Parked Since ’71: 1961 Citroen ID19 Safari Wagon

This 1961 Citroen ID19 Safari Wagon looks promising in these dusty, as-found photos of it languishing in a Tennessee barn. Despite its completeness, there are body issues lurking that will make this either an exceptional parts car or tremendous labor of love. The Safari Wagons are rare finds in the U.S., and this one has seemingly emerged untouched, from its hubcaps to its clever jumpseats in the cargo hold. Find it here on eBay with an opening bid of $1,000 and no reserve – and no activity at the moment.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Fred H. for the find. The Citroen is described by the seller as heavily rusted in areas that are not easy fixes, including the “…inner structure and floorpan,” despite not looking terribly rotten from the outside. All glass remains intact, as do most of the lenses (aside from the easily replaced headlight.) The old-school and heavily-weathered license plates give some indication as to how long this Citroen has been parked, which the seller pegs as being 1971. Sadly, the engine is locked up and the tires are permanently flat.

Unfortunately, despite being incredibly innovative for their time, the Citroens of this era were also incredibly complex – which makes restoring them a challenge for even the best-preserved examples that haven’t seen use for some time. The shame of the rot, in this case, is that the rest of the wagon just looks untouched – you don’t see any major damage done to the dash or door panels, and being parked in 1971 means it didn’t spend that much time on the road before it entered early retirement. The details of the cabin are still beautiful today.

I love the rear seating arrangement, and the seat cushions themselves still look quite clean (not sure what’s growing on the back of the rear seat – fingers crossed it’s not mold). The seller notes that the engine’s cylinder head was removed long ago, but it is included with the carburetor and other miscellaneous parts. This tells you some attempt at mechanical recovery was made before life got in the way, and this cool Safari Wagon remained parked for decades. Would you attempt a restoration or simply part it out to save a better example?


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  1. Ike Onick

    Why does “Raiders of the Lost Ark” immediately come to mind?

    Like 2
  2. Will Fox

    Q: In the rear view, is the left quarter panel missing altogether? I see nothing past the tailgate. These are nightmares; unless you have bottomless pockets, don’t even look at one of these to restore. Suspension & electrical systems are not for novices.
    These were rare to see in the U.S. in the 60s, and virtually non-existent today. A local gas station had a DS19 wagon rotting on the side of their building, until one day, a bulldozer made short work of the car, the station–everything! An office structure stands there now.

    Like 5
    • Eric Larson

      The rear quarters came off I believe to make it easier to change the tire.

      Like 5
      • Dennis

        Nope, you can easily change a tire on a Safari, only the sedan needed to have the rear fender removed,

    • Rankin

      The DS’s are complicated cars yes, but as long as they are not deeply rusted, restoration is not really a nightmare. Most parts are available on line, the Citroen community is strong, albeit very cliquey, and all the hydraulic suspension mysteries have been solved over the years. If you have some years of mechanical experience, and have some time on your hands, there are few cars more rewarding to restore than a Citroen DS.

      • Burger

        “there are few cars more rewarding to restore than a Citroen DS.”


        Stop ! Stop ! My sides hurt ! Wow !

        As a comedian, you are going places with “gold” like that one !

  3. jo6pac

    Parts and even then is worth it?

    Like 2
  4. Natec

    I’m thinking custom frame, super charged LS with a six speed, and air bags. I think this would make a cool custom to go to the cruise in. It would be a labor of love though.

    Like 5
  5. Junior Samples

    The steering wheel alone is worth nigh the asking price! I’ve never seen a wonkier helm…

    Like 5
    • Chris in Pineville

      I’d forgotten what cool steering wheels these bubbies have….

      Like 1
  6. Howard A Member

    Still waiting on parts from France,, :)

    Like 3
  7. David S

    Two in one day! What’s up with the automotive universe?

    Quirky for sure, but what other car can you drive on 3 wheels? In the 70s these would glide by you on the “auto route” or the autobahn even when you were doing 200K or 120 MPH!

  8. Burger

    Had a friend as a kid, whose parents had half a dozen Citroens. If you can get past the French penchant for designing goofy looking cars, then you might be able to appreciate the novelty-at-every-turn aspect of a Citroen. I never could. While I was enamored with the sleek and slippery coupe and convertible 57 DeSotos and 59 Buicks, she was trying her best to explain how cool these Citroens were. I still don’t get it.

    To be fair, I can appreciate just about any pre-70 car in one aspect or another. And I suppose the Citroen was one of those “statement” cars. The car that let everyone know you were a “deeper thinker”, … not another sheep with another “boring Ford or Chevy”. The ultimate automotive rebel. Kinda like the modern day Leaf and Prius crowd ?

    In spite of its wonkiness, it did not escape a certain “George Jetson” feel, that was mandatory design etiquette for almost everything in the 1956-63 period. Funky for sure, and certainly more *interesting* than yet another #@! Chevelle ! …. but nothing I’d want to work on or have taking up shop space around here !

    Like 2
  9. Peterk

    Restoring a Mercedes 450 sel 6.9 is cheap when compared to taking on this restoration. I’m thinking that an Americanized sleeper might be the way to go

    Like 1
    • Burger

      I am thinking I would just keep on walking … it is interesting to look at, as a break from the same old staple cars at every car show, but any more effort or attention I will leave to the rabid Citroen nut. Too many other great cars out there to love on, to be wasting any time or money on a Citroen.

      Isn’t the German word for “Citroen”, “Clusterschtuppe” ? 😜

  10. Ramon

    I would cut it in half and make the rear the front with suicide doors!!!!!

  11. charlie Member

    Way back in Dec 1970 there was a DS sedan languishing in the repair garage of a couple of hippy mechanics in NH who tended our relatively new GM’s. They were good mechanics, but could not get some parts, and, could not figure out some of the issues since the manual they had was in French. I helped translate a few paragraphs for them but when we moved away 6 months later the car was still up on jack stands.

    Like 2
  12. Martin Horrocks

    OK. Enough of the uninformed comments. This car, as is, would make $30000 at auction in Retromobile in Paris, early February.

    You´ll have to be quick.

    Like 1
    • Burger

      With 12 camels to pull it to Paris, I should be able to do this, no problem ! 🚀

      Like 1
  13. Robbert

    Great cars ahead of anything automotive and still stylish. Parts are available suspension use the right oils in the hemispheres. Biggest problem is rust in the rear quarters. Well worth the restoration process at this price.

  14. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Three on my high school buddies had these in the four door version. One of them – a Dallas radio personality – still has his hidden behind his garage.

  15. KB at Roadsend

    We have a couple of Citroen here at the end of the road .I cant imagine attempting to put one back on the road .When I bought them there were several at an estate auction ..and some former French colonist were going nutz for them ……I think one was driving a peaugot /////I can go for a Renault now and then but for me the Citroen is just worth having around to say ….”look where the transmission is !”
    Years ago I would pass a repair shop down to Dallas on Commerce street had at least 50 of these lil lovelies sitting about on the street for a block ,in a compound and even atop the building …Never stopped by always sorta wondered did they have that much business or was it just taking that long to get them going Id say a man good at making these things go would never have a shoratge of something to do …keeping them running

    Like 1
  16. Grampercy Rampone

    That first picture is so dreamy…

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