My earliest memory of being in a car was when I was a wee queenling. My mother's parents, and my grandparents I was closest too, had two cars, one being a vintage Citroen DS. Matter of fact my grandfather learned to drive very late in life, just to able to own and drive a Citroen. I remember enjoying being in the car when we went for rides, but it was much later that I really remember just how chic, and what style they had till I was much older and couldn't recall seeing other cars like it. Girls, when I say this car was chic and fun, it was just that. The car sat for years when he stopped driving. Even after sitting for years, the car started right up when my uncle took the car at the urging of my grandmother, who was razing the detached garage, to make way for a sunroom and more garden space a couple years after my grandfather's passing. How I wished I had that car now. I would totally drive it daily.
My grandfathers Citroen DS in Belleview Park where they lived.
When the Citroen Ds was unveiled before an astonished crowd at the 1955 Paris Motor Show, the world had never seen anything like it. The DS captured the spirit of Citroen, innovative, daring, spacious, style and dripping with haute couture and Gallic comfort. The interior was huge and well appointed. Motorist around the world fell in love with the car, and it refused to die till the last 1, 456,115 produced came of the assembly line in 1975. It was a mainstream family car in Europe. And it was a car of choice for everyone from artistic and eccentrics, to businessman, doctors, engineers, and professor to housewives. After the DS was out of production, and Citroen left the American market, there was no comparable replacement in the American showroom that had its retro style.
The features list tends to define what a luxury car is these days. And while classic cars arguably had style and grace, they can't compete when it comes to the bells and whistles of today. But at the time Citroen had offered a lot and was way ahead of its time. It's hydropneumatics, self-leveling suspension and aerodynamic styling, and adjusting headlights. In 2009, a panel of automotive designers named it the most beautiful care ever made. High praise, considering it faced off against the like of Mercedes, Aston Martin, and Jaguar. It was also the first mass-produced car with front disc brakes. The Citroen DS's real party trick was its suspension, though, which was like a magic carpet ride and one of the smoothest rides I can remember in a car. The ride quality was so impressive, Rolls -Royce borrowed it for its own fleet.
While regarded today as a technical masterpiece...it's beyond me why car makers now can't still have the amazing and convenient technology we now have, yet bring the style, grace and chicness back into one car. These days one can barely tell the difference between car makes anymore.
I really love your reenactment full of good taste and old time nostalgia.ReplyDelete
The way you see what goes on after midnight behind the curtain!Delete
My father had a Citroen DS 21 Pallas, probably a 1968. Dark green, white paint top, gold velour seats, white leather on the inside of the doors. Adjustable height suspension. Beautiful interior, and like you said, one of the smoothest rides I've ever had in a car, had a very stable and precise ride like on steel rails. I also recall it had about 2 inches of soft foam on the floor that kept your feet very comfortable. It was a very nice car.ReplyDelete
I concur. I've never had a smoother ride on a car either. "Precise ride like on steel rails sums it up nicely.Delete
I have always thought they were great looking cars, but can't recall seeing many here at all. Man are cars boring looking now.ReplyDelete
I have always thought the Citroen was one of the most beautiful cars. It was like the epitome of chic and cool. So cool your grandfather had one and a beauty from that picture, when not many in the states had them. I can recall seeing only 4 when I lived there.ReplyDelete
In all my years I only ever recall seeing three in my lifetime so far. And people in Bucks County have classic cars you'd see them all the time, but I don't recall ever seeing a Citreon when I lived in Bucks County.Delete
Lovely car! Tried to drive one myself some years ago. Very easy to drive and the ride comfort is unbeaten! This way of French character, in the French cars, ought to come back! So much more luxurious then todays cars.ReplyDelete
Like so many other things cap, we've become a very disposable Society. The need for style, design, and and being chic is a thing of the past. Now it's all about comfort only and all Cookie Cutter look.Delete
Honestly, I've never bought a car because I thought it was stylish. For as long as I've been driving, and that's a long time, they've never been anything more than vehicles.ReplyDelete
I still think cars can have both, but alas they don't. The first thing I look for is good gas milage. But I have been very enjoyed and pleased with my Mazda MX-5 . I feel it handles well and has a least some small amount of fun in style, compared to the boring cookie cutter cars out there. This has been my fun car.Delete
I could see you in one of these!!! And it wouldn't surprise me. This car was way ahead of it's time, in features, performance and design which for me was the first to bring all three together successfully. When we went to Europe on trips multiple times, we drove in one with our guide. and to date, it had to be one of the smoothest and quietest rides in a car to my memory. The interior was very roomy. I have to have a car that has both a good performance record and looks nice and fun in design. Alas, cars today lack design and style. We had a Mini Cooper, but while it was fun to look at, I couldn't stand the loud ride and lack of smooth ride, and got rid of it. I don't even enjoy driving anymore.ReplyDelete
Oh I have one in a minute. I have no idea what became of my grandfather's after my uncle took it. He kept it in mint condition and drove it. But when my uncle passed I have no idea what happened to it.Delete
OMG that IS a car!ReplyDelete
I love the lines. So stylish! But deep down I'm super practical and always go for good mileage. I promise, though, that when I grow up (and learn to drive a stick shift) I'll buy myself a mini-cooper.
