was more a hoarder than a collector I guess, since many of his cars remained outside for years / decades. They are now essencially parts cars.
        He had lots af Alpines, even one that won its category at Le Mans.
        He passed a way a few months ago and unfortunatly a few gems were stolen, like his Norton Manx and a V12 Maserati.
        Nevertheless the auction compagny managed to finds lots of interesting stuff, including automobilia. They even found the remains of a Miuria S..

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      • Jamie Jamie Palmer Staff

        Great find, Arno! I have to admit, though, rather than the Alpines, I’d be more interested in the AC Bristol 🙂 And you have to wonder how exactly did that Gremlin end up in the bunch???

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    • Andrew

      I do understand Rocko’s irony. Just a play on with words.

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  6. RayT Member

    Steven C is right: it’s a U.S.-spec car with sealed-beam lights. Parts to convert to the covered/turning lights can be found (they were sold that way in Canada). Looks as if this car has/had dealer-installed a/c as well.

    Lovely, lovely cars, but real maintenance hogs theses days. If the hydraulics fail, the car is undriveable, so expect to deal with suspension spheres, regulator, seals and pump. Pressure system failures made me sell my DS-21 years ago. There are also some structural areas under the skin that rust, and you don’t want to ignore them. Engine and gearbox (except for the hydraulic shift) are very reliable.

    My DS was certainly the most comfortable cruising car I ever owned. Given the time and money to rebuild and properly maintain one, I’d love to do it all over again!

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  7. RockabillyJay

    I think the “parts car” thing is because it has no title and the owner is just calling it that in case any DMV weirdness springs up..

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    • Jesse Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Yeah, it looks way too nice to be a parts car. If there isn’t rust in the main tube, it’s probably worth restoring. I’d want to do some investigation first though to see if it’s even possible to get a title for it.

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  8. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    If the underside is good I would guess this DS would bring good money at auction in France like the Artcurial auction at the Retromobile show that’s coming up in a few months. They usually have mostly rare / high end collector cars but I think they also do cars with needs—-especially cars like this one.

    It would be a big job to get it over there, but it looks complete enough to maybe run if someone was familiar enough with them to deal with any needs it might have. That would be a very big plus for transporting and auctioning it, but I won’t be the one doing that.

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  9. John T

    It should be called a 69-1/2 since it looks line an LHM tank rather than brake fluid. US cars changed over in the middle of ’69, so this is much more desirable than an early ’69. It also has an upgraded cooling system from a ’71 or later (cross flow radiator with expansion tank). It must be really rusty underneath for it to be considered a parts car.

    Chevrons on the trunk lid are upside down…

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    • MikeH

      I can’t believe I didn’t notice the chevrons!!!

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  10. Chris

    You kidding? I’m looking at this in my 69.5 DS 21 non Pallas. 1800 is cheap! Looks to be a green fluid car (which is good! ONLY USE LHM!) but I forgot if it was Citromatic, and those can be a hassle. If it’s nice t rusted out, someone stands to score an amazing car. I adore mine!!

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  11. Andrew

    Those U.S. spec headlights always remind me of the car just woken up, but it’s glasses are still on the nightstand. It will be alright soon. :c)

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  12. Dubois

    Have a look at the brake pedal,it is a mushroom .Those cars are known to brake very strongly by only a little strength on the brakes.
    Even in France the price is a gift

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  13. Mark S

    I’m by no means in the market for this car. But if I were I’d restomod it simply to make it more maintenance friendly I’d gut out that complex hydrolic suspension in favour of a simpler air ride system. Then I’d pull out that engine trans and install a v6 transverse front wheel drive system out of a late 90’s early 00’s gm car. The interior I’d just redo the seats, carpets, and door cards. Finally do the body work and repaint it. Yes it would lose some of its ride quality but now it would be easier to keep it on the road using domestic parts. Now I know that this will probably draw some negative responses but at least it would be a reliable driver.JMHO.

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  14. Dubois

    Mark S,the earth of this car is its hydraulic helps .
    By exemple you can drive on 3 wheels and also you don’t need lift to change a wheel,you just put the car in highest position ,fix a rod under and then low it and the wheel is in the air.
    The brakes are very assisted too

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    • Mark S

      How often do you change a tire? A vacuum booster could be fitted in at the time of the engine trans plant. My wife and I have driven the same vehicle for 13 years and I think we used the spare once. If this car was in France and I lived there too then I’d restore it but I’m in western Canada and a restomod is the most practical way to go. I’m glad that I’m not interested in this car. My above statements were hypothetical, it’s just my opinion.

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