Please don't use the "it must be cultural differences" to explain away the crashing of a pile of Citroens by a lowly Chevy. As an American who loves and admires all things DS and ID in the Citroen realm... And there are A LOT of us!
I can only groan and shed a tear... If I read the comment correctly, it was in Limey Land that someone staged this dreadful waste of an icon... 8 icons actually... nothing lasts forever, but to hasten their demise is a shame... on the other hand, the Citroens must have been next to worthless in the real world marketplace, or they would have already been properly cared for. Obviously no one wanted them, and at least they gave a modicum of entertainment to someone before being ground up and melted down.
Cars are after all: only 20-40 year pieces of art... metal and glass art. They are not permanent sculptures, damned shame... but it's true.
Hello to all who are interested enough to read at length the reviews and comments about such a wonderful piece of machinery. I live in the state of Oregon in a small coastal community. Two very big reasons why I never was exposed to these amazing vehicles in my childhood, except for in the movies or picture books, was the fact that I grew up in the states and in an area of heavy salt precipitation. When I was 19, I happened upon a 1963 Ami 6 break stored in a shed. It was a little rusty and needed new tires, but the transplanted 602cc engine ran amazing with fresh fuel, even with a big hole in the intake, which I covered with bubble gum (no kidding!) to allow it to drive the 40 miles home. I kick myself for ever having sold that car, and cheers to the guy who bought it and my cherry 1977 Peugeot 504 break diesel back when... oh to be able to go back in time.
Back to the DS. In August of 2010 I flew back from spending months on the Bering Sea to California where I purchased a beautiful 1970 ID Familiale. I had never even driven a DS/ID before, but I know I wanted one once I had the money to purchase a clean example. I drove that car home from Paradise, California, to Astoria, Oregon in 120 degree F weather without issue at 70-80 MPH, passing cars on long uphill curves and straights, all the while noticing other drivers breaking their necks to see that strange looking auto cruising by them.
One of the other reviews here was stating how there was a good amount of wind noise at speed, which I have to completely disagree with. On my long drive home from California, I had all of the window rolled down and was making phone calls from my Bluetooth without the person on the other end of the line even knowing that I was behind the wheel. No buffeting, as the car slips thought the air like a shark in water.
A friend once told me that my car looked as if a Saab 900 and a 80s Porsche 911 had a love child. I thought that to be one of the more accurate descriptions of the vehicle that I've heard from Americans.
Since acquiring my Familiale, I have owned 4 other DS/ID variants, still possessing 3 sedans and tons of parts. From none to 5 and a stock pile of goodies, the transition was almost breakneck. The love affair will never fizzle, and I pledge to keep my cars on the road as long as I can turn a wrench.
I also own a 1976 Merc 450SL, 1968 Meyers Manx dune buggy, 2005 Merc G500 (heavily modified for overland excursions), and a few other motorized toys, but none get used or loved as much as my Familiale (his name is Louvelle).
My Citroën has been as reliable as any other vehicle I've ever owned, with the exception of the G500, which was nearly new when I purchased it; tell me where I can buy a 3 year old DS and I'll get back to you ;)
For the couple of you haters on here, I respect your opinion, incorrect as it may be. You can't please everybody, and a DS is NOT the car for everyone, i.e. if you aren't a conversationalist, don't even think about becoming a classic Citroën owner, especially in the states. I can't tell you how many times at the fuel pump or grocery store parking lot I've been asked what kind of car it is. Remember, I'm dealing with people who have never seen, and some never have even heard of such a car.
Parts are available from at least two reliable sources on the west coast, and plenty more scattered throughout the country, so don't think that you're buying a total pink elephant. Finding a decent mechanic might will be difficult, unless you're in Seattle, Portland, Santa Cruz, or San Diego, as far as the west coast owners are concerned.
A great classic car at a reasonable price still, but it won't last people. If you're thinking about buying one of these classics, pick one out that is in the best shape that you can afford, as it will save you headaches, but also don't hesitate as these cars aren't getting any cheaper! Just buy one, you'll love everything about it, except maybe not having a self-cancelling turn signal switch ;)
Keep your cars on the road, it's your duty as a caretaker of an automotive icon. Happy motoring!
Check out https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152115033659526&set=a.10151358942424526.492134.590689525&type=1&relevant_count=1 for a stunning example of the 'love child' you are talking about.
As a D owner of only 5 years experience I can, and will, affirm the positive things that have already been said. The majority of negative things that people think are usually a result of not knowing. Some points should be expanded on... Citroen was not the originator of many things (disc brakes for example), but were the first to make them standard across the entire range (not just top models or 50 special creations).
There will always be compromises in any engineering endeavour. Where the DS excels is that many pure engineering philosophies were not compromised on - where many other manufacturers took the easy way out. Center point steering, inboard disc brakes, 1/1000 inch tolerances as factory standard, are just a small selection.
Certainly compared to a lot of safety features on modern cars, a 1940's designed car will not keep up. However, the importance of airbags or traction control is actually very minor in the real world application of driving several hundred miles in a day. Visibility out of the cabin is brilliant, roadholding tremendous (with the correct Michelin tyres), and comfort on secondary roads cannot be compared with any other vehicle.
Yes it is underpowered for reasons that are easily found with just a little research. Given that, it is surprising how often I am held up by modern cars, including 'performance' cars, on a trip. This might be a reflection of the other drivers abilities though. I'm sure a fettled Porsche driven by a capable driver would lose me in an instant. Fact is, I don't see it on the road.
Bad roads is where the DS truly shines, as it was the ruined roads of France post WW2 that it was designed for. Speed humps? I see them as I pass over them... Anyway, enough from me. Those that are informed know what I'm talking about. Those that want to be informed will make the effort.
My history with the marque is that I originally hated the car. The look, the pointless stupid Frenchness of the car, the colours, the small pathetic engine etc etc. That was when I was a boy and ignorant. I then grew up, learned to think for myself and had a ride in one in an incredibly rural setting. That is when I wondered if my attitude should change and my lifetime Citroen Sortie started... I now have a DS23 Pallas 5 Speed and do not hesitate to drive as far or as hard as I like. But it is a car that has to be actively driven, not on autopilot like many of the sterile offerings in showrooms today.
Maintenance is not a chore - but you just can't afford to ignore 'signals' when you get them like I always had done with Japanese cars. I have never felt so much inclined to keep my car valeted before. There is pride in being a custodian. And the attention from intelligent people is nice too! (especially the women that are into design and France...)