The Citroen DS family of cars is rightly regarded as one of the best-looking designs to ever come from the pen of Flaminio Bertoni, who was also responsible for the DS’ predecessor, the wildly successful Citroen Traction Avant.
While the Traction Avant was a tough act to follow, it’s safe to say Citroen managed to do so, and far exceeded even their wildest dreams of success, with many sources saying that the DS was one of the most important and influential cars of the 20th Century.
Famed for its self-levelling hydro-pneumatic suspension, the ride quality was simply superb in the DS family of cars, and with the 2.1l engine under the hood they were also good for a top speed in excess of 100mph - a heady figure back in the 1950s.
The ‘Safari’ variants - such as the one seen here - appeared later in the life of the DS, and turned the already supremely practical and wonderfully avant-garde DS into the perfect family car, with space for 7 (or 8 with the Familiale version) as well as an increased load-carrying capability, which worked in tandem with the trick self-levelling suspension.
Bought by the vendor as a second car to use while they restored their other DS Safari, like all cars for enthusiasts it became somewhat of a slippery slope, and led to the car you see here today. Despite having been bought as a ‘second car’ it’s clear that this DS21 has still been cherished,
and has benefitted from considerable mechanical work, both during the vendor’s ownership and in the hands of the prior owner.
Prior to the current ownership, the car was fitted with an LPG conversion kit, which allows either LPG or regular unleaded fuel to be used.
During the vendor’s ownership, the car has been resprayed into a factory blue, though there is some discussion about whether it was the original colour the DS was outcropped in. According to the vendor, it is registered as being blue on the V5, but when they bought the car it was maroon, so it is uncertain which is the correct factory colour.
Having purchased the car around three years ago, the vendor is uncertain on the number of previous owners of the vehicle. In addition to this, there is no formal servicing history present with the vehicle, as due to their past in the motor trade, the vendor simply carried out the routine maintenance and servicing themselves, rather than relying on a garage.
The first thing you’ll notice upon sliding yourself Into the wonderfully retro-looking drivers seat is the steering wheel. The stuff of an automotive designer’s dreams (or nightmares, depending who you ask) the off-centre, asymmetrical steering wheel is now the stuff of legend, both among DS enthusiasts and the wider car community. Thankfully, it is in wonderful condition, with only age related patina starting to show on the chrome.
Elsewhere, the rest of the interior is in wonderful condition. The seats look to be practically box fresh with no signs of wear whatsoever in the front, thanks to its recent professional re-trim. The vendor has replaced the carpet with a new item, which transforms the interior and breathes new life into the cabin of this DS.
The dashboard is free from any signs of cracks, warping or other damage, and all the instruments and gauges work correctly. In fact, the only minor issue in the cabin is the courtesy lights, which the vendor cannot get to work correctly. It should be noted that the original stereo has been replaced with an aftermarket offering.
The practicality of the DS Safari cannot be understated. It’s not only a wonderful family car, but can also be used as a van or even as a makeshift camper, with plenty of space to sleep!
Thanks to the full-body respray, the car looks absolutely sensational, and will certainly draw a crowd wherever it goes. The stunning lines of the DS Safari all look to be spot-on with even panel gaps, and no signs of any dents, dings or other damage.
The chrome work is beginning to show some age-related patina, but on a car of this vintage this only serves to further enhance the story of the car, rather than detracting from its condition. The wheels are all free from kerbing or other damage, which is always a good sign.
During their ownership, and prior to the aforementioned respray, the vendor carried out a number of small repairs to the chassis, including welding parts of the rear chassis and the bottoms of two doors. Otherwise, the car was solid from the moment they bought it, and it remains in great condition to this day.
The car also benefits from a new steering rack, front brake callipers and pads, spark plugs and new leads, making this DS ready to be enjoyed by the next owner.
Inside the voluminous engine bay, everything appears to be in excellent condition, with the block itself and all the ancillaries presenting in fantastically clean condition. While this isn’t a sure-fire sign of everything being perfect, it’s usually a pretty good indication of a fastidious owner that not only maintains their cars, but also cherishes them and is proud of them.
The car starts, drives and stops exactly as it should, with no reported faults or strange noises from the drivetrain. The beauty of the DS is its versatility, but the silky-smooth drive is certainly a nice bonus!
The DS is a strange vehicle, in that it appeals to both car enthusiasts and also art lovers. The avant-garde lines and stunning design is enough to make anyone fall in love with the DS, and that’s before you add in the wonderful driving experience, and excellent practicality of the Safari variants.
Presenting in wonderful condition throughout, this is one of the best-looking Safaris to come to the market in recent history, and would make a fine addition to any French car enthusiasts garage or car collection.
** The photos in this listing have been provided to us by the seller **
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