Citroën DS – the saga – thwarted again

Yesterday I borrowed a car with a towbar, rented an enormous trailer, and drove back up to Middelburg in the Netherlands to collect my DS. All went well and I even managed to avoid the enormous traffic jam that engulfed most of Antwerp yesterday afternoon.

Upon arrival I was presented with another bill of 197€ which was for finding my chassis number and getting the car started. Scandalous but what can I do? I paid it. Then began the process of getting the DS on the trailer. Luckily I had taken my friend Dimi with me because André refused to help. Didn’t want to be responsible for it he said. Could have still bloody helped in my opinion given that I have paid him 700€ for basically nothing!

More bad news was to follow. The locking mechanism of the winch on the trailer turned out to be broken so it wasn’t clicking as I wound it. This meant that if I let go of the handle it would spin back the other way. It also meant that it didn’t provide any help in securing the DS, something that you would want in normal circumstances, but is essential in this case as the handbrake isn’t working. The straps that I had brought wouldn’t be strong enough on their own to hold the car.

So after winching the car on to the trailer I decided it was not safe to try and transport it with just the straps holding it on. I was forced to take it off the trailer again and leave it there. Now I am being charged 65€ a month storage for it to stand outside. I don’t know what to do next. I’m not prepared to try again with a trailer myself so I guess I will have to pay someone to transport it. It never ends…

Update: The trailer rental place has agreed to give my money back so that is something I guess…

  1. Andrew, That DS is cursed. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I think you should just sell it now, even at a loss. Just accept it as a lesson learned. Think of it as a stock tip that went wrong. Very wrong.

    After about 2 months of intense psychotherapy, you can regroup and think about buying another DS.

    Good luck.

    • Part of me agrees and part of me is too stubborn to give up on it.

      • Andrew, After sitting (and smelling and relaxing) in three DSs today, I now understand how conflicted you must feel. Maybe it’s destiny that you keep this car and do her right.

    • Paul
    • June 14th, 2010

    Dear Andrew,

    just caught up with your ‘saga’ and I am sorry to read that
    things went so wrong.
    As I own a DS19 Pallas Hydraulique 1965 myself, I know how
    enjoyable it is to drive it.
    When reading your story from the beginning, I think you started with all the wrong moves, before taking the right steps (and yes, I know this cannot be reversed . . .)
    Bying a car from a person in The Netherlands (or any other
    country for that matter), who says the car has been restored, but it does not have a (local) registration (thus
    limiting you option for an lengthly testdrive)would have stopped for me right there ! Be aware there are NO hidden
    jewels in DS-land anymore: good cars cost good money !
    It would have been better to contact one of the so-called
    partner garages (via the Dutch ID/DS Club) to have the
    car valued and checked by obe of them. If the seller is selling a good product, he will not object.
    Does he objec . . . ? Then draw your conclusion(s).
    However, this stage is now past and you are not the proud
    owner of something that might be less valuable then you think. What to do ? Cutt your losses or continue ?
    My suggestion: Have a true expert (e.g. via the Dutch
    ID/DS club -the also have a forum-) value the state of
    your car and what it takes to get the car up to the state
    you want it to be (where you would add an extra 25-30% for
    unexpected surprises !). Canyou afford that ? Then do it !
    in 6 – 9 months you will be driving a great car, where you
    soon forget all the misery . . .
    Does it become to expensive (and this is a real option),
    then got your losses and try again.
    If you try again, please take the right proper steps at the
    Most of all, make it business decision, not an emotional one, because that will get you in problems (even more).

    I wish you all the best in making that decision and hope
    you will drive a great DS19 from 1965.

    Kind Regards,
    Paul (NL)
    P.S. when you want to see what it takes to get a DS in
    good shape (in 9 months), look at:
    (note: motor done seperately !)

    • Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your comments. Yes of course you are right and I won’t make the same mistake again with my next classic car (I’m already shopping…). I am certainly going to fix the DS though. It is booked in to a restorer in September, someone who has been highly recommended by the DS/ID club so I’m hopeful it will have a good outcome. The cash is not a big problem. It is just annoying because I set a budget for the car and that has been blown. Anyway, hopefully after September I will finally be able to drive my DS.

      Whereabouts in the Netherlands do you live? I would like to see your car sometime as I’ve never seen another ’65 Pallas.


    • Paul
    • June 14th, 2010

    Hi Andrew,

    I now live near Oss (NL), approx. 30 miles north od Eindhoven

    Did I understand right (from the Citroën forum) that you are
    now having your car restored by Herman Jansen in Bennekom ?
    If so, your decisions are getting better by the day 🙂
    Or at least your succes rate will be improving !

    Herman was the one that valued/checked my car (before buying)
    as he was recommended to me by the ID/DS Club (now member).
    Herman was also the one who did my motor, as the bodywork
    and interior was done at “Blikwerk”(probably the best in
    Europe . . .)

    I am still surprised by the color of your car, as I was under
    the impression that the early Pallas (started in ’64) only
    came in Gris Palladium ?
    Make sure Herman checks it !

    Take care !

    BTW: did you check the photo’s on:

    Kind Regards,


    • Hi Paul,

      Yes, Herman Jansen. Wish I had just sent it there first but I didn’t know about him 😦 Glad to hear that you approve of him also.

      My colour is definitely original. I have the original documentation and according to the “Original Citroën DS” book, blanc carrare was available in 1965 Pallas’ with red interior. The only thing that may not be original is my roof colour which I don’t like anyway. I think I will paint it white. Now it is a kind of muddy grey. I even have the sombrero hubcaps.

      I did check the photos. That is certainly a very thorough restoration. Congratulations. You must be very happy with it. Do you have any other cars?

    • Paul
    • June 15th, 2010

    Hi Andrew,

    if you want to see my car, that’s O.K.
    How can we get in contact (outside this medium) ?

    P.S. if you want to know some more on early DS “Pallas”
    you could check the following. It holds some nice
    facts on these early Pallas models . . .



  2. Hi Paul,

    Did you receive an email from me?


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