Gallic Goddess: 1969 Citroen DS 21 Pallas


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While this Citroen DS21 Pallas isn’t ready to drive in its current state, it is much closer to being a decent project to restore or enjoy as-is than most I’ve seen. Reader Mark V. sent this one in with a one word comment; “Oui!” Although the car apparently spent most of its life in Los Angeles, it’s now on Vashon Island, Washington and is available here on craigslist for $2,950.


Apparently this is what the car looked like when exhumed from a Los Angeles garage about six months ago. The seller intended to restore it, but as they have many other collector vehicles based on the listing pictures, they have decided to pass on this particular project for now. One of the best liked versions of the iconic French ride, the later DS 21 Pallas “LHM” cars like this one use the later, better hydraulic fluid for all the systems and arguably have the most attractive dashboard. It should be noted that several panels have named the DS either the “car of the century” or “the most beautiful car in the world” over time.


The key about this particular Citroen is the almost complete lack of rust. Apart from some rust on the trunk lid due to a design flaw with an “upgraded” seal, there’s no rust showing on the car. It’s also remarkably original, and is believed to have been off the road since 38,000 miles and 1977. The seller says that a repaint is in order, but I’d sure be trying everything I could do to preserve what’s on there now.


Here’s that dashboard, complete with the single spoke steering wheel. Remember, this is one of those Citroens where everything is unusual, even the power self-centering steering! There are no seats with the vehicle, so that’s one thing you will have to source. They are pretty expensive, if you follow this link to some eBay auctions, you’ll find some rear seats for around $800 for the set, but a set of front seats will run you over $2,000 plus shipping from the UK! Hopefully one of the several specialists on this side of the pond can help you with a less expensive set.


Oops! Bit of a problem here, too. This is what remains of the car’s drive train. While the transmission appears to at least be intact, there’s enough missing off the engine that you may be sourcing an entire unit. If you decide to do that, let us know!


Auctions Ending Soon


  1. charlieMember

    And if you think Jaguars are unreliable (and hard to get parts for) try owning one of these – but when it runs it is a dream machine. So much more comfortable than my 2014 Audi Q5 with its 20″, 75 pound wheels, where you feel every bump in the road.

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  2. hhaleblian

    I simply don’t understand the attraction. Great croissants, cars, not so much. Someone explain to me please.

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  3. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

    The Most comfortable car ever built. Seats are expensive because they are so well built and complicated to build. The hydraulic suspension smooths the road of all minor bumps. The only car I’ve ever known that has a smoother ride over large bumps [such as railroad tracks] is the 55/56 Packard with interconnected torsion bars. I have a feeling that if I installed a set of DS Pallas seats in a V8 Packard, I would likely fall asleep while driving!

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  4. junkmanMember

    You won’t see the rust until you look at the corners of the floor boards where they meet the rockers. While this car may seem appealing your going upside down so fast your head will spin. Buy one that’s done. way to many issues here.

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  5. Greggo L

    The DS did not have self centering steering, that was on the SM. This car also has the semi-auto trans, which is not so great. In a manual trans car, if the hydraulics go out at least you can limp towards help. The DS is not an unreliable car, I had over 300,00 miles on my 67 DS. Most, if not all, suffered from deferred maintenance, since Citroen pulled out of the US in 73. In addition, they are a car that really needs to be driven regularly, the worst thing you can do is let a DS sit idle. It is an amazing car when right, you can take parking lot speed bumps at 45 MPH without a hitch.

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  6. Bob S

    Rust free except where there is some . Jay Leno has a great feature on the DS and knows the car very well. I’d love to try one.

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  7. youcanrunnaked

    Back in the day, meaning circa 1980, I had an opportunity to buy one of these on Long Island from a gentleman who was relocating to California. He wanted $1,000 for the car. It was white with tan leather interior, and it ran well. It was a complete and original daily driver, albeit it had some rust around the rockers that needed attention. I had even scoped out the price of repairs from a local Citroen specialist, who was familiar with the car and assured me he could help me keep it on the road. Ultimately, I passed on the deal. I was a recent college grad and reasoned that I needed a “reliable” car for work. (So I decided to hold onto my Renault 5. Yeah, I know.) One of the few car decisions that I regret to this day.

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  8. dik s

    Wow Charly,
    I have no idea what kind of experience you had with these cars.
    I am 72 years old and fell in love with them when they came in 1956.
    I got my first one when I was 20 and it was a 1956 model, so one of the very first.
    I did not keep it.
    I got my second one in 1971. that was the special 1967 model between the round headlights and the the new later double headlights. This one had already the HLM hydraulic system.
    Then 4 others followed. I got them all. except the first and the third one, with over 100 000 km and put them on lpg. and drove another 100 000 with them.
    I still drive citroens with hydraulic suspension.
    Yes, correct others about rust. But all cars of that period suffered of that.
    I indeed had also 2 cars with the semi automatic gearbox. Absolutely super.
    And to Bill McCoskey,
    you say: the most comfi car eve built.
    I still drove my last two Dses and then tested a new Cx.
    After that I drove again my DS and I thought: what a lorie is this compared to a CX.
    For me the CX was the most comfi, especial the break version. But that one had a big problem with the balljoints of the front wheel suspension.
    But I agree, it is the most amazing car of the 20 century. the most beautiful one? may be. As Ferrari said the Jaguar E-type was the most beautiful one. For me he was right.
    For me they are really reliable as I now drive a C5 of 2012 with 457 000 km on it on lpg.
    And this one is the cheapest I ever had.

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