There was no automobile so technically advanced, so singularly designed and conceived as the Citroën DS19 at its introduction in 1955 at the Paris Motor Show. Its 4-cylinder engine was retrograde, being derived from the Traction Avant and having only three main bearings, but the rest of the car, from its streamlined design, through the ground-breaking air-oil hydraulic 4-wheel independent suspension, hydraulic-assisted braking and steering, hydraulically-assisted clutchless shifting to the first use of disc brakes (on the front wheels and mounted inboard to reduce unsprung weight) on a mass-produced automobile, the DS19 offered a litany of unique features.
Unlike the similarly advanced Chrysler Airflows of the 1930's, however, the DS19 was an instant commercial success with over 80,000 orders taken during the Motor Show. The basic design remained in production for nearly two decades during which time it continued to be a trend-setting, technically-advanced example of ingenuity and effectiveness at doing its job.
This 1967 Citroën DS19 benefits from the model's initial success which generated funds to develop a new 1,985cc/90 horsepower four-cylinder with five main bearings. Equipped with the luxury Pallas package with leather seats it was imported from Europe in 2017 and has been regularly serviced by DS-specialists since then. It is equipped with full wheel covers, Michelin XAS tires and steering-linked Euro headlights. The driver's seat is hydraulically-adjustable and it has Citroën's famous single-spoke safety steering wheel as well as the innovative Citromatic 4-speed hydraulically shifted “clutchless” gearbox that preceded the development of auto-manual transmissions like Ferrari's F1 gearbox by three decades. There are dual outside mirrors and a roof-mounted radio antenna (although there is no radio.)
The air-oil suspension is fully operational and provides a driving experience like no other, soaking up road irregularities like a magic carpet and compensating for body roll when cornering. When the DS19 was introduced Citroën was owned by Michelin so as expected the suspension tuning was specifically adapted to the ride and handling characteristics of Michelin's latest steel belted radial tires.
In condition this is a good, attractive driver with sound paint, dashboard, gauges, upholstery and interior trim. The exterior bright trim is sound with some use and age apparent. The upholstery is very good and only lightly abraded on the driver's seat cushion and back bolsters. The back seat is plush with the ashtrays appropriate for a French car of the 1950's. The engine compartment is clean and orderly, consistent with this car’s unrestored, well-maintained character.
Driving a Citroën DS19, particularly with the luxury Pallas trim, is an experience that is unique even fifty-four years after it was built. Having been well cared for during its life and thoroughly serviced by marque expert Dave Burnham since coming to the U.S. four years ago there is no better way to acquire the Citroën DS19 experience than with this honest, carefully maintained and recently serviced Pallas sedan.
Offers welcome and trades considered