Something for the weekend – Citroën DS

| 11 Aug 2012

The allure of a Citroën was never in any doubt, but our recent trip to Le Mans Classic – where even David Evans' GSA was admired by punters and locals alike – only served to reinforce what we already knew.

The DS has even more kudos. Like a fine wine it has matured from being uniquely styled (some might even say wacky) to the embodiment of what a French saloon should be: different. Better.

When the DS launched in 1955 it sported exciting features including the now legendary hyrdopneumatic suspension, power-assisted steering, power brakes and pioneering materials such as injection moulding and glassfibre.

It looks no less space age today than when it was unveiled to the Paris crowds in ‘55, but this car can still be had for easily obtainable money. We’ll ignore the bargain-priced cars from overseas – they’re out there though – and focus on what our own shores have to offer.

Like this £9995 1972 DS23 in Hampshire, currently owned by a DS lover who’s keen to ensure his car goes somewhere similarly sympathetic, it has leather, but more important are the hallowed words "hydraulics all working as they should". It’s also MoTd until March and is fitted with fresh boots, plus a new battery.

Meanwhile this more luxuriously fitted Pallas can be yours for £14,800. Aside from the nicer interior, this car has spent most of its life in sunny South Africa, has been owned by its present keeper for a decade and last year was treated to a complete restoration.

Mind you, if you want to rise above the hoi polloi then this Prestige model by Henri Chapron can be the only option. It comes complete with an electric-window-equipped separation wall, a rear compartment soundsystem, retractable picnic tables, central cocktail cabinet, a telephone and even a TV. Originally ordered by French comedian and journalist, Philippe Pierre Bouvard, it will now cost you nearly £70,000.

With our handy printable guide (click here to download it) you can see there’s little need to go to such extremes, all DSs offer the best of French motoring or at the very least the perfect weekend distraction.