Film Noir – 1974 Citroën DS 20

I’ve been photographing Citroëns on the streets and test-driven the occasional one. Still, I hadn’t yet spotted a DS anywhere near. I love them, I think it’s mind-blowing how advanced they could be for 1955 – so advanced in fact, that they made it until 1975 without it really becoming obsolete – and that there’s nothing quite like them. The later Citroëns are quirky in their own way, but nothing really touches a DS.

So, when I was a touching distance from this black beauty of a 1974 DS 20, I made sure to document it.

Look at it. Take it all in. Take note of those swivelling, corner-following headlights under clear glass. Couldn’t get them in the States – the year they were introduced for the DS, they were banned by US legislation.

1974 was the second-to-last year for the DS, as the CX was already introduced for ’74.

The architecture on the other side of the street is the usual sort of linoleum-floored utilitarian Finnish kind, but still I do believe a DS is at its best when there are buildings reflecting off the curved hood.

The rear with the wheel-obscuring rear quarterpanels – famously attached by a single bolt – also slopes beautifully. I’ll say it again, it’s almost boring that the Citroën is moved by something as common as a four-cylinder gasoline engine. It should be propelled by… magic. Yeah, let’s go with magic. You know, that’s basically what also makes the suspension work…

And when you’re freshly run out of magic, there’s a workshop manual for the Citroën on the parcel shelf.

Also: make note of the turn signal on the roofline. Rocket science is also present here.

Let me tell you, whenever I gather the means to gather a car collection in some old brick building, the DS will make my collection. So will the SM and the CX and the XM – hell, I’d probably get one of every Citroën made just for the hell of it – but the DS would be the centrepiece.


[Images: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]

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