1969 Citroen DS21 Safari

Guide price: £18,000- £23,000

Highlights

・Wonderful condition throughout 
・Professionally re-trimmed interior 
・Rare RHD example 

The Background  


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.  

The History  


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.  

The Paperwork  


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 Interior  


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! 

The Exterior  


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. 

The Mechanicals  


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 calipers 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 Appeal  


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. 

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1969
  • Make Citroen
  • Model DS21 Safari
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 118,600 Miles
  • Engine size 2175
  • Location Kent
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
15 bids from 6 bidders
  • phillip•••• £16,750 12/05/21
  • diablo1•••• £16,000 12/05/21
  • phillip•••• £15,000 12/05/21
  • diablo1•••• £14,000 12/05/21
  • phillip•••• £13,500 12/05/21
  • diablo1•••• £12,500 11/05/21
  • richard•••• £12,125 10/05/21
  • diablo1•••• £9,500 10/05/21
  • JT £9,250 08/05/21
  • neil-si•••• £9,000 08/05/21

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