Apparently Mrs Agnes didn't think much of them. And I would agree. Cooper's are great to look at, but my test drive was not a sell for me...it was rather bumpy and rough. It shattered my dream of having one..Delete
Gorgeous car, then and now. I've always wanted one ...ReplyDelete
How did they handle in the snow, though? I never saw a Citroen in Canada when I was growing up.ReplyDelete
That's a good question. My grandfather's was kept in the garage in the winter, he only really drove it the other three seasons.Delete
They were fabulous cars! The problem was finding parts and mechanics for repair in the American market. Dealers were few and far between in the states.ReplyDelete
When I watch videos on restoring citrons a lot of people say the parts are getting even harder to find. They recommend if you want one now just get a fully restored one.Delete
Agree about these older designs. So distinctive. And that's what's wrong with today's car market. Not only do they all need to be electric cars, but they also need not look alike. It's pack mentality. They think in order to compete they must look alike. Stupid. Have they learned nothing from fashion or music? Different is where its at, baby. You were to the manor born! Kizzes.ReplyDelete
Anymore when you go down the road you can't tell the difference between a Mercedes a BMW, a Honda, a Ford etc etc. There's not very many cars that stand out distinctively anymore, I agree.Delete
I couldn't agree more, why can't cars have beautiful designs anymore? Old-timer cars design should come back.ReplyDelete
That's the one thing I miss about living in Bucks County. In the spring and summer and on weekends you'd see numerous classic cars being driven on the back roads. The designs of some of these cars were spectacular.Delete
Chic and sleek.ReplyDelete
Today's car designers seem to be only able to pay copy-cat; if a model becomes popular, all the manufacturers copy it. I miss the days when you knew a make and model by a glance.
Oh yes I totally agree. Like so many other products today I just don't know where the creativity's at. I can always remember going down the road and seeing somebody driving a classic car and thinking I wish I knew them.Delete
.it's beyond me why car makers now can't still have the amazing and convenient technology we now have, yet bring the style, grace and chicness back into one car. These days one can barely tell the difference between car makes anymore.ReplyDelete
AGREED! I say this every time I pass by a full parking lot and have to turn my head the other way so as to avert my gaze. Many of today’s designs lack imagination and character.
And it's so hard to even buying a car MJ. The poor sales people are like oh you don't like this model. Then we have this one. And I'm always like what's the difference? And then when you look across the road at that dealership, the cars look the same as where I'm at.Delete
Citroen cars back in the day were wonderful. It's too bad Mercedes led the charge to ban "gray market" cars from being imported to America unless they were 25 model years old.ReplyDelete
My father had a Peugeot 504 diesel car, and I got to drive it once I got my license. By then, it was well past its prime and it died on me on my way back home from school. I do remember the leather seats were the best I'd ever sat in and the ride was comfortable. Akeno reminds me of that car.
