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    1974 Citroën DS23 EFi Pallas £46,000 ride

    It’s all of the money but it’s also a well-maintained, refurbished, last-of-line top model. Find another like it, says Paul Hardiman.

    / #1974-Citroen-DS23-EFi-Pallas / #Citroen-DS23-Pallas-IE / #Citroen-DS / #Citroen-DS23-Pallas / #Citroen-DS / #Citroen / #1974 / #restored / #Citroen-DS-restored / #Citroen-DS-refurbished /

    This DS – a top-line Pallas model with the largest engine – has led a charmed life. Originally a demonstrator, it appears never to have been welded underneath, even in the boot, which is most unusual. It has an excellent history with 15 stamps in the book to 45,303 miles in 2008; mileage is now 54,620. Having spent 2011-2014 in Denmark, it was #refurbished by Centreville in Newcastle at a cost of £20k. This included some welding to the roof rails, an engine rebuild and new paint, fuel tank, suspension spheres and steering rack.

    The resulting appearance is excellent with even paint except for a couple of tiny blemishes around the rear wing bolts and two tiny stonechips inboard of the right headlight. Brightwork is mostly good, though the Pallas-only chrome boot hinges are pickling slightly, as normal, and there’s light scratching to the rear bumper, plus the rubber overriders are slightly nibbled. There’s no corrosion or grot behind the windscreen seal, though there is a little surface rust in the boot shut and on the boot floor, which has lots of sticky underseal underneath. The small finishing rubbers remain at the bottoms of the door pillars – a good sign. Tyres are 2011-dated Continentals, which at 205-section are too big, but 185-section rubber is available.

    All DSs leak a bit, but underneath the suspension is only lightly damp in places (specifically the left rear knuckle), with no drips or big leaks. The exhaust looks fairly recent. The engine bay is clean and tidy, though it’s a surprise to still find points instead of electric ignition. Some hoses and the coil are new, and the injectors and engine mounts have been replaced. The motor had been run, so we couldn’t check the coolant, but oil is cleanish and within marks, the #LHM fluid nice and green.

    Seats have been retrimmed in leather rather than original velour. Carpets are probably original and are slightly faded. Dash and instruments are perfect except the odometer reset has come adrift. Headlining is excellent and must have been new at refurb. A modern radio is fitted.

    It starts easily, and rises within 20 seconds, kneels on command and rises promptly to full height. The suspension passes the self-levelling test – when you jump on the boot shut it returns to its ride height within five seconds, the same when you jump out. The front’s the same, but as it rises there is a click from the rear suspension, which signals worn pushrods or knuckles. The steering wheel is slightly misaligned – easy to correct. Gears and brakes work well, temperature sits midway, the motor is quiet, there are no transmission whines and this is one of the nicest-driving Goddesses I’ve sampled. Sold with a new MoT, this DS isn’t cheap but it’s the top model and drives perfectly. You’d be pushed to find another like it.

    CHOOSE YOUR CITROËN DS

    DS19 launches to great acclaim at the 1955 Paris Motor Show. Mostly as advanced as it looked, it still uses the Traction Avant’s 1911cc engine but with a four-speed hydraulically operated transmission.

    Cheaper and simplified ID version arrives 1957 with no hydraulic assistance. ID Break estate follows in 1958.

    Engine changes from three-main-bearing 1911cc to five-bearing 1985cc in 1965, and 2175cc DS21 joins the range.

    A 1967 restyle by #Robert-Opron brings the covered-headlight front with inner headlights that swivel with the steering. Suspension fluid changes from red to green LHM.

    Bosch electronic fuel injection (IE) appears in 1970, as does a three-speed automatic gearbox option and a five-speed manual.

    DS23 arrives in 1973 with 2347cc engine in both carburettor and injected (141bhp) forms. Production ends in 1975 after nearly 1.5million of all DS/ID models have been built.

    TECHNICAL DATA FILE SPECIFICATIONS 1974 Citroën DS23 EFi Pallas

    Price £46,000 Contact DD Classics, Kew, London (0208 878 3355, ddclassics.com)

    Engine 2347cc four-cylinder, ohv, #Bosch electronic fuel injection
    Power 130bhp @ 5250rpm / DIN (141 horsepower SAE)
    Torque 144lb ft @ 2500rpm / DIN
    Performance Top speed: 117mph; 0-60mph: 10.2sec
    Fuel consumption 26mpg
    Length 4874mm
    Width 1803mm

    Quote £348.04 comprehensive, 5000 miles per year, garaged call: 0333 323 1181

    Retrimmed cabin features leather rather than velour seat covers. The engine’s had a recent rebuild. This well-restored Goddes drives as well as it looks.
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