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French Barn Find: 1957 Citroen ID19P


The Citroen DS was a showcase of advanced technology and quirky styling, but shortly after its release in 1955 the French manufacture realized they needed a cheaper version to be appealing to a wider market. This led to the introduction of the ID in ’57. French reader and fellow Barn Finder Jean L discovered his 1957 Citroen ID19P hiding in a barn. He had planned to restore it, but life has gotten in the way, so he has decided to sell it.


The ID was based on the DS, but to keep costs down came with a conventional transmission, clutch, and lacked power steering. Sadly, the ID still made use of some of the DS’ systems, such as the hydropneumatic suspension. It’s hard to know how long it was parked and time hasn’t treated it well. There is plenty of rust that will need to be fixed and the hydraulic system will need to be rebuilt, which could get expensive.


Jean claims that the original 1.9 liter four cylinder turn freely, but doesn’t run. This engine is only good for about 55 hp, but is the same unit as the 75 hp motor found in the DS. While the DS and ID are front wheel drive, you might notice how far back the motor sits. Citroen designed this car with what is often considered to be a mid-mount front wheel drive layout, which helped with weight distribution.


The interior is also in need of attention, as it appears the local wildlife took up residence in it. The quirky exterior styling continued inside the car, with a futuristic looking steering wheel and unique gauges. At its Paris debut, many spectators commented on its futuristic and space age design, both inside and out.


Jean had big dreams for Noemi, as he calls her, but he knows he will never get around to her. She is in rough shape, but he has a parts car that comes with her. Hopefully between the two, one solid car can be put together. While there is a lot of work to be done, one of the bigger issues will be getting both cars from their current home in Bergerac, France. Jean knows it’s a long shot, but he hopes someone will buy this early ID and save it, which is why he is only asking $700 for both cars. If you are interested, click here to send Jean an email. Special thanks to Jean for sharing his find with us and we wish him the best!


  1. Will

    At least the price is fair. If I had more space I would buy them to part out for profit. The trim pieces alone are worth his asking price.

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  2. Dolphin Member

    A project for masochists, a parts car for ’50s Citroen owners.

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  3. GeeBee

    A 160 mph speedo in a 55 hp car……lol

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    • J.F.

      That’s definitely 160 Kilometres per hour…..or, optimistically, about 100 Miles per hour.

      It wouldn’t go that fast, but it would hold it’s realistic top speed pretty well all day…the flywheels were extremely heavy so, while they didn’t have a lot of power, they’d gather speed like a train, and would stay at maximum rpm for as long as there was gas in the tank and clear road ahead.

      That car appears to be in restorable shape. If you look at the inside lip of the removed rear fender area, and look at the way the steel survives at the wrapped around ‘earmuff’ at the back end of that, it’s an indication of the remaining structural integrity. The side members and floor are probably gone, but can be rebuilt. And with the simpler hydraulic system of the ID, plumbing is of reduced complexity. True, it’ll likely need new pump and accumulator, and all of the suspension spheres will need to be replaced…(or, as can be done with cars of that age, have the membranes replaced and simply recharged with fresh nitrogen gas…and therefore returned to new spec)… but those cars used simple veggie based brake fluid, called LHS2 fluid. Once parts are replaced, one can use silicone-based brake fluid and eliminate any of the old hygroscopic caused internal rust issues that caused grief before the later series eliminated the problems.

      Historically, this car is far too rare to see it go for parts….and the excellent book by John Reynolds, “Original Citroen DS” is a fine way to research the specs this car should have.

      Despite the comments below, these cars are actually quite easy to repair. I have had one or another – in a part of Canada where rust is ALWAYS an issue with ANY car – since 1971, and while mine has been mothballed now for a while, I can still do any repairs to it myself.

      If I were able to ship that pair of cars over here, I’d grab the deal today…sight unseen….it’s that rare. According to John Reynolds, there was a total of 5655 ID models of ALL specifications, made in France in 1957. It being an ID 19P indicates, it was higher spec than most, and with the optional Marchal driving lights and Robri-made, dealer installed, stainless steel side trim, it suggests it was sold to a buyer who was looking for more ‘bling’ than the bare bones ID offered, but less complexity for maintenance.

