In France, the DS was nicknamed “the Goddess” after a pun on the initials DS (Deésse). The DS was drawn by Italian sculptor and artist Flaminio Bertoni and was exceptionally futuristic when presented in 1955 with its design and self-levelling hydropneumatic suspension. When the car of the century was announced in 1999, the DS came third after the Mini and winner, the Ford Model T.
Even by today’s standards, the DS both look and is quite futuristic - considering it was last manufactured over 30 years ago - with features like swivelling headlights and the self-levelling hydropneumatic suspension, it also had hydraulics for the clutch and transmission - at the time something that was absolutely revolutionary. It was further equipped with a fibreglass roof to reduce weight transfer and different front and rear track width and tyre sizes to reduce understeer and the first car to be fitted with discbrakes as standard.
Despite the rather leisurely acceleration afforded by its small four-cylinder engine, the DS was successful in motorsports like rallying, where sustained speeds on poor surfaces are paramount, and it won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1959 and 1966.
I think this is an absolutely amazing car which may alienate some with its appearance but will then proceed to charm the proverbial pants off them once started. It’s like an old grandpa which may look old and frail but will soon enchant you with stories of his youth, and soon you’re in a different world where all is possible. That’s the Citroën DS I know.