So cool drives the avant-garde Citroën DS & Lancia Flaminia For the modern family Who looked for a large sedan with the latest technology in the 60s, which was found at Citroën and Lancia. Two completely different design ideas were available. Words by Franz-Peter Hudek. Photos Ingolf Pompe Good to know. / #Lancia-Flaminia-Berlina
Key data: #V6
engine, OHV, 2458cc, 102bhp, 1430kg, 160kph, 1957 to 1970 Price: 34,000 euros (good condition) Character: Representative sedan with complex transaxle drive. Very solid, very comfortable, liked to ride in the Vatican
Citroën DS 21 Pallas
Tech data: four-cylinder engine, OHV, 2175cc, 100bhp, 1280kg, 175kph, 1956-1975 Price: 31,000 euros (good condition) Character: The most famous classic from France: unique, detail obsessed, futuristic, comfortable and capricious / #Citroen-DS21-Pallas
Is that even a car? Or maybe a spaceship from the Perry Rhodan novels? Who is sitting behind the wheel for the first time in a Citroën DS, that raises this question. Almost nothing is reminiscent of a 1966 automobile, not even the steering wheel, whose only spoke, like the tongue of a reptile, sticks out of an oval mouth. Only a spoke! How should that be?
And it's extremely light in here. The reason: The high, almost circularly curved windscreen seems to seamlessly pass into the side windows, as if there were no roof posts. This creates a perfect all-round view. That one does not see the front end of the big Citroën is not a handicap. We do not have to follow any bumpy asphalt bands, but float on our comfortable salon chairs simply through the universe. Even the bright, dynamically designed dashboard with a band tachometer embedded in fine corrugated iron and various chrome-plated dials signals the DS novice: This is not a normal car!
Cool restraint in the Lancia Quite different is the Lancia Flaminia Berlina, whose interior is based on the traditional sporty car towards the end of the 50s: classic two-spoke steering wheel with semicircular Hupring, steering wheel circuit and two large round instruments for speed and engine speed.
No experiments, just a few little peculiarities such as the indications of oil pressure and oil temperature, tank contents and cooling water temperature, which inform the driver within the round, up to 180kmh speedometer scale. Or a massive handbrake lever installed across the instrument panel, which acts like a handy baton.
The seating position is similar to the Citroën. However, the Lancia driver overlooks almost a third of his own magnificent automobile: the two fenders pulled far forward and the dominant, only slightly sloping bonnet with the wide air scoop. In general, the aristocratic Italian makes no attempt to hide his impressive 4.85 meters in length. Both the huge forward-curved radiator opening and the tail fins protruding far beyond the trunk lid make the majestic Lancia look even bigger. The Flaminia is undoubtedly a prestigious automobile.
The goddess from outer space
The DS, on the other hand, whose name is pronounced in French as "déesse" - "goddess" - also reminds on the outside of a spaceship, which has extended the wheels to land. Its long wheelbase of well over three meters and the compact basic shape with tapered, almost cooler bonnet and sloping mini tail make the large front-wheel drive sedan compact. At 4.84 meters in length, the Citroën is only an inch shorter than the mighty Lancia with its decorative fin jewelry.
If you were looking for an alternative to a Mercedes-Benz 220S for your family or other prestigious passenger transport in the early sixties, you could choose between these two extreme models. However, the car enthusiastic family man should pursue a lucrative profession, because the two import sedans were not cheap. The 220S with 110bhp gave it for 13,200 Mark, while Citroën for the shown here DS21 Pallas 14,300 and Lancia for the Flaminia Berlina even briskly called 22,500 Mark.
For this you also got the most modern technology and an exquisite equipment. When introduced in 1957 Lancia a V6 engine made of light metal with initially 2.5-liters displacement and 102bhp, from the end of 1962 with 2.8 liters of displacement and 129bhp. The transmission and differential form a unit with the DeDion rear axle and internal brakes. At the beginning, the luxury equipment also includes rear window wipers and the small side windows which can be opened by the driver using compressed air. The workmanship of the bodywork is impeccable and is at Rolls-Royce level.
The Citroën DS, which was introduced in 1955, offers even more modern technology: The hydropneumatic system, a complicated high-pressure suspension system, replaces the steel suspension and ensures a constant ground clearance that can be adjusted in three stages. In addition, it levels the rolling and pitching movements in curves and braking.
The braking system and the optionally available semi-automatic systems also work with a high-pressure system developed for the DS series. Therefore, there is no brake pedal, but only a rubber button, on which one should enter with feeling, in order to avoid full braking.
Our DS21 Pallas photo model reinforces the spaceship character of the interior with its red fabric upholstery and door panels. Its top features include larger seats inside, rear pocket cups and chrome door handles, exterior auxiliary lights, rubber bumpers, decorative trim, metallic paint and more. The unrestored topex copy with freshly reconditioned technology and new wearing parts was provided to us by the Citroën specialist Dirk Sassen in Düsseldorf. The DS 21 Pallas in Gris Palladium from 1966 is there for sale, contact in the purchase advice.
DS with removable fenders One of the many peculiarities of the DS is the single-screw rear fenders, which you have to remove to change a wheel. And a four-speed semi-automatic without clutch pedal, the selector lever is mounted above the steering wheel.
To start the 100bhp four-cylinder we press the selector lever in its neutral position upwards. The first gear engages with a slight body shake, and with little gas we go - no: we take off! In fact, the DS seems to hover almost contactless over the asphalt and can be controlled by the traffic with its fragile-looking steering wheel effortlessly and with little effort. The Lancia, on the other hand, calls for the old-school motorist: the massive, precisely crafted door and the crazy steering wheel gearbox, whose linkage extends to the gearbox on the rear axle, need a little bit of pressure in their handling.
When driving, however, the heavy car proves to be surprisingly handy. Even without power steering, the Lancia pulls thanks to optimal weight distribution quickly and almost without resistance by fast driven curves. The powerful, quiet and low-vibration VR6 engine also contributes to a superior driving pleasure. Which one should you take? Strict Classicism or courageous avant-garde? Hard to believe: At that time, nearly 1.5 million buyers (all Citroën D models) opted for the avant-garde and only 3943 for the expensive classicism.
Does the Flaminia sedan also look familiar? It's clear. Their trapezoidal style shaped the cars of the 60s. The big sedans of Austin, Fiat, Peugeot and others took over this epochal Pininfarina look. By contrast, there are no design items from the DS. There are still many roadworthy classics that amaze us again and again. Franz-Peter Hudek
■ Between the tank and the trunk, the box-shaped seats of the rear swingarm bearings sit on the floor of the car. If the Citroën DS rusted through here, then usually the whole car is destroyed. The frameless side windows often get water in the car and ruin seats and panels. If it penetrates the roof, it attacks the C-pillar next to the floor of the car. Because the rear fenders are fixed with only one screw, it is worthwhile to remove them and to check the condition of the C-pillar. Also check: outer box sections of the frame, door bottoms, fenders, trunk floor and the sheet metal under the chrome trim of the Pallas models.
■ With the change to the green LHM hydraulic fluid from 1966, the reliability of the hydropneumatics improved considerably. With well-maintained models it is usually sufficient to change the spring balls about every 100,000 kilometers. Less well maintained DS also leaks in the 34 meter hydraulic system due to corrosion or leaking connections. Steadfast are all engines - even the early Langhuber with only three crankshaft bearings. The DS 23 (especially IE) can get storage problems at almost 200,000 kilometers. The semi-automatic should be adjusted by the specialist.
At introduction 1965 (Citroën DS 21) ....................................... 13 200 Mark
Classic Analytics Award 2019 (condition 2/4) .................... 31 000/8500 Euro
Insurance (Liability / Fully Comprehensive) * ........................... 61.64 / 187.43 Euro
■ Not only because of the more reliable technology, we recommend a late DS, ID or D version. As of 1967, almost every spare part is found - and this is easier than for early versions. These are also characterized by many variants that complicate authentic type-appropriate restorations or repairs.
CLUBS AND SPECIALISTS
DS-Club Germany e. V., Wermertshäuser Strasse 9, 35085 Ebsdorfergrund, Tel. 064 07/902 30, [email protected]
, www.ds-club.de DS Sassen GmbH & Co. KG (Import, Parts, Repairs), Benrodestraße 61, 40597 Dusseldorf, Tel. 02 11/711 87 02, www.ds-sassen.de Autohaus Schneider, Rosenfelder Strasse 5, 72351 Geislingen, Tel. 074 33/85 08, www.fahrzeuge-schneider.de
1 pictures of swingarm bearings
2 rear crossbeam
3 leaking roof and windows
4 A and C columns
5 door bottoms and sills
6 frame boom
7 spent feather balls
8 leaking hydraulic lines
9 bearing damage motor (DS 23)
10 BorgWarner fully automatic
Spare parts layer •••••
Easy to repair •••••
Maintenance costs •••••
Lancia Flaminia Berlina
Under the representative body is modern drive technology, which requires a specialist. Good copies are therefore rare.
■ Anti-rust was a stranger to both Italy and France at that time - often with devastating consequences for the large Lancia Flaminia sedan. Responsible for this are numerous box profiles whose closed cavities are difficult to examine and contain no preservatives. The bare sheet received only a layer of underbody protection from below. Often also dampened insulation material in the rear area developed into annoying rust nests. Other problem areas of the Lancia Flaminia are: lamp pots, fenders in the area of the A-pillar, sills, side panels and the entire rear area with luggage compartment floor and end tips.
■ Properly maintained, the V6 engine hardly causes any problems. However, there are a few peculiarities. So a defective Novotex wheel of the tachometer drive can block the camshaft. Corrosion residues from the silumin (aluminum-silicon die-cast alloy) engine case may clog the water channels, resulting in blown cylinder head gaskets. The transaxle transmission unit with DeDion rear axle requires a lot of service due to the internal brakes and drive shafts. The manual transmission has its own oil pump, whose failure causes damage.
At introduction 1957 (Lancia Flaminia Berlina) ...................... 22 500 Mark
Classic Analytics Award 2019 (condition 2/4) .................. 34 000/10 000 Euro
Insurance (Liability / Fully Comprehensive) * ........................... 51,64 / 192,33 Euro
■ Due to the relatively large number of Flaminia coupes from Pininfarina, Touring (including convertibles) and Zagato - a total of 8700 units - technical and wearing parts are available. It is more difficult in body and especially interior components of the rare Berlina, which often served as a partial donor for the sports models.
CLUBS AND SPECIALISTS
Lancia Club Germany e. V., Secretariat: Sanddornweg 5, 53757 Sankt Augustin, www.lanciaclubdeutschland.de Lancia Club Vincenzo, Im Nußbaumboden 7, 79379 Müllheim, Tel. 076 31/79 98 21, www.lancia-club-vincenzo.com B & F Touring Garage, Hauptstraße 183, 53842 Troisdorf-Spich, Tel. 022 41/84 49 10
1 mudguard with lamp housing
4 longitudinal beams underbody
5 side parts
6 trunk floor, end tips
7 head gaskets
8 drive shafts
9 Rear brake assembly
10 gears (bearings, leaking)