1971 Citroen DS21
Five-speed manual; rust-free car from the South of France; lots of preventative maintenance over the past few years; a lovely example ready to enjoy
The most radical machine yet to appear in the 70-year history of the motorcar, the DS caused an absolute sensation when it was unveiled in 1955, offering a glimpse of a braver, brighter future in a world still labouring under drab post-war rations and restrictions.
A quantum leap for car design with its futuristic looks, amazing hydro-pneumatic technology and other far-reaching innovations, it still ranks as one of the world’s greatest industrial designs. The self-levelling suspension used clever nitrogen filled spheres and hydraulic oil with a system of valves and pumps to keep the car at a constant height, giving fully independent suspension and effective damping all at the same time. As if this wasn’t clever enough, the hydraulic pressure was used to power all sorts of things, from the brakes to the steering - even assisting with the gearchange and the swivelling headlights on some models.
As late as 2009 the DS was voted “most beautiful car of all time” by a panel of 20 famous designers including Giorgetto Giugiaro, Paul Bracq and Ian Callum. So right was the initial concept that it remained in production substantially unaltered for two decades.
This 1971 DS21 Confort hails from a small town near Marseille. Having been resident in a small mountain town on the Cote d’Azur, the climate has clearly been kind to the bodywork, the structure remaining in remarkable condition for a 51-year-old with just a couple of minor blemishes on the front and rear wings as photographed.
It was imported into the UK in 2004 through French Classics in Kent, its first of three UK owners using the car extensively on international road rallies, including Le Jog in which it achieved a class win.
The current owner acquired it in 2015 and is very reluctantly offering it here due to a reduction in storage and the imminent arrival of yet another quirky French bolide to join his collection.
In his ownership, the car has been used regularly and reliably, in part due to a regime of preventative maintenance undertaken by a local DS expert. Within the last 18 months the car has had a full LHM fluid flush, new suspension spheres and a new hydraulic pump. The vendor reports that the suspension is healthy, supported by the audible clicking in and out of the hydraulic pump valve at 15 second intervals or so…..
In addition, the car has had 123 electronic ignition fitted, new brake pads and shoes, a new alternator and uprated radiator and water pump. The vendor has also added a Hi-Torque starter and fitted the latest-type uprated drive shafts and the head has been off and new valves and springs fitted too.
At some point a tow bar has been added, which proved useful on a trip to Vintage Montlhery towing the vendor’s cyclecar – an effortless journey with the car running like clockwork.
The vendor had always intended this car to be a keeper, hence the extent of the recent work done and the inclusion of a boot full of useful stuff. This includes a ‘yet to be’ fitted radio supplied by Retro-Classic. An expensive unit, it has a modern DAB conversion and comes with speakers and a clever front designed to make it look very close to the original.
The boot also contains a comprehensive touring kit which includes the sorts of spares one might need for a dash across the Continent plus a new accumulator sphere, wheel trims and a pair of headlight glasses (hard to find we are told).
The vendor fitted a new pair of front tyres not long ago and advises that the first UK owner fitted upgraded Halogen headlamps correctly wired with relays etc. The car was last MOTd in 2016 with no advisories then, since when it has only been improved.
This well-spec’d car also has a rear sunblind (nice) and several standard features which make DS ownership particularly straightforward – including a carburettor and a straightforward five-speed manual box.
Ready to go, its new owner can ‘brush up’ his French with the supplied handbook and enjoy this well-sorted car straight away.
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Reg No: BVM78K
Chassis Number: 4512436
Engine Number: 0571011127
Engine Size: 2175
Sale Section & Buyers Premium (ex VAT): Car 12%, Minimum £150
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