Citroen DS Reviews

1974 Citroen DS DS23 Auto Carby non Pallas 2.3 from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1974
Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 2.3 Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Most recent distance256000 kilometres

Summary:

There's nothing like a DS!

Faults:

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!

10th Aug 2010, 01:12

I am looking to buy a 1973 DS pPllas speed manual carby, fully restored. What should I be paying?

10th Sep 2013, 16:48

I drove one every day for seven years and sold it a couple of years ago. It cost less to run than my wife's Honda Civic. These things are very often looked after by obsessives or at least those who appreciate the particular pleasures in owning... and driving one of these. A well set D is a good option as a everyday driver, and if you're not a techie there are enough garages in the know to keep you comfortably on the road.

24th Jun 2014, 05:23

I have a 1973 carby Pallas 23 manual. I paid $12500 for it when I should have paid $18,000. I've since spent probably $3000 on things I deemed essential but my wife deemed 'wanted'. Otherwise it would have been fine without fiddling. Different markets have quite wildly different prices. I could probably get 20k British pounds for the car, but would struggle to get 20k NZ dollars, certainly not a hope of getting $40k for it. It would be worth sticking it in a container and sending it to the UK... (not that I would).

Fuel economy is non existent... But that can be rectified with a bit of thought, clever driving and (sacre bleu) a non original Weber carby.

If you think you want one, join the local Citroen Club and start learning - that way you will avoid the ignorant rookie mistakes and save yourself some grief.

1965 Citroen DS ID 1.9 from North America

Model year1965
Year of manufacture1965
First year of ownership1966
Most recent year of ownership1968
Engine and transmission 1.9 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
10.0 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance9000 miles
Previous carAustin Healey ID 19

Summary:

I'm going out to buy a C5 after I sell my Peugeot 306

Faults:

The Austin Healey I had prior to my first Citroen had all sorts of things go wrong hence when asked to have a drive of a Citroen ID19 I was in heaven. Here was a car that went through the Toronto snow, went up and down to accomodate road conditions etc. Was warm inside, and I could carry a wardrobe in the trunk (sorry, boot) and got 10 miles per gallon more than the Healey. Nothing went wrong with the Citroen.

General Comments:

The ID was certainly very rare in Toronto, not so in Montreal for obvious reasons. Citroen Canada kept a French mechanic in their garage who was all the assurance needed to have you feel there would be no problem with the car. Once a year the car went in for a look at every thing, (an MOT if you like) and those things were put wright; brake pads, change (red) fluid, check bulbs, coolant change every year, etc. etc. also car for the day. THEN I discovered the DS. Bought new 1967 DS21 in 1968.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th August, 2005

Average review marks: 8.1 / 10, based on 6 reviews