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    / #1973-Citroen-DS23-Pallas-IE / #Citroen-DS23-Pallas-IE / #1973 / #Citroen-DS / #Citroen / #Citroen-DS23 / / #1973-Citroen-DS23ie-Pallas / 1973 / #Citroen-DS23ie-Pallas / #Citroen-DS23-EFI-Pallas / #Citroen-DS23-EFI

    £28,000

    This fuel-injected 2.3-litre range-topper has desirable optional extras including factory air conditioning, explains Mike Renaut.

    Shiny dark blue paint suits this 1973 DS #Injection-Electronique and covers straight, corrosion-free panels with generally excellent gaps. All the Pallas trim is in place and appears in nice condition despite some surface tarnish, especially on the rear window surrounds. All glass including the headlamp covers is free from damage, the inner set of lights turning with the steering. Originally sold in Prato, Italy, the left-hand drive DS came to the UK in 2014 and the headlights still appear to be set up for driving on the right. Bumpers are equally blemish-free, as are the Pallas wheelcovers. If we had to nit-pick, there is slight surface rust on the wiper arms and the lower door trims are not affixed perfectly straight, but otherwise this car is hard to fault.

    The factory-fitted – and operational – air conditioning is an unusual option. The blue and white cloth and leather-cloth interior is in especially nice condition with no obvious damage and the big seats with headrests prove both comfortable and supportive. The dashboard is free of cracks, but there are a few small areas of scuffed paint and the surround for one set of pushbuttons needs securing in place.

    A rear window blind is included and the light grey fabric headlining is droop-free and in perfect condition. Door cards appear unmarked, as does the dark blue carpet. Turn the ignition key and the engine fires up immediately, soon settling to a smooth idle at an indicated 1200rpm. It quickly warms up and nothing on the numerous warning gauges offers cause for concern. The suspension operates just as it should, with the car soon finding its natural ride height. Again, no leaks or untoward noises were spotted during our inspection.

    On the road the Citroën is quiet and well-mannered with very light steering that still feels precise. Finding your way through the five-speed gearbox using the column-mounted gearlever soon becomes second nature, with each gear dropping into place positively. Stopping power is impressive, the sharp brake pedal virtually halting the car dead in its own length at low speeds. Winter and summer tyres are supplied with the DS, the set fitted during our test being Petlas with excellent tread. The jack and an unused ‘multiseason’ spare tyre are present under the bonnet. A generally tidy engine bay has a little worn and scuffed paint on some components, but no obvious leaks or areas of concern were noted. Recent #MoT certificates mention a weep from a power steering hose joint, but our inspection failed to detect it.

    The odometer reads just over 98,400km (60,000 miles). The previous owner added a new swivelling centre headlight assembly, alternator, high-pressure pump and fuel pump. New injectors and fuel pipes were fitted, and the fuel tank cleaned and lined in 2014. The air conditioning system was repaired and re-gassed in 2015. This very attractive example of a #Pallas has an excellent specification. The car drives beautifully and a little tidying under the bonnet would finish it nicely.

    Good colour, Pallas trim is all there and the panel gaps are generally good Interior looks and feels almost brand new Engine runs well, but its bay would benefit from tidy-up.

    1973 Citroën DS Pallas IE
    Price £28,000
    Contact European Classic Cars, Avebury, Wiltshire (07813 394167, europeanclassiccars.co.uk)
    Engine 2347cc 4-cyl OHV
    Power 141bh p@ 5500rpm
    Torque 135lb ft @ 3500rpm
    Performance
    0-60mph 11.7sec.
    Top Speed 116mph
    Fuel Consumption 29mpg
    Length 4874mm
    Width 1803mm


    CHOOSE YOUR CITROËN DS

    1 Unveiled in 1955, with hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension, power steering and disc brakes. A more basic ID version was available.

    2 September 1962 restyle saw a new nose, pointed front bumper and better ventilation.

    3 Pallas model with 41 improvements including a more luxurious interior debuted for 1965. The original hydropneumatic system used vegetable oil ( #LHV ), then switched to synthetic ( #LHS ). For the 1967 model year, Citroën introduced mineral oil-based oil ( #LHM ).

    4 1968 model year cars got four glass-covered headlights, inner set swivelled with steering.

    5 #Bosch fuel injection was introduced for 1970 and a 2.3-litre engine in 1972. Production ended in 1975 after 1,455,746 DSs were built.
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    On track in SM - sadly not mine... #1973-Citroen-SM / #1973 / #Citroen-SM / #Citroen

    1973 CITROEN SM

    DAVID LILLYWHITE @Drive-My David

    The Caterham has been returned to the factory, now the Academy season is over. The MGB and Saab are reunited in a barn down the road. And the SM is back, awaiting my attentions after BL Autos made such a nice job of realigning the front chassis legs, repairing a previously hidden rust spot further back on the engine bay chassis members, and refitting engine, gearbox, brakes, steering and suspension.

