1974 Citroen DS DS23 Auto Carby non Pallas 2.3


There's nothing like a DS!


This car was bought as a hobby. I have another car for daily use.

Not surprisingly, the hobby car has taken over and these days, it's more of a novelty to see me in my 'daily driver'!

Being just a little obsessive, I started out chasing down a plethora of leaks. The fully automatic DS runs four different types of oils. You have LHM in your hydraulic lines. You have engine oil in the engine. You have automatic transmission oil (DX2, definitely NOT DX3!!!) in your gearbox. And there is diff oil in the diff.

I spent the first year chasing down oil leaks. The garage floor looked like something Pro Hart would've been proud of with all the different coloured oils I was losing. :- (

I must confess I did begin to get a little frustrated, but in the main I didn't mind spending one day a month up at the DS specialists' workshop. It's a nice drive and it afforded me an opportunity to hobnob with other DS fanatics whilst learning a little bit about my car at the elbow of a master.

During the first year or so, we chased oil leaks of every description. We replaced brake pads, drums and shoes. We did a water pump replacement (three pulley variety as my car has air conditioning). We adjusted the tappets, replaced the fuel pump, oil pressure sensor, installed a coolant temperature sender unit and gauge (no, they don't all come with a temp gauge!), bought and fitted five new Michelin XVS tyres (this car is transformed with the right tyres!), serviced the original airconditioning unit and serviced the auto gearbox. I'd guess there would've been a heap more done, but I think you get the picture.

The car has only broken down and required a flatbed once (I'm realistic enough to concede 'so far'). The hydraulic pump suffered an internal leak and no matter what I tried, I just couldn't get it to rise to the occasion. :-P.

The car was duly towed 150kms to my DS specialist who fitted a temporary hydraulic pump just to keep me mobile. He reconditioned my old unit over a period of about three weeks and after it was refitted I haven't looked back since.

About 8 months ago, I finally got fed up when a fresh oil leak just under the head suggested the head gasket was failing, so it was time to undertake a rebuild just a few months ago. The engine and gearbox were removed from the car and split up. The gearbox was sent away to a tranny specialist whilst my guru did his thing with the engine and engine bay.

It was all said and done within seven weeks. We also took the opportunity to install a brand new modern rotary type airconditioning compressor and fit a super dooper heatshield to the firewall.

The car has recently also received a 123 electronic ignition (dizzy) and this has proved to be a very worthwhile mod.

General Comments:

This car satisfies many people on different levels.

There are those who simply appreciate the lines and aesthetics.

There are those who love the comfort (absolutely nothing compares!).

And of course, there are the reactions these cars always get when other people see them, the best being when you're overtaking them, very confidently, at a good speed on the open road. Most people are awestruck when they see one of these fly past.

And there are those who are totally absorbed by, and immersed in the engineering. They just can't keep themselves from pulling the car apart even if it's only to put it back together again!

During the last two years, I've had the pleasure and privilege of watching two very detailed DS restorations. Their owners are tickled pink and I am green with envy. They have achieved the closest you can get to owning a new DS.

The Citroen Car Club has been better than great, and based on my experience with this club, I'd certainly recommend car club membership if you're considering getting any classic car. Everyone has been friendly and helpful. No one cares how much or how little you know. They're just happy to have another like minded soul to chat to.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th November, 2007

2nd Feb 2010, 01:47

Lovely cars, but I get the impression that unless you have your hand in yer pocket all the time, they will break down.

9th Feb 2010, 11:36

Only 6/10 for reliability! Pity. I'd love a DS, but I would prefer trouble free motoring.

26th May 2010, 22:10

I'm the author of the original review.

That car was bought in 2005 as a hobby. As with any old car, spending a bit initially is to be expected, especially if you are a bit fussy.

To round it off, I should add that I have travelled over 30,000kms in it in the past five years and the car has been absolutely marvellous and dependable.

Further, I enjoyed this experience so much that I bought another DS midway through 2009. The new toy is a 5 speed, fuel injected 1972 DS21 Pallas.

They're both great cars!

1972 Citroen DS D Special 2.0


One of the greatest road-trip cars ever, I will always have a D in my garage!


Water Pump started leaking.

Engine mountings and front brake rotors needed replacement.

Hydralic Pump had internal leaks, causing a long rise time.

All Spheres needed replacement.

Radiator cleaned out to help with cooling.

Clutch Cable linkage broke.

General Comments:

Fantastic to drive over rough twisty roads. It makes you hate driving "normal" cars!

Great visibility round A pillars.

Very tough, reliable and fast.

Noisy gearbox the only let down.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th May, 2003

4th Sep 2003, 22:18

Definitely the pinnacle of Citroen's engineering and styling prowess. The D Series Citroens, over 20 years later, I still regard as the best handlers on the road combined with unusual, but stylish good looks although I suppose that last comment is subject to debate!! If you have the technical know-how then these cars are no more difficult to maintain than equivalent Australian cars of the same era.

26th Nov 2004, 17:53

Definitely the Queen of the road, wherever you live!!