Pen & Sword's Citroen DS

Author/Artists: Lance Cole


Pen & Sword


$28.95 from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 64  pages, Softcover with photos.
ISBN: 978-1-526789853

This book is on one of the neatest cars of the second half of the 20th Century. I've always thought it was a cool looking car and you cannot argue that it was very different from what was the norm. In Europe, cars were small, boxy, and very fuel efficient. In the US, they were large, chrome encrusted highway cruisers with huge engines that guzzled gasoline. Citroen developed a very aerodynamic car with innovations you still don't see in most modern cars. Probably the most unique of the type was the hydrodynamic suspension, a system that also operated the steering, brakes, and the transmission. It was powered at first by a fairly small 1.9 liter four cylinder engine, which was enough to power the car, but it was not a neck-snapper in terms of acceleration.

As with all cars, the Citroen was produced in a upper scale version (the DS) and a more austere variant (the ID). There were differences not only in how they were trimmed, but also the ID could have been ordered without the hydraulic steering, brakes and transmission. There were changes in the interior with three different dashboard designs as the years went on. There was also a major change in the headlight design that very much changed the front look of the car. The type was built in several nations and imported world wide. It lost the US market in the early 1970s when the increasing number of requirements in terms of safety equipment and pollution control made the cars uneconomical to export. Today, there are still a fair number of these cars on the road and a very active owner's group.

The book itself follows the same format as others in the series. Not surprising as they have, so far, all been written by the same person. There is a history of the type, which in this case not only takes care of production cars, but also special racing versions. The differences in models is provided for you. There are also a few pages of color profiles. This edition also covers models, but mostly diecast, though there is a small section on plastic models and a build article. If I had a criticism it would be using a die cast as the main photo on the cover, especially since so little is covered on these items.

In all, it makes for a wonderful read of this interesting and still a bit unusual car. I'm sure you will enjoy reading it. 

December 2020

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