    In case you’ve missed a couple of episodes, I had done all that before the chassis problems were spotted, so I asked BL Autos to strip and rebuild the engine bay. It cost me £1000 but I really couldn’t face doing all that work again.
    Inevitably, my enthusiasm for the project was beginning to wane, roughly in parallel with the emptying of my bank account. But along came SM guru Andrew Brodie with his well-campaigned SM, fresh from a fourth place on the Mini Britannia, to the Drive-My track day at Goodwood, and he let me out to play in it.

    On a wet and shockingly slippery track, the long, heavy Citroen appeared to have no grip at the rear, slipping and sliding this way and that. But as the track began to dry, the SM demonstrated handling and poise worthy of much smaller, sportier cars. It rolled about, the rear wheels skittered; but when it did let go it was easy to catch, and it just flew round the track, prompting smiles, amazement and perhaps just a little fear from other drivers.

    I loved it. Balancing the weight of the big SM on its hydropneumatic suspension was as satisfying (perhaps more so) as driving a more obviously track-orientated car around the fast Goodwood circuit. I went home feeling inspired. It’s SM time again!
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    ‘Assistant editor Keith Adams was tempted but bailed out and suddenly it seemed crazy not to buy it'

    CAR: #1973-Citroen-SM / #1973 / #Citroen-SM / #Citroen /

    CAR: David Lillywhite Editor American beauty?

    I sometimes wonder if we unwittingly try to out-idiot each other on car magazines. I was chatting to another editor recently and he said I've just bought two Jensen Interceptors for £1000'. I was impressed, but was able to counter with I've just bought a Citroen SM project unseen in the States'. From the embarrassed silence around the table, it seemed I'd won. It was all assistant editor Keith Adams' fault. He'd been chatting with SM guru Andrew Brodie about how good it would be for one of the Drive-My team to own an SM. Before we knew it. Andrew had sourced a project car and was metaphorically dangling it in front of us. Keith was tempted but bailed out, the others just smiled politely, and suddenly it seemed crazy not to buy it.

    The car was one of several project SMs owned by classic Citroen specialist land ice racing champion) Dave Burnham in New York state, an old friend of Andrew's. In fact, Andrew had already bought it from Dave for a few thousand dollars, without knowing what he was going to do with it - at least until I agreed to buy it at cost. Admittedly, I'd loudly proclaimed that I was never going to buy another rusty classic ever again, and I had a £15,000 budget to spend on, well, something. It was going to be a 911, but after spending months looking I had to admit that I can't afford a decent pre-1973 and that I don't really like the later cars enough. And there's no room for my increasingly lanky daughter to sit in the back. An SM for £15,000 might be OK or it might need an engine overhaul, new suspension spheres, a transmission rebuild, body repairs... You get the idea. So I've convinced myself that yet another project is the way to get the car I want. The car I've bought has a dented rear wheelarch, scruffy paint, a few patches of light surface rust, but no serious corrosion except in the boot.

    The gearbox is good, the suspension has already been overhauled, the seats are presentable except for a couple of areas of loose stitching and there's nothing missing. The engine runs well - there's a video on the Drive-My website - but to be safe it needs to be stripped and rebuilt, which Andrew has offered to do for a fixed price. He also has a European front end available, to replace the ugly US-spec headlights, and an uncracked dashboard top. The body, minus engine, will go off to the local paintshop who painted the MGB (twice, after its fall from a workshop's ramps). We reckon that the project will cost around £15,000, including shipping from the US. And while it's on the boat I'm going to try and get the MGB finished (the blown engine is being rebuilt) and the historic race kart back together II relented and had the chassis blast-cleaned, and it's now resplendent in sparkling red). An idiotic plan? Maybe.

    Above One scruffy Citroen SM, waiting for shipment to the UK; interior is as wacky as the overall driving experience.
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    No more slip, just more grip

    CAR: #1973-Porsche-911S-2.4-Targa / #1973 / #Porsche-911S-2.4-Targa / #1973-Porsche-911S-2.4 / #Porsche-911S-Targa / #Porsche-911-Targa / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche /

    OWNER: Robert Coucher

    As mentioned last month I took my Porsche 911 2.4S Targa up to Prill Porsche Classics, where Andy attended to the fuel tank, suspension bushes, tuned the fuel injection and exacted a few other tweaks.

    But I didn’t have room to mention another important fix. The tyres. The Targa arrived from Australia wearing a nice-looking set of 195/60x15 Pirellis. Lots of tread and in fine condition. With the car up at the workshop, Andy called to tell me he’d date-checked the Pirellis and found they were 11 years old! No great surprise, as the 911 spent its life in dry, speed-restricted Sydney, where tyre performance is not so critical.

