When Citroen launched the DS in 1955 it must have seemed like a space ship had landed. Not only was it like nothing else seen on the roads at the time, both in terms of styling and technology, but it was such a huge contrast to the Traction Avant saloons it replaced which although themselves advanced for their time, had been in production since before WW2. The boys on van Cleemput's team at Corgi Toys were first and foremost engineers and the high tech French car must have appealed for this reason.
This was Corgi's first step overseas, the first foreign car in the range and a telling choice. The DS19 was the most technologically advanced production car in the world at the time with revolutionary hydraulics and front wheel drive, not to mention space-age styling. Corgi were to remodel the DS three more times and to keep it in the range for nearly 20 years. It was an historic moment for the brand when this car was released.
A Citroen DS would feature in my garage of the best cars of all time, I think I'd choose the Henri Chapron drophead two-door coupe.
The Corgi DS was released in December 1957 in red, yellow with a red roof and metallic green with a black roof. The early cars had no suspension or interior. Some of them will also be found with a baseplate casting modified to take the mechanical friction motor although a mechanical version of the DS never made it into production, that tapering boot just did not give enough room for the works.
Production continued until 1960 when the car was given the 'S' treatment, receiving seats and suspension. The new version (210s) remained in the range until 1965. The later cars with suspension tend to be valued a little higher than the originals and colour does not seem to affect price.
The Citroen DS19 gets the 'S' treatment - seats and suspension. The first version with solid axles and no interior was first brought out in 1957. Here in 1960 it gets a detailed interior and spring suspension giving it a lot more life in the range, being finally deleted in 1965. It also gets a new red colour scheme. All the solid axle cars are yellow with a red roof or metallic green with a black roof. 210s is always red all over. The S version gets a very small premium over the older release.
323 Monte Carlo Rally
The old DS19 shakes off the cobwebs and comes out for another trip, this time as a DS21 - this casting is a survivor from the early Corgi days of no suspension and no seats and here it is again in the 1965 Monte Carlo Rally coming in 7th driven by Bob Neyret behind Roger Clark's Rover 2000 in 6th place and the rally winning Mini of Timo Makinen (both in the Corgi range). The Monte Carlo Rally Citroen DS was made for just one year, from 1965 to 1966, there are no listed variations but they are both hard to find and sought after so values are high.
|Corgi Toys 210; Citroen DS19 Saloon; Yellow, Red Roof, Diff Cast in Base||Corgi Toys 210; Citroen DS19 Saloon; Yellow, Red Roof, No Diff Cast in Base||Corgi Toys 210; Citroen DS19 Saloon; Metallic Green, Black Roof, No Diff Cast in Base||Corgi Toys 210S; Citroen DS19 Saloon; Red, Yellow Seats||Corgi Toys 323; Citroen DS21; 1965 Monte Carlo Rally 7th; Neyret & Terramorsi; RN75|