Citroën DS – the saga – restoration begins

Well as mentioned in the previous Citroen post a man came yesterday from the Netherlands to collect my DS from the Citroen garage where it has languished untouched for the past 6 months or so. No-one from said garage was even on hand to help or apologise for having done no work on her. It was simply left with the key in it for me to collect. No matter.

Andre (the Netherlander) arrived in his own 1973 DS23 with a large car trailer and I met him outside Antwerp so we could go to the garage together. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Brigitte appeared to be in much the same condition as when I last saw her 6 months ago despite sitting outside all winter. I was a bit worried that she would be a rust-riddled hulk but I seemed to have dodged that bullet.

As expected the battery was completely dead but thankfully Andre had the foresight to bring a spare. Despite this and repeated valiant attempts by the starter motor we were unable to coax Brigitte into life. The trailer had a winch so ordinarily this wouldn’t be such an issue but bear in mind the DS sits very low to the ground unless you can get the hydraulics going and we worried she would get bellied as we winched her on to the trailer. As it turned out, she just cleared the edge by millimetres, helped by the fact that Andre could raise his DS up as high it would go thereby tipping the trailer slightly.

I was on winch duty so I slowly but surely dragged her up on to the trailer while Andre performed steering adjustments. All went well until we realised that we had forgotten to put up the windows first and because she now sat so low and the trailer had sides, we couldn’t open the doors to put them up. Hope it doesn’t rain!

With her on the trailer and well strapped down we headed back towards Antwerp. I was surprised how well the DS23 managed to pull it given that I remember it being a struggle towing her behind the Mazda6 diesel. Must have been quite a sight, a DS on a trailer behind another DS. Pity I didn’t have my camera…

Andre dropped me back at my car and off he went to Zeeland, the Netherlands. Hopefully he made it without incident! I haven’t heard otherwise. So Brigitte is now here. This is Andre’s website for his restoration business. Maybe I could offer to build him a new one!

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  1. I can’t read Dutch, but does Andre’s garage also have a restaurant? If you ever go there and have a meal, let me know how it is. I’m fascinated by car dealerships with restaurants built in.

  2. hmmm no, it doesn’t have a restaurant. It’s a very small garage with just him working there…

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