After 18 years of development in secret as the successor to the venerable Traction Avant, the DS 19 was introduced on 5 October 1955 at the Paris Motor Show. The car's appearance and innovative engineering captured the imagination of the public and the automobile industry almost overnight. In the first 15 minutes of the show 743 orders were taken, and orders for the first day totalled 12,000. Far from being just a fascinating technology in search of a purpose, contemporary journalists were effusive in noting how the DS dramatically pushed the envelope in the ride vs. handling compromise possible in a motor vehicle.
To a France still deep in reconstruction after the devastation of WW II, and also building its identity in the post-colonial world, the DS motor car was a symbol of French ingenuity. It defied virtually every automotive design convention of that era.
It also posited the nation's relevance in the Space Age, during the global race for technology of the Cold War. The high price tag, however, hurt general sales in a country still recovering from WW II, and a cheaper submodel, the Citroën ID, was introduced in 1957. The ID shared the DS's body but was more traditional mechani
left-hand-drive citroen ds21 convertible dusine 66 red manual power-steering 1966 french