A Peugeot!!!! Now that's a car I haven't seen in a long time. I can't recall if it was in the early 90s, but they sort of made a nice comeback for a while then just disappeared completely.Delete
I have always loved that car. We had neighbors who had one and we always stopped to admire it. My father wanted one but wouldn’t buy because it would sit outside in a huge city parking lot (one of his cars was stolen from there and others were always getting banged up). So he went back to boat-like Chevys and Buicks. They don’t make 'em like that Citroen anymore!ReplyDelete
That was one good thing about this car, it didn't look big outside like the land yachts, but inside was deceptively big, at least I thought so.Delete
"a wee queenling" ROFLMAO!ReplyDelete
Always a head snapper, like yourself.ReplyDelete
Speaking of head snapping, I always thought with their good suspension, the back seat action might have been fun in one.Delete
Tundra Bunny here... Mistress Maddie, you are so right about the cookie cutter nature of today's cars. Everything seems to be the same colour, same features, same dullness. The same applies to furniture and decor -- it's all dark brown or grey, dull and clunky. Where's the light wood, bright colours and non-depressing design? I traded in my 14 year old silver Nissan Pathfinder on a cobalt blue Subaru Crosstrek, which handles nicely and is comfortable to drive in all seasons. But I really do miss my CD Player and leather seats, LOL!ReplyDelete
That's why I sat alone my Mazda MX-5. It's a much smaller car than I'm used to, but damn it I want something with a little character at least. I'm not getting any younger and this is considered my fun car right now. So if I'm selecting a car I'm going to get something at least not quite as boring. Oh I miss CD players in cars.Delete
So many new cars do look the same (especially the SUVs, although some are much uglier than others. Most cars are identifiable only by their badges and most of those badges are totally unknowable as far as I am concerned. I'll keep my 9 year old car, it drives beautifully and hasn't had anything fall off or apart. What more do you need?ReplyDelete
Now Helen you have me remembering when most cars had a hood ornament up in the front, with the car makes mascot or emblem on it.Delete
The DS is truly beautiful. A stunning car, and more than worthy of being a "goddess" (in French: Déesse). You're so fortunate to have had a ride in one, Maddie! I can't imagine there's enough room in your MX-5 for the sort of riding you enjoy these days?ReplyDelete
You're right about cars these days being so dull. I was distraught when I had to say goodbye to my 20 year old Alfa 156 - another beautiful car! As you know, I replaced it with a Mazda3 - not quite as beautiful, but at least it's stylish and looks like a classic car, rather than some brutalist lump of concrete wrapped up in folded up sheet metal (which is how many cars look today).
Well actually , after having two Mazda 3 tourings which you now have I think, going into the MX-5 took me a long time to get used to. I figured I better do a fun car now if I'm going to do it. And this one's not as easy to have sex in either, your observation is correct. But between the Mazda 3 and the my current, I think I'll be sticking with Mazda. Like you said, at least they make an effort to make their cars stylish. Oh yes and I remember pictures of your Alfa!!!!Delete
Definitely not a car I've even seen in real lifeReplyDelete
There were a few oldies in NZ when I was a kid and the family I lived with had what we all called "Maigret's car" https://www.shannons.com.au/auctions/2022-shannons-summer-timed-online-auction/KE430E1EOU075593/ And some tears later, a Finnish friend in London had one. What a ride that was! Like floating on a cloud. And extraordinarily good in London traffic.ReplyDelete
I remember seeing pictures of the Maigrets.... another unique looking carDelete
As a child the vet who lived next door had one , I loved it , so European ….they went skiingReplyDelete
Thank you for this post.ReplyDelete
For as much my comment is predictably biased being the Frenchy that I am, I will still give it: whatever some might say, your tastes are definitely not old-fashioned Maddie, they're simply good and judicious ;-)ReplyDelete
That is an awfully kind comment. I've said many a Time, I think I must be left behind from another time.Delete
cool looking wheel. My parents had dodge with push button transmission.ReplyDelete
Coffee is on and stay safe
It's not only cars - everything is getting far too uniformed. Man has been like a child playing with a packet of plasticine - all the colours have been mixed together so everything is beige and blah.ReplyDelete
I think you've hit the nail on the head Ms Scarlett. I guess we as a society now have to pick items from such a streamlined collection since there's only five or six options to give.Delete
Those were a work of art. Very little that is being built today, will stand out 50 years from now. The last I knew there were a couple of shops in the country that specialized in them, hard to get parts for. MX5- there should be a photos of you with the top down, on a sunny day. I love my little convertible.ReplyDelete