A clearly recognizable thread runs through the life of Jan van der Heide, in which he wanted to be his own boss and therefore independent. It started for him at the age of 16, when he was employed by the milkman. He later became the owner of a mobile shop that became a household name in the village. When he got the chance to take over the SPAR shop in the village, it was his next successful mission. Why this view of his business activities? This because he showed the same decisiveness in a search for his ultimate car: a Citroën DS.
By: Dirk de Jong
In his school years Jan cycled every day past a trader in Buitenpost who brought many 'pikes' from France for sale. He already envisioned the DS at the doorstep and came up with a budget for it. But there was, of course, no guarantee that he would ever have one. Jan had often discussed his desire for the 'goddess of the road' with his friends. Those friends saw a on a moped trip Citroën DS D Special are in the village, the car looked neat in its beige white color. It is logical that a tip quickly went to Jan. We are now talking about the 80s, the DS with the letters AU in the middle was from 1974. So actually not that old.
And at the time it was just an older car and certainly not a classic. The saved 3.000 Dutch guilders was still a fairly large amount for the Citroën DS. The golden tip of his friends was the beginning of the development of an incurable - but innocent - love for the French voiture. The DS was only used for summer rides and did not do many miles. However, he was used for trips to France with his friends. Those experiences could fill a book.
Yet years of standstill
A person makes many plans in his life, which then take a completely different turn due to circumstances. For Jan, the work as an entrepreneur was time-consuming and intense. The growth of the family caused the car to fade into the background and stand still for a long time.
Citromobil in Utrecht (2008)
This visit to Utrecht was special, because he discovered a beautiful Citroën DS Pallas from 1973 (semi-automatic), which was imported from France in 2000. A beauty on wheels, flowing lines, true luxury, a jewel in a silver version that was looking for a new owner. The beating heart for the DS was immediately felt again! So an offer was made, but the seller was already negotiating. Nevertheless, it became a bit special afterwards, because 14 days after Citromobil, Jan called the owner again to ask whether the car had already been sold. The photos make it clear that the sale was closed. We are now 13 years later and the beautiful DS is only used with some regularity in summer for small trips in the area.
On the talking chair
If the DS is the subject, then listening to Jan is the most obvious activity. When he sees his two French voitures (because his first love – the 98-AU-30 – has remained), he is still drawn to them like a wasp on sweets. When asked what the charm is of driving a Citroën DS does not want to answer Jan, because according to him the story makes that clear.
- Citroën GS Pallas. A beautiful day full of childhood memories
- Citroën CX Prestige Henri Chapron (1976), La Grande Dame
- Robert Opron. The Citroën years
- Citroën BX 14 purchase advice, finally recognition
- Citroën DS 20. Sleeping goddess