Citroën D.S. Pallas (1973). The most beautiful model in car history for Jan.

Citroën D.S. Pallas (1973)
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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. 

Older car

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. 

Citroen 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. 

Also read:
- 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

Automobilia 2022 (copy)


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  1. Beautiful car Jan, (ea). Already had a D Super 17 when I was 5, with a 5-speed gearbox and double carb ports. My first (car) love in practiced….
    Still one of the most beautiful automobiles ever made!

    • Haha, funny form of recognition! Same here at the same age. Only the car was not stable anymore. If there were people in the back, the doors would open when you turned a corner… so not long. But when I had my driver's license, and a few hundred guilders, I was able to take over a DS21 Pallas with which wild adventures have been had! That was the early 70s.
      Recently I spoke to a friend from that time who asked me if I still had the DS. She also had warm memories of it… 😊😅
      I was recently with my son (33) at Aaldering, where I was drooling over a tight DS. Son looks at me and says: “Rarely seen such a monstrosity of a car!”
      The youth of today…

  2. Hard to believe anyone is still looking at new and new pictures of the ds. That's what I've been doing since 1965, even when you've just seen 200 on the street. And it may not be enough to say ” yes, but that design is masterly or something” because that doesn't quite cover it. It is true that most men look at it as if it were a woman in whose arms they wanted to be best and if that was not an option, at least being allowed to look at it at the breakfast table. There was a French video somewhere on YT with a surprising twist to this, i.e. a slightly nerdy young man driving around Paris in his black, spotlessly polished Pallas trying to pick up girls (the famous "draguer") and he slowly slips next to a walking girl. , goes around the block again, drives next to it again, you see her state of spell, another block and damn, she gets in. But not as a prostitute: she was also captured under the dangerous DS spell. And there was another French film where the man loses his wife because he was more fascinated with his dark red DS than with her. I've never been able to find them both again, but they were first rate. And there are many, a video "le ballade des danseuses" or something similar shows two DS-
    and dance in front of your eyes in the USA, one with the old front fenders and the other with the new ones. also worth it. Good luck

  3. From the introduction of the DS in the Rai in Amsterdam, spinning on a shiny pole and looking at it from under the 'skirts', I think 1956, I was 5, and going there with my father, this unearthly car has my life for I gave a part of what no other car aroused in me. I've had three, 2x DS21, and finally the most beautiful, a DS23 Pallas with air conditioning and sliding roof. She turned out, this goddess, to be an expensive mistress, but you take for granted what you love. Unique and unmatchable, in terms of shape, technique, and a unique beauty. My DS love preceded a CX, but it again had strange technical rarities, such as an automatically retracting steering wheel, which in retrospect made it less than all authentic DS novelties, which were functional, so that this gently swaying glory was not in vain. will continue to be known as the most beautiful automobile.

  4. I think few can imagine the impact, shock, shock wave the introduction of the ID/DS in 1955 had on the public. A design that looked like nothing else, referred to nothing, at most a UFO. Ultra modern. Technically advanced.
    Unfortunately, so much has been conceived and invented in the last few decades that it is difficult if not impossible to ever come up with a design that is so special.
    We can say that the car has been developed a bit, ok there is now a transition to electric where only the batteries need further development and possibly autonomous driving. But for the rest; all body shapes have been devised including all variants of variants, the same for interiors, wheel suspension is ready and in terms of safety we are also at the top where only the last percentages are being added. No, it's not easy being a car designer today.

  5. When I went out with the DS, and now with the CX, my mouths still fall open in amazement. Regardless of who drives more, young old and especially many females, almost all have the same first reaction. We can see out of this car. I usually do a round of Stanley Park and
    pretend I don't see the speed bumps. first you see a shock and the face next to you, and then you often hear an omg we felt nothing!
    Mister Jan ban der Heide, that line that runs through you follows the 49th parallel and then continues through me. Beautiful Autos, and the best thing is that the first power remain. What a happy day January 1 has become. Bass.

    CX J Mac Edition

  6. When the DS was introduced, the Traction avant continued to be sold in parallel with the DS for 2 more years
    A world difference between the ultramodern DS and the 30s coach-like TA model. The contrast could hardly be greater.
    This is what we're missing today, bold designs that will leave your mouth open in amazement upon introduction (and for many years to come).
    The flying DS in the Fantomas film by Louis de Funes also remains beautiful

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