19-20 January 2017

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Lot 105

1973 Citroën DS 23 Pallas

  • Chassis no. 00FE7084
  • Engine no. 0673002635

Sold for $55,000

115 hp, 2,347 cc OHV inline four-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, hydro-pneumatic suspension, and hydraulically assisted front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 123 in.

  • Offered from a prominent American Citroën collection
  • Desirable Euro-spec model with turning headlamps and five-speed transmission
  • Very solid and enjoyable original condition; approximately 40,000 kilometers from new
  • Driven in the Parisian celebration of the 50th anniversary of the DS in 2005
  • Recent hydraulic system servicing by Grand Central Citroën

There have been few automobiles in modern history that exploded upon the scene quite like the Citroën DS did upon its debut at the 1955 Paris Motor Show. It, quite frankly, set the automotive world upon its ear with incredibly futuristic streamlined styling by Flamino Bertoni. (Yes, this most iconic of French automobiles was designed by an Italian.) Yet, the breathtaking styling of the DS was the least of its marvels. The steering wheel turned on a single spoke, providing a ready view of the dashboard instruments. The brake pedal was simply a button in the floor. The drivetrain was a remarkable combination of front-wheel drive, servo-assisted front disc brakes, hydraulically assisted steering, and fully independent hydro-pneumatic suspension with automatic ride control.

Simply put, the DS was a spaceship by the standards of its time. Yet in the first day of its exhibition at Paris alone, the factory had collected 749 orders of the car; by the end of the event, orders numbered well over 12,000; and by the time the ever-evolving DS series ended production 20 years later, 2,786,000 had been built and sold all over the world. Thus, the DS is remembered today as one of the most successful automobiles of all time, alongside such similar legends as the Ford Mustang and Volkswagen Beetle.

The “ultimate” DS 23 offered here represents the peak of the DS’s engineering and styling evolution, with the most powerful engine and best-developed chassis. Even more special, it is a European-specification model, with such desirable features as a five-speed manual transmission and headlamps that turn with the front fenders. Acquired by its current owner, a prominent Southern California collector and longtime Citroën enthusiast, in France in 2004, it received a transmission, clutch, and motor service by a French specialist the following year. Shortly thereafter it participated in the 50th Anniversary of the DS by being driven, by the owner and his wife, from Cannes to Paris, where it was used in a parade on the Champs-Élysées amidst much press coverage.

Since its return stateside, the DS 23 has had its hydraulic system serviced by Grand Central Citroën in Redlands, California. It has about 40,000 kilometers (24,000 miles) from new and retains a wonderful original interior; the body is straight, original, and in very good condition. Most importantly, the car has been titled in California, and is street-legal for American roads.

A wonderful example of the best version of an iconic DS, this car has few peers, even in the pantheon of other “Goddesses.”


Please note that contrary to the printed catalogue the hydraulic system was serviced by Grand Central Citroën, not SM World.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

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David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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Gord Duff

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Matt Malamut

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

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Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more