      The car is clsoe enough to the Netherlands and Germany, where they are being restored to a very high degree of quality, so that somebody will see it and grab it….the price is VERY low.

      After all these cars were selected as 3rd in Car of The Century ballots, after the Ford Model T and the real Austin Mini….for what the Citroen accomplished in it sweeping design innovations and manufacturing techniques…the first use of “clean room technology”. as well as the first “1 micron” assembly tolerance…which is still not reached by most car manufacturers.

      And, my final comment to the person who thinks one must be a “rich, blind, masochist” to appreciate these cars. Personally I am neither of the terms mentioned….however, I do appreciate the accomplishments made by the small team of engineers who created these cars, on a painfully strict budget, in the face of stalwartly conservative ideas that had, like today, spread their backwardness throughout the world…

      I appreciate these cars because unlike what’s out there now, they represent genuine progressive ideas, put into real use and manufactured over a period of 20 years to serve markets that were constantly changing. Imagine any company trying that today….and you’ll see what I mean. The boldness and design innovation such as these cars represented in the context of their time, or today, will never happen again.

      As to the complexity of the Citroen hydraulic suspension….evolution has taken place, and they are several generations beyond the simple hydraulics of these ID cars….and despite that, they are just as reliable as any car other on the market.

      I hope the vendor finds the right buyer and both of the cars he has on offer get restored.



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      • jean Lecointe

        Dear JF
        I missed your comment and read it only tonight (april 3rd). how I do agree with all you wrote about Citroens ID 19.
        Today I did find a buyer in France who is ready to restore “Noemi”.
        I would like to tell you that if you ever travel to France you will be welcome to stay with me in the Perigord and have a nice chatt about Citroens and a ride with Penelope, 11BL 1952 or Hortense 2CV 1957. I give names to the cars that are important in my life.
        Kind regards

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  4. Todd Fitch

    Maybe in France that wouldn’t be a huge stretch, but if that were a barn find in the US, Only someone with more money than sense would even attempt to try and restore that! Can someone Say Money Pit???

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  5. KEEB

    GeeBee, laughing at yourself I hope 160KPH equals 100MPH

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    Looks like most nay sayers have found their way here.
    Correct on the odometer being in Kilometers…..
    These are getting rare, and somebody will pick these up, but in France or Europe, where they’re appreciated.
    He is advertising to the wrong market.
    The seller thinks Americans still have money.
    If he only knew……..

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  7. Cath

    Belles photos ! Tu vas surement rencontrer un Citroën-lover comme toi…..

    Translation: Beautiful photos! You’ll probably see a Citroën-lover like you …..

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  8. Rancho Bella

    Mr. Jane………not even a fresh up of tea will help this poor beast……….

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  9. FRED


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  10. Frank Bergin

    Obviously this car’s details need to be carefully checked out but it seems to be a very early example of an ID which were only produced the year after the introduction of the DS in 1955. It might be worth contacting Citroen’s own Conservatoire to see if they have any interest. They would have the resouces to carry out the ground-up restoration required.
    It would be criminal treason to scrap this car now in view of its age and rarity.

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  11. pyshdoff

    The DS usually rust first in the back, this chassis looks to be fairly solid. Would need a full restoration but at least its mostly all there. I done worse and all the parts are availible. The author says “sadly the id still made use of the ds’s suspension” LOL what a stupid statement.

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  12. Mike Linbeck

    We were taking a winery tour in the Texas Hill country a few ywars back, and stop at McReynolds Winery, a one man operation that was on the Texas Wine Tour. He had a have dozen of these cars on his property covered with weeds and vines.

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  13. Webby

    One for a rich, blind, masochist. ‘Quirky’ is being kind. They do have a fantastic ride though, I’ll give ’em that.

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