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1970 Citroen DS: Grandpa’s Au Revoir

1970 Citroen DS

It’s rare to find these classic Citroens in working condition when they do pop up, and restored ones are commanding a serious premium as of late. This 1970 example here on eBay is cheap at the moment, with no reserve and bidding at just over $4,000. The DS would be my preferred choice despite the allure of a Maserati-powered SM, in the hopes that it’d be slightly cheaper to restore. The story here is a sad one, as the seller’s grandfather passed away after parking this 1970 example in the garage. As he notes, the interior contains memories of his grandfather from the last day he drove it, including maps and records. I’d have a hard time letting this car go, but if I didn’t have the budget to restore it properly, I’m sure the seller knows that his relatives would want to see it returned to its original glory. Would you take this one on, or hold out for the more sporting SM?


  1. Avatar photo jean Lecointe

    Hi barn finders,
    two events about DS at a few minutes distance is fascinating for a french subscriber.
    1970 is a good year for DS or ID. Citroën had introduced the LHM hydraulic fluid and all engineering oddities had been improved.
    The reliability of the so feared Hydraulic system is fascinating.
    So, as far as engine or gear box are concerned, there is no threat.
    The dreadful concern is rust.
    Get away as fast as you can from a rusted body.
    Find a sound and rust free body, hopefully find a usable interior, spend a rather high amount of money and enjoy driving one of the most fascinating car ever built.
    Good luck.

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  2. Avatar photo JD Sport

    I’m sorry; but I would be embarrassed to be seen driving one of these. Just my opinion. I understand that it is different; and that the french pushed to break from the norm in engineering and design; but they still could have rapped it in better looking sheet metal and trim. Again…just my opinion.

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  3. Avatar photo francisco

    JD Sport, you need to class up a bit. This design far surpasses the generic style of the 2000’s. Why can’t automakers be bold, inventive anymore?

    P.S. French is a proper adjective and should be capitalized.
    P.P. S. rapped(sic) should be spelled wrapped.

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  4. Avatar photo Ken Nelson Member

    JD, you have no idea of the genius under that very aerodynamic body – A Northwestern University Transportation study I came across around 1967 compared a bunch of cars in a wind tunnel. The DS came out better streamlined than the Porsche 911 – so you might want to reconsider your opinion of how Citroen “rapped” their amazing engineering. One detail very few folks know about is that of all the cars ever designed in this world, only the Citroen DS, SM and 2CV plus a few later versions use NOT cheap rubber bushings in all their suspension arms, but tapered rollerbearings – there is no more accurate suspension control device. So – you never have to replace any suspension pivots in a Citroen – they’re lubed and sealed for life, meaning no sloppy handling, no need to pull the suspension apart to replace all those aged, cracked, crumbly gummy bits – there aren’t any. And a side effect of those bearings is that once you’ve set the steering alignment on a Citroen, it never changes unless you bend a suspension arm or mix it up with another car. Driving a DS or SM is the closest you can get to flying without leaving the road. My favorite trick when someone is tailgating me thru a residential area is to hit speed bumps at about 35 in my ’65 DS – and watch the followers bang off their headliner – great fun!

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    • Avatar photo Jeff Lavery Staff

      Ken, with that last momento about the speed bumps, you’ve made me want one even more! Great story.

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  5. Avatar photo chris

    I have to side with JD here. Less ugly than an Ami (not difficult!), with a great ride & spacious interior.
    But I can’t get past the looks.

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  6. Avatar photo Ken Nelson Member

    Agree with you Chris on the Ami, and the Panhard Junior is another French styling botch, but if the DS is considered as an object in a fluid stream, few cars work as well as it does in the real world, and the rest of the world is slowly catching up with its aero styling. You’d be amazed at how little it’s affected by crosswinds. Not only that, but even today, even 60 yrs after it was introduced, it still looks more than modern. Unfortunately, the things we got used to as kids tend to set patterns of taste. One Saturday morning around 1971, I was driving my DS into downtown Wilmington Delaware, thru an ungentrified part of town. As I cruised down the offramp, two kids about 8 yrs old on the sidewalk saw me coming and one hollered out “man, lookit the spaceship”. That kid had fresh eyes and hadn’t picked up a Motown influence yet. The DS is pure physics – not advertising.

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