Citroen DS21 Pallas (1968)




“The most beautiful car of all time”
This was the verdict, when in 2009 Classic & Sports Car magazine polled a jury of the world’s leading car designers to nominate the most gorgeous car ever.
Launched at the Paris Motor Show in 1955, it caused such a stir that by the end of the show orders had been taken for over 79,000 cars. The name was derived from the word “Déesse” (French for goddess).  The futuristic shape and innovative design was the work of Italian sculptor and industrial designer Flaminio Bertoni and the French aeronautical engineer André Lefèvre.  Citroën set out to make something comfortable, refined and stylish. What it created was both an icon and a revolution.  Not only was the shape an instant design classic, the DS also pioneered hydro-pneumatic suspension, assistance systems for steering, brakes and gear selection, inboard disc brakes and headlights that moved simultaneously with the direction of the front wheels, making the car one of the most comfortable, engaging yet refined car to drive and seen as otherworldly, compared to rival cars of the day.

Manufactured in 1968 this DS 21 Pallas is one of the rarest and most sought after by DS 21 afficionados, in that it features the 2nd generation “wave” dashboard, that was only available for a 12 months period.
This car was imported from France and restored by Malcom Atterbury (well known in the UK Citroën circles for his expertise with this marque), for the previous owner and was put on the road in 2011.  Although there was no previous history from its time in France, the comprehensive history file evidences that car has been very well maintained since. Most recently this has been carried out by RetroMarques who undertook a full mechanical pre-sale re-commissioning and before then by Morton Stockwell (DS specialists), who amongst other things, carried out a full service and replaced both the wiring loom and all suspension spheres in March 2020.
The number plate was changed in August 2011 to its current registration.
This car is a real showstopper and a very much sought after model.  It is ready to be driven and enjoyed as often as is desired, safe in the knowledge that a significant investment has already been made to make it mechanically strong and weather protected.  In addition,  although registered as an historic vehicle and therefore exempt from tax and MOT, it comes with the peace of mind provided by a current MOT, valid until September 2021.
The underlying DS structure is a steel unibody, with detachable body panels.  The doors are steel and front and rear bumpers, as well as the distinctive roof mounted rear lights are all stainless steel (to better resit corrosion), the roof panel is fiberglass and the bonnet and boot lid are aluminium for lightness and to help lower the centre of gravity.
The “Bleu Nuit” paint really suits the DS and overall the car presents very nicely indeed, having recently benefited from a full paint correction and detail.  However, having been restored in 2011, the paintwork does show some age related patina and blemishes and the fibreglass roof is now showing has some crazing to the paintwork (a common issue on older restorations), but all the brightwork presents very nicely indeed.
The DS is well known for its remarkably airy, bright and roomy interior. The front wheel drive layout, flat floor and pillarless doors, allow for generous legroom for both front and rear passengers alike.  In this car, the addition of a full length sunroof goes even further to accentuate the feeling of space inside when open.
As a Pallas model, the car benefits from the optional full leather interior in black with matching leather door trim and beautifully designed chrome door handles, window winders and ashtrays mounted in the back of the front seats.  The seats are high-backed, multiway adjustable, superbly comfortable and incorporate both matching narrow fitted front headrests and front and rear central arm rests. The leather interior is very good condition all round with no rips or tears and just the right level of patina that befits a car of its age.
Additionally, as Pallas model, the car also features special higher quality carpets in good overall condition and extra thick underlay and internal door padding, to further insulate the passengers from road noise.  The beautifully designed door fittings are in excellent condition and free from any pitting.  All internal door sills are fitted with polished and striped stainless steel protectors.
As previously mentioned, this car is fitted with the much sought after 2nd generation “wave” dashboard that was only produced for a 12 month period.  It also has fully operational JVC radio/cd player, with detachable control fascia.
The extensive history file that comes with the car shows that since being put on the road in 2011 over £10,000 has been spent maintaining the car in top roadworthy condition.   Originally fitted with a DX coded engine from the factory, this car has subsequently been fitted with a later and slightly more powerful DX2 coded engine. It has benefitted from regular servicing and a stainless steel exhaust fitted. Recent expenditure includes, all new suspension spheres, a new wiring loom and the car has been updated to run a 123 electronic ignition distributor, which maintains the classic appearance under the bonnet, but the internal technology makes the ignition system and engine perform better than ever before.
The car has most recently been through a comprehensive pre-sale mechanical recommissioning costing just under £5000.  This included among other things, a full service, a gearbox rebuild, the hydraulic system overhauled and both rear suspension gaiters replaced (old ones are prone to leaking).  Mechanically, we would say the car is now very strong and the rebuilt 4 speed semi-automatic gear box changes smoothly and is a delight to use.
Finally, the engine and engine bay has been comprehensively treated with ACF-50 and advanced anti-corrosion treatment, originally developed for the aviation industry to protect aircraft from existing and new corrosion and extensively used on aircraft onboard aircraft carriers.
The 15 inch steel wheels are in good overall condition but could benefit from a repaint.  However, the all important and very difficult to source Pallas stainless steel wheel covers, are all in excellent condition.  The car sits on matching Nexen Classe Premiere CP641 tyres, all with substantial tread depth left.
The famous hydraulic braking system functions perfectly and even by today’s standards, is surprisingly strong.  The front brake pads for the inboard front discs were replaced around 3000 kms ago and were checked and passed for wear when the engine was out, for the recent gearbox overhaul.
The underside presents very well for a 52 year old car and the boot floor (a known problem area for rust) has previously been replaced and is entirely rust free. As part of the pre-sale re-commissioning works, minor rust in the floor pan was professionally repaired. Finally, all outer and inner floor pans, inner wings front and back and the inside of both rear wings have been subject to a comprehensive Dinitrol 4941 rust preventative treatment.  As such, the car can be driven all year round sound in the knowledge that the underside is well protected.
The car comes with one of the most comprehensive histories we’ve seen and comprises registration documents, a number plate authorisation certificate, MOTs, service, maintenance and parts invoices (including the most recent pre-sale re-commissioning works), various manual, Citroën DS articles and magazines as well as a parts catalogue.
For more information and lots more photos, please visit Montpellier Motorcars' website.
Part exchange:Yes part exchange considered

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  • Mileage: 23,430
  • Year: 1968
  • Doors: 4
  • Body type: Saloon
  • Transmission type: Semi Automatic
  • Fuel type: Petrol
  • Colour: Blue


  • Engine layout: Front Engined
  • Aspiration: Normally Aspirated
  • Engine size (Litres): 2.1
  • Engine configuration: 4 cylinder
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Engine power (BHP): 109
  • Torque (lbs/ft): 128
  • Driven wheels: Front Wheel Drive
  • Previous owners: 3

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Montpellier Motorcars

Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

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