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Under the Barn Find: 1970 Citroen DS21

Over the last few months, there have been a number of Citroens posted for sale on Facebook Marketplace in upstate New York. It’s clear that there was an individual who adored these funky French cars but didn’t have the ability to maintain them over the long term, as the listings generally showed the cars outside in the snow or covered under years’ worth of thick dust. I don’t know if this is another vehicle from the same property, but if it was, it clearly shows that the owner had them stuffed in every nook and cranny. This is a 1970 Citroen DS21 and it’s listed here on eBay with a starting bid of $5,900 and no takers yet.

Truth be told, despite being stored in a way that doesn’t exactly inspire great confidence, the Citroen emerged in much better condition than expected.  The upper body panels certainly had the potential for rot holes going all the way through if it was parked under a leaky wooden beam, but that doesn’t appear to have happened. Now, of course, the floors are a different issue entirely, and the eBay gallery photos do show that a fair amount of rust repair is needed on the passenger-side floor. But the harder to replace/rebuild sections – like the glass, lenses, and chrome bumpers – all appear to be in very good condition.

The interior is also holding up better than you might expect for an old French car living under a barn. The seat upholstery definitely needs work but it is absolutely in the kind of shape you can live with while the mechanical systems are repaired. Again, I’m struck by the level of completeness on display, as it really does seem like the Citroen went into storage as a complete driver without any gaping flaws. Even the carpets look serviceable. The photos show that the backseat is in similar, if not better, condition, and while the odometer shows 47K miles, there’s no way of knowing if it’s already spun around once before.

The seller claims the engine will not rotate at the moment, but it’s also possible he hasn’t spent a ton of time trying to get it freed up, especially if he’s just helping out a friend. I can’t be certain this is the same seller I’ve seen on Facebook but it seems to line up; regardless, the Catskills region is somewhat famous for being a retreat for folks from New York City to escape to on the weekends, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see an eccentric car like a DS21 hiding out up in the mountains; less expected is to see it parked under a barn! I would love to see the extraction photos/video of this one.


  1. RayT Member

    As a (former) DS21 owner, my personal tendency would be to stay away from this. There’s loads o’ rot underneath, and patch panels for these don’t grow on trees. It strikes me as an odd specification, too: most of these I’ve seen — including mine — had the neat semi-auto transmission, which did away with the clutch pedal. This one is fully manual, and thus is, to me, not as desirable.

    All that aside, the buyer can expect also to have to go through the engine (these don’t deal with neglect any better than any other powerplant) and, most daunting and potentially costly, the hydraulics (steering, brakes and suspension). Frankly, I’m a bit surprised to see it sitting so high, as that’s usually a sign that a) the engine is running and b) the hydraulics are building and holding pressure.

    But it’s still a DS, and I love the things, even after mine flooded the driveway with hydraulic fluid on more than one occasion….

    At the end of the day, it’s the rot that makes me want to avoid this particular car. This looks like a good parts car, at roughly one-fifth the asking price.

    Like 8
  2. Steve

    Looks like it’s holding up the barn

    Like 8
  3. Greg B Greg B Member

    Now that’s a barn find!

    Like 8
  4. junkman Member

    I’m right there with you RayT.

  5. Ken Nelson Member

    A lot of major rust damage there – what’s really surprising is how high that one pic of the end of a fender shows the rot has crept up the car! I’ve only seen rust damage like that from where a car was driven in a salted road environment and mud packed with salt has been slung up on the inside of that fender and stuck there too attack the metal – sad but if someone with a lot of mig welding experience and his own metal shear and brake, could make up panels to make this car stronger than the factory if he/she knew what to do structurally –

    Like 1
  6. Troy

    I see scrap metal, but its location explains the high asking price

    Like 3
    • Fran

      Agree Roy. New yonkers think they have the best junk! I know we fled nys

      Like 1
  7. Lance

    non merci.

  8. Art

    NY, NJ, PA, the northeast generally just eats these pre-galvanized autos for lunch, dinner and breakfast. Stay way away.

  9. Rusty Trawler

    Looks like something from an Indiana Jones movie. Good luck getting that out alive.

  10. Steve Clinton

    They better get it out of there before the barn collapses!

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