1972 Citroën DS 21

Guide Price: £24,000 - £28,000


﹒The same car from hit show, Salvage Hunters: Classic Cars
﹒Full restoration including paint, interior and engine
﹒Show condition throughout

The Background

The Citroën DS was a car France took very seriously indeed, which is why it was some eighteen years in the making. There was no way that Citroën was going to rush out the replacement for the Traction Avant. Again, a hugely successful car, but one that very nearly brought about the end of Citroën during the development stages. A repeat of this was not wanted. 
As such, when Citroën unveiled the DS to the waiting crowds at the 1955 Paris Motor Show, the car was utterly perfect. A completely resolved and production ready machine. And it was a machine that immediately captured hearts. By the end of the first day of the show, 12,000 orders were placed. Over the ten days of the show, that number rose to 80,000. A record that stood for sixty years! 
Clever, a rolling embodiment of the space age thanks to its brave, innovative styling and an absolute joy to drive, the DS soon found a place as one France’s finest achievements. Brave, forward thinking and like nothing else. The DS was a motoring icon from the off.

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The History

Originally supplied new in France, as is evidenced by this being a left hand-drive model, this DS was imported to the UK in 1994. Eventually, it ended up in the custody of well known DS specialist, DS Workshop in Hertfordshire. The exterior and interior of the car were starting to show their age at this point, but the team at DS Workshop were quick to notice that the core structure of the car and the mechanical elements were all in excellent condition. As such, the car was put into dry storage with a view to it being a candidate for a future restoration.  
This restoration, however, would be more high-profile than usual. This is because the car was bought by the team behind the hit TV show, Salvage Hunters - Classic Cars. Shown on Quest, the show follows Paul Cowland and Drew Pritchard as they find and restore popular classics. This DS, with its solid underpinnings, was the perfect candidate. 
The car was left with DS Workshop, who carried a major mechanical overhaul and also completed refurbishment works on the body and of course, that all important hydropneumatic suspension. With the mechanical work completed, the car was then repainted and re-trimmed before it’s big reveal on the TV show. 
Now that filming has wrapped, the car is available. The production team behind the show happily favour Car & Classic as a platform through which to sell its wares, but this is the first of their cars to be made available to bidders via the auction platform.

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The Paperwork 

Unfortunately, there isn’t a thick folder of paperwork to go with this car. However, there is a V5 and the car will be supplied with a full MOT (it has MOT now, but it expires in March). There are also some bits of paperwork from DS Workshop, and of course, there will be sales paperwork for the new owner from the producers of the show. 
Don’t let a small amount of paperwork put you off though. For starters, this car has an entire television episode behind it. Furthermore, the level of work and the detail and care afford have effectively reset the clock on this glorious old Citroën. Old paperwork would be a memento, but it would have no bearing on the car’s current, exceptional condition.

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The Interior 

Threadbare and tired when bought by the show, the interior is now a deeply welcoming cocoon of French luxury. The DS is actually a low specification model, but has been upgraded with a number of Pallas parts. The seats, for example, are all retrimmed and in Pallas specification. And let us tell you, they are incredibly comfortable. Get in, and you sink down into the seats to a position some of the most luxurious cars in the world can only hope to achieve. It is fabulously comfortable. 
The dash and that iconic single-spoke steering wheel are all in good condition, with no cracks or damage, and with all the gauges and buttons working as they should. There is even an original specification Edison radio fitted. However, this was given to a specialist who gutted it and replaced the internals with modern equipment, such as DAB and Bluetooth. These functions are all activated via original buttons. This alone came in at around £1,000. 
The headlining is in great condition, as are all the door cards, which have also been retrimmed. The carpets are all new, too. All the door rubbers are new or in excellent original condition, and as such, the cabin is a dry, warm place to be. The boot is presentable, with original mats still in place and again thanks to new seals, is bone dry. 
Finally, at the very back of the car, you will find a new loudspeaker to complement the stereo, and of course, that rare and utterly beautiful Venetian rear window blind. A hard thing to find in such excellent condition. And of course, so very French to have one in a car!

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The Exterior

In the metal this car is simply exquisite. Some of the original body panels were past their best, but owing to the ‘bolt on, bolt off’ design, they were easily switched for rust-free parts. Then, when the body was back together, it was painted in Brun Scarabee metallic with a subtle but contrasting shade of Gris Palladium on the roof. This paint job is, make no mistake, a perfect example of how it should be done. The finish is exceptional across the whole car, and that’s a lot of car to paint. The inner parts, like pillars, shuts and under the bonnet have all been painted to the same standard. It is a deeply, deeply impressive job and cost well into four figures to carry out. 

The chrome work of the car is all in good condition, with some original parts being retained. As such, there is some fine pitting on some surfaces, but commensurate with the age of the car, not as the result of any neglect. Furthermore, some Pallas trim has been fitted, such as the ribbed trims on the upper pillars. 
The lights are all in excellent condition, with the front ones still offering their ‘turn’ function in relation to the steering. The door surrounds are all excellent, the sills too. The steel wheels have all been refurbished and wear new Michelin (of course) tyres and Pallas chrome trims. 
Looking under the car, it’s evident that plenty of rust protection has been applied, and all repairs have been carried out to an impressive standard. Make no mistake, this car is absolutely rock solid. Test it by looking deep into the corners and crevices of its impressive construction and you’ll find no fault, only quality workmanship.

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The Mechanicals

Fire up the 2.1 petrol engine and the car starts to rise without hesitation, depending on the suspension settings, which can be adjusted via a lever down on the lower A pillar. The engine revs happily, and there are no untoward noises, rattles, nor any smoke or other ‘old car’ issues. It truly is on the button and ready to be driven. Admittedly, the column-mounted five-speed manual transmission takes some getting used to - it’s very quirky - but once you do, driving this DS is an effortless, comfortable affair. 
As you would expect, the revolutionary suspension soaks up the imperfection of the road ahead, while also giving the big Citroën surprising poise and grace through the bends. The 2.1 engine, which has been fully serviced and cleaned, is never going to set any land speed records, but it can shove the DS along with enough urgency to mix in modern traffic. 
The brakes, which again have all been refurbished, bring the car to a stop without drama or deviation of direction, and the set of new tyres see to it there is plenty of grip to be had. It’s just a wonderful, engaging, fun car to drive, and one that you’ll use far more than you might think. It’s addictive, this DS.

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The Appeal

The appeal here is that this is a Citroën DS, one of the most sought after and highly regarded classic cars out there. That, and the condition of it, are enough to sell this car. However, this one is that bit more special thanks having been on the TV. It may seem like only a small thing, but for many of us, that interesting chapter in this car’s history is going to be appealing. 
Crucially though, the big thing that sells it is the level of work and effort put into the restoration. There is no TV magic at play here. In fact, the show only scratched the surface of what has been done to this car. Make no mistake, this is a proper restoration, carried out by passionate specialists and enthusiasts and done with little concern for budget. Nothing has been left to chance with this car, and nothing has been done to a ‘passable’ standard. Instead, what the team has done is create one of the nicest DS models out there. And it could well be yours.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the sellers discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1972
  • Make Citroen
  • Model DS 21
  • Colour Brun Scarabee
  • Odometer 47,924 Kilometres
  • Engine size 2100
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Location Oxfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
36 bids
  • Jo•••• £28,000 17/02/21
  • Ma•••• £27,750 17/02/21
  • Jo•••• £27,500 17/02/21
  • Ma•••• £27,250 17/02/21
  • Jo•••• £27,000 17/02/21
  • Ma•••• £26,750 17/02/21
  • Jo•••• £26,500 17/02/21
  • Ma•••• £26,250 17/02/21
  • Ma•••• £26,000 17/02/21
  • Jo•••• £25,750 17/02/21
Message C&C Auction Team

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