    I have a bit of a fixation about tyres, especially fitted to classics. Original tyres are narrow and high-profile so have a smaller footprint than modern, wide, low-profiles. So you really need classic tyres to be fresh and grippy, not hard and slippery. I’d noticed on a rally and at an Octane trackday at Goodwood that the 911 felt rather twitchy coming out of corners under power. I now know why.

    I called Dougal Cawley of Longstone Classic #Tyres to order some fresh rubber. Dougal pointed out that 195 Pirelli 6000s are wrong and that I needed a set of original-equipment Pirelli Cinturato 185/70VR15 CN36s for optimum handling. At £179 each (£799 for a set of five) plus the Vodka And Tonic, Dougal sent the set to Prill. Longstone doesn’t charge delivery in UK, Europe and most other countries.

    Combined with the replaced suspension bushes, the new Cinturatos offer a great improvement and the Porsche now rides superbly. There’s no more crashing over transverse ridges, the ride is quieter and the grip hugely increased. On top of that, the previously good steering is now even better, with sharper turn-in and lighter feel.

    A very satisfying result, which demonstrates the difference a decent set of fresh, correct-spec tyres can make. I’d suggest you check yours (date-stamped on the sidewall) and, if they’re more than six years old, a new set will transform your classic.

    Thanks to Dougal Cawley, www.longstonetyres.co.uk; and Andy Prill, www.prillporscheclassics.com.
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    Double the work?

    CAR: #1973-Citroen-SM / #1973 / #Citroen-SM / #Citroen

    OWNER: David Lillywhite

    One of the golden rules of restoration has to be not to lose momentum. Of course I’ve broken that rule many, many times over the years, and most recently with the Citron SM.

    It all started well over a year ago when the semi-complete SM had to be dismantled to fix a bent chassis leg and fractured suspension mount that had gone unnoticed. A little bit of enthusiasm died temporarily, a few new projects (a house restoration, Caterham racing, MGB tweaks, the usual nonsense) gained priority, and suddenly the Citroen project had slipped a few months.

    SM super-guru Andrew Brodie and the guys at BL Autos came to the rescue, and we got the rebuilt engine reinstalled and running. I was so proud I even posted a video of the first start-up on YouTube - but that was last spring! Since then, with more house upheaval, an effort to attend even more classic events, and an apparent acceleration of the space-time continuum, I don’t seem to have made much progress over the last few months.

    I think what really stalled me was my attempt to fit the mechanisms of the swivelling and tilting front lights. My car had a fixed-light US-spec front end. Andrew found me a European front end and all the crazy mechanical and hydraulic linkages that go with it. But can I work out how they fit? No I can’t - and that's where I left off.

    Now, of course, I've got several hours of work ahead of me just trying to fathom out what I was up to when I abandoned ship. Why is the steering column binnacle stripped down, when I clearly remember assembling it last year? How far did I get rebinding the engine bay wiring harness? What the hell are all these bits of rubber trim doing everywhere! I feel like I’ve doubled the amount of work needed.

    I know it sounds like a nightmare but actually it’s all part of the fun. I enjoy the total immersion of fiddling around with what was one of the most complicated cars in its day, and the highs of discovering how something bolts together. I love how good the car is beginning to look and the stunned expressions it prompts from friends and neighbours - six-year-old Connor next door has apparently memorised SM specifications. That I’m a full year behind schedule isn’t worth worrying about because this is a hobby, it’s meant to be fun and, when it stops being fun, it’s only sensible to drop it for a while.

    Now, though, it’s time to get back on it, and I’m making a list of what's left to be done. In many ways the car looks much worse than it is, because in less than half-an-hour the wings and bonnet will bolt back into place and it will look complete.

    So, first job is to route the tilting light mechanism control system from the rear suspension, along the passenger side inner sill, to the front end. Then the swivelling lights need to connect to the steering rack, which I’m still confused about, but Andrew has promised to enlighten me.

    The thin alloy outer sills need straightening and repainting and the lower front valance needs to be fitted. At the other end, the repaired stainless steel rear bumper has to be picked up from BL Autos in Welwyn Garden City and refitted.

    The interior is more or less finished but one electric window switch has packed up, and one window motor is a bit slow and needs a rebuild. The refurbished (now complete with iPod connection) original radio needs to go in, while the brand new footwell carpet needs to be unstuck to access the overlooked interior light switch wires, which are currently lost somewhere in the A-pillars.

    In the boot, I need to cut some more carpet, retrim the parcel shelf and somehow remake the rear window interior trim surround.

    And that's it. If I say it quickly, it seems like nothing at all.
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    Spot the difference…

    CAR: #1973-Citroen-SM / #1973 / #Citroen-SM / #Citroen

    OWNER: David Lillywhite

    Progress has been made! I’ve spent several happy evenings in the garage now that temperatures aren’t quite so low (and I’m not feeling quite so lazy), and have moved closer to the point at which we’ll be able to fire up the SM’s Maserati V6 for the first time. When I say ‘we’, I mean myself and friendly guru Andrew Brodie, who has been gently nagging me to get on with things for several weeks now. He’s about to return from holiday, so I’m hoping he’ll be pleasantly surprised, even if the picture below doesn’t look very different from last month’s view.

    I started by cleaning the triple carburettors and bolting them into place, connecting up the linkages and cables. Then it was on to the cooling system, cleaning the hoses, working out how to thread them through the labyrinth of pipes and fittings, and connecting up the repainted radiator. The electrics seem, so far, relatively simple, although I was lucky that BL Autos had kindly wired up the twin Lumenition ignition conversion when the car was in for chassis work. I need to re-bind the engine loom, though.

    The pictures I took on stripdown have bailed me out of a world of pain: just working out how to route the oil cooler hoses, determining which way round a hose fits, and so much more would have been impossible without them. My laptop is looking a bit shabby after all the hours it has spent in the garage, but that’s a small price to pay for access to hundreds of images.
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    Demand grows for #Aston-Martin-V8 projects #1973-Aston-Martin-V8 / #1973 / #Aston-Martin


    One of the surest conirmations of a classic’s growing popularity is when people start paying what looks like silly money for project cars. With Astons it very much prefaced the epic rise of early DB values some years ago. Now it appears to be happening with the V8s. Two results on successive days recently put the seal on it.

    First we saw a 1973 V8 offered at South West Vehicle Auctions that had been buried under storage boxes in a garage for 20 years. Said to be a runner – probably – it will obviously require plenty of attention even if the new owner is only aiming for preservation-class standards. Estimated (rather pessimistically) at £22,000-£26,000 it was deemed good enough to pay a ‘Good’ £48,224 for.

    Similar happened at ACA the next day with a #Aston-Martin-DBS #V8 that had been recently repatriated from Japan and was in need of a complete going-over. Offered at no reserve it topped out at just over £66,000.
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    Market picks up on US pick-ups

    Act swiftly to land an original hauler before they go the way of earlier trucks

    CHASING CARS Quentin Willson’s hot tips

    / #1954-Chevy-3100 / #1948-Dodge-Power-Wagon / #1949-Ford-F1 / #1975-Ford-Rancher-F-250-Super-Cab / #Chevy-3100 / #Dodge-Power-Wagon / #Ford-F1 / #Ford-Rancher-F-250-Super-Cab / #Ford-Rancher-F-250 / #Ford / #Dodge / #1954-Chevrolet-3100 / #Chevrolet-3100 / #Chevrolet /

    American pick-ups are hot. Generation Xers have embraced vintage trucks in a big way and are prepared to shell out serious money for the proper stuff.

    At January’s Scottsdale auctions $74k was paid for a #1948 Dodge Power Wagon and $59k for a ’ #1949 Ford F1. Mint Seventies Ford Broncos are being advertised at $100k and hailed as blue-chip investments while Jeep CJs, Chevy C10s, 3100s, Apaches and even Silverados are all attracting interest. You can see this upswing in affection in movies like Gifted, Logan and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri where the hero drives a battered SUV or pick-up. There could be a market lift here too, because younger UK enthusiasts see these Midwest icons as cool practical classics with room to haul bikes, surboards and quads.

    I’d start looking at the Sixties/Seventies Ford F-Series because they haven’t been hyped, have that square-jawed look and aren’t expensive. ABC Auto Finders in Texas has a green ’ #1973 F-100 with 65,000 miles, 302ci V8 and lovely green velour insert seats for just £5k. With the 30-year import rule you could ship that one back and pay the 5% duty for just over £2k.

    Here in the UK a private online seller is offering an unmolested ’ #1975 Ford Rancher F-250 Super Cab with 76,000 miles, 460 V8, four-speed auto, original paint and still wearing hubcaps for £11,750. This may sound like one of my more demented predictions but these classic pick-ups have massive presence and radiate tons of American nostalgia. And don’t forget Ford now sells a new F-150 here – modern pick-ups are everywhere – so market acceptance of these utility vehicles is growing.

    Don’t go for restomods. Instead seek out the really original, stock, straight ones. Over in the US, dealers have latched on to this upsurge in demand and are trawling farm sales buying fresh-out-the-barn trucks. Some are doubling their money overnight.

    You could do worse than look at pick-ups already landed in the UK. Last year Brightwells sold a well restored ’1954 Chevy 3100 for £16,500 – a price that’s actually behind the smoking US market. Find a virgin survivor American pick-up, ideally with a #V8 , and you might find yourself ahead of the curve.

    VALUE 2010 £10k
    VALUE NOW (2018 UK) £12k

    ‘Don’t go for restomods. Instead, seek out original, stock, straight ones’
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