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Citroën GS Pallas. A beautiful day full of childhood memories

ER Classics Desktop 2022

Nice and nervous. That's me today in a day that has never been the same since 2001. Today photographer Bart and I are going to report with the brothers André and Chris and them Citroën Making GS Pallas. Within cycling distance, a short kilometer from my house, is the Citroën ready. I am looking forward to the day for several reasons. Because childhood memories are shared today. And very tangible in several ways.

Anyone who has read my writings in recent years knows that the Citroën GS played a big part in my childhood. Twice my parents signed the purchase contract of a GS. Especially the second, a GSX (or GS X) if you will, was something special. I was in that car countless times, teaching my sister and me, for example, that the Pyrenees existed. Ended in November 1982 L'Aventure GS. The good memories remained. Also for my father, despite all the necessary key experience.


André and Chris talk a lot about the efforts their father made for ten years to keep the GS going. There are hilarious and also very recognizable stories in between. So there were more fathers who cursed the GS technique and at the same time embraced it. Naturally, the brothers also share their experiences with the Citroën. And their unquestioning loyalty to the GS. It's a Pallas. Bought new in 1979 at De Vrij in Leeuwarden, still in the Tramstraat. The buyers were the parents of the de Vries brothers. It's precise the car that is central today. Forty years after the parents were handed the keys, the GS is still in the family. That history is beautiful, and it originated thirty years ago. I will not reveal more now.

De Citroën GS Pallas from André and Chris does reveal something. He does not hide his forty year old in anything anniversary. For the ravages of time made of this Citroën GS Pallas a visible survivor, even when the dust has been removed from the car. The historic Pallas chic is mixed with fantastic patina. This is how, and not otherwise, a new GS delivered in the Netherlands should be. A GS, to which nothing was used before. And today, it is still the case today. André and Chris think so too. “You have to check. It used to be after five or six years with such a car ready. Could you take him to the scrapyard, and it was over. But you did share love, sorrow and joy with a GS for five years. ”

Unusual. That certainly applies to this one Citroën GS Pallas. Becoming over forty years old is special for a GS. Especially during the first ten years, the Citroën often used. The brothers were still young, the family came everywhere with the Pallas. The five of us across Europe, brothers and sister on the blue fabric backseat, you can still see the historical family fun when the story machine gets going. Today the GS sporadically does its comfortable work. The brothers drive it three or four hundred kilometers a year. A block around the neighborhood.

There are common ground between the brothers' experiences and mine. Recognition. But where my parents said goodbye to the GS in 1982, André and Chris don't worry about getting rid of the GS Pallas. For understandable reasons. The life experience is dripping from it. The family history too, and it still makes me happy. It also makes others happy. “You see more and more people looking back and the Citroën staring after. Certainly those from our generation, they all still remember it ”, says André. Chris can only agree.

It makes sense, today you hardly see your GS anymore. It has become rare, in a completely classic individuality, which still moves very comfortably through the traffic image. A little later Bart Spijker captures the charms of the GS for the magazine report. And as he does that I smile, it's the smile that's impossible to get off my face. André sees it. His wife Jellie sees it too. "You really enjoy it, don't you?" Absolutely.

We all enjoy the Citroën GS Pallas who lost his hair, and because of that became even more engaging. The stainless steel Pallas wheel covers may still be somewhere in the attic. Should we just ask Mom. And there is a piece loose, a strip here, a piece of fabric on the rear door there. It is life experience up to and including. And make no mistake: the brothers provide good technical maintenance. Still, this wouldn't be GS if there were none thingies arrived. The exhaust, an oil seal and possibly a vapor lock are on the to do list of the brothers who are their Citroën loyalty to specialist Otter in the Frisian capital. "Maybe we should put some money together and get the GS repainted." Don't have to, he's fine.

It is September 11, 2020, a beautiful day on which more things stayed the same. The GS's charm lasts forever. And childhood memories become tangible, literally and figuratively. The sound of a closing door, the buttons, the seat, the sound, countless details. Today I touch my own memories. Thanks to the sympathetic brothers André and Chris and their wives, who provide an atmospheric reportage day. And will keep their parent's GS Pallas alive for years to come.

With many thanks to André and Chris de Vries

17 Comments

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  1. I would seriously consider that refinishing.
    The different shades of gray that the car now has… I would be annoyed by that.

  2. I bought a GSA in '82, was one of my best cars, that I have now bought another one, it is not yet in motion but that will come, now drive a BX 16 TRS automatic from '84, just it comfort of this suspension is blissful, grtjes Mario.

  3. All cars from that period were sensitive to corrosion, from AZ (Alfa-ZAZ). Pisbak steel, a construction that was not aimed at combating corrosion or a combination of both. But they were super nice cars with a fresh smelling tectyl 😉

  4. When I sent my Alfasud down the slope of a viaduct in 1984 and got married a month later, a cheap car had to come. That became a GS my first Citroën experience. Comfortable, a weak engine, bad starting sometimes had to be helped to get to height and a broken oil cooler made the whole interior full of smoke. On gas with quite a lot of kilometers, it has remained a positive memory that did not stop me from buying an XM several times later. Would love to ride one again.

  5. The worst car I've ever had. One morning the thing stood like a beached whale next to the curb and a trickle of green liquid disappeared into the well. Rust, don't start,
    too weak engine, you name it! Never again a French car!

  6. Ooo what a feast of recognition. !! And yes they really wanted to rust. And sensitive to moisture. But the hairdryer over the distributor cap. And start walking. I've had 5, sort of a mini DS

  7. What a beautiful copy this gray one Citroen GS pallas. In this model I took my driving lessons and exam in TILBURG. I have great memories of it when I come across this classic in the Dutch traffic street scene.

  8. Very recognizable, the radio between the front seats only had no Volvo on us.
    What I do not know because it was stolen from the car during a visit to Utrecht in the early 80s
    My father Started a new gs sedan in 1973, then had the new breaks in 1975 and 1978
    And in the 80s a gsa sedan X3 and then switched over via an ax in 2002 to a used one
    Berlingo multispace that is still in the driveway

    The GS were as comfortable as bad luck - and rust prone and notorious for their sensitivity
    For cold start moisture

    That's the reason I don't citroenbecame a rider
    My Dutch. Dafs and Volvo s were not bothered by this

  9. What was striking in the late eighties was the fact that at the time (without real money) I was looking for a GS (a), and that everything that was offered had 150k km (+) on it. The prices were still above budget 😜

  10. Au début de l année 1973. J ai appris mon métier comme apprenti mécanicien dans un garage Citroën .
    Sur des 2 CV, Dyane, Ami 8, the superb GS ET DS ...
    Que de bon souvenir….

  11. As a student I exchanged a DS21 injection Pallas semi-automatic for a GS semi-automatic, because the DS costs were too high. I was not that skilled at the time. So when the front brake pads had to be replaced, it took me more than two hours to crumple those things in and with the Citroen springs. During the test braking, the entire santen stand fell into the parking lot, followed by a flying screwdriver and a bouncing wrench ...

    Later the engine replaced. I think the front bumper alone was stuck with about fourteen assorted bolts. I don't remember how I got off that GS. Perhaps due to fire?

  12. Awesome! This is a real survivor, a very late Pallas too, June 1979 - a few months before the GSA was released. My dad drove a beige Club between April 1978 and October 1981…. Not a hobby mechanic himself, so those repairs by Autocenter Borghstijn in Rotterdam became a nice expense. But despite that, he still talks about that moving carpet… later Visas, AXs, Saxos and C3s were and are comfortable but certainly not spring ball comfort.

      • It can be noted that the GS / A steered a lot tighter than the semi McPherson front legs. I still own my GSA from 1982 and it is always striking how quiet a car such a car has. “Reisen statt rasen” is what our eastern neighbors call it.

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