Citroen Image, Part I

Image, Part I

Citroen is known both by the media and the car market for its unique style in interior and mostly exterior design and also for its technological innovations throughout its history. Whatsoever it hasn’t always been so. Citroen started as a mass produced vehicle manufacturer back in the early 20ies. Apart from the fact that it was Europe’s first mass produced car-company Citroen didn’t differ much. This though started to change when Citroen released the Traction Avant model in 1934: the world’s mass produced front wheel drive car which was low and streamlined with good handling and also very safe to drive. Citroen’s next break through was the 1948 launched 2CV. This legendary car would stay into production until 1990. It was a vehicle that Citroen had carefully planned: light, 4 seated, easy to construct and to repair that could be used even by farmers to carry a barrel or a sack of potatoes on a field. The total production was 3,872,583 cars not including the several variations and sibling vehicles. The Citroen 2CV is as historical as the VW Beetle of the Germans or the Mini of the English.

The next icon for Citroen is the DS19. This car is not known for its sales because it wasn’t really a commercial success even though it stayed in production for 20 years (1955 – 1975). Whatsoever it is known to the public and automotive enthusiasts for both its superb design and engineering innovations.  It was voted in the third place for the car of the century (1999) behind Ford Model T and Mini. It was also positioned in the 5th place by the Automobile Magazine for the official competition of the 100 coolest cars ever, in 2005 and it was also voted as the most beautiful car of all times by the Classic & Sports Car magazine with judges like the well known car designers Giorgetto Giugaro, Ian Callum, Roy Axe, Paul Bracq and Leonardo Fioravanti.

The DS19

The DS19

The DS19 was externally designed by Flaminio Bertoni a car designer, painter and sculptor. For its era back in 1955 this car was something futuristic. In addition it had superb aerodynamics. As concerns of the engineering of the car Paul Mages was the main responsible for many systems such as implementation of hydraulics in brakes, suspension, steering and gear box, systems he had already started to work on since the war time. The DS19 had a three level oleopneumatic suspension which made the car move with a superb comfort in an era that some of the competition had inflexible rear suspension. This also gave it extremely good handling. It also had hydraulic discbrakes and a semiautomatic hydraulic gear box of 4 speeds and in 1967 directional lights were introduced.

References:

Books:

Title: Dates, Author:Citroen (Firm), Publisher: Neuilly-sur-Seine : Automobiles Citroen, Creation Date: c1996, Language: English

URL:

http://www.citroencarclub.org.uk/drupal/node/24 (03 Nov. 2013, Traction Avant, 2CV, DS)

http://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citro%C3%ABn_2CV (03 Nov. 2013, 2CV)

http://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citro%C3%ABn_DS (03 Nov. 2013, DS)

http://www.citroenet.org.uk/phototheques/ds/dsphoto1.html (03 Nov. 2013, DS